Dr. Jan Olson - Nursing Expert Academically reviewed by Dr. Jan Olson - Nursing Expert
TEAS Test Scores

The Test of Essential Academic Skills – the TEAS test –is a standardized exam taken by students who have an interest in attending nursing (or a dental hygienist) program in the United States. Learn everything you need to know about TEAS scores in this article. 

The TEAS exam is administered by the ATI – the Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI). The latest version of the TEAS Test (which forever retired the TEAS V exam) was released in 2016. It is now known as the ATI TEAS VI exam.

The ATI VI TEAS Test is a timed test comprised of 170 questions specifically designed to evaluate a potential nursing degree candidate’s basic nursing skills. Getting a top TEAS score will ensure you get into the program of your choice.

Summary: Learn about TEAS scores and how to decipher your score report.

Detailed Look at TEAS Scores

We will be taking a detailed look at TEAS test scores below. We will review everything from how to look at your score report to how the exam is graded and scored. 

Grading the TEAS

Questions on the exam are given a wide range of point values that are used in a process known as equating. This scoring system randomly gives more weight to certain questions. Students have no way of knowing how each question is weighed. So just take the test with the mindset of every question being equal. 

Out of the 170 total questions found on the TEAS exam, only 150 of them are actually scored. 20 random questions are used for internal purposes and have no weight on the score. Students will not know which 20 questions are not scored. 

Students receive a grading report that shows the percentage of questions that were answered correctly in each section. Furthermore, this report will also detail areas where the student should invest in further studies.

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How to Receive TEAS Scores

The TEAS can be taken in either paper or electronic formats. Individuals who take the paper version will have to wait on results since it’s sent to ATI for scoring. However, students who take the electronic version will have immediate access to their score.

The bottom line is that students who take the paper version of the test will have an additional waiting time. 

Once available, TEAS scores are released to the school of choice. 

What's on Your TEAS Score Report?

You'll receive three different TEAS scores on your report:

  • Total Score: This is the score weighed for every section of the test.
  • Content Area Score: These will be individual scores for each section of the TEAS test.
  • Sub-Content Area Score: These are broken down even further to provide scores for every sub category.

It’s important to note that the total score is not the average of all 4 sections. The score is weighed and will be calculated differently for each individual.

Note: The total and content area scores are equated which means they are adjusted to account for differences among the different test versions. Because these scores are "equated", you can not calculate the total and content area scores from any scores on your score report (e.g., your total score is not an average of your four content area scores).

Score Ranges and Their Meaning

The below table outlines various score ranges and what they mean. These are set by ATI and called "ATI Academic Preparedness Level."

Academic Preparedness Level  Definition  Score Range 
Developmental Developmental scores generally indicate a very low level of overall academic preparedness necessary to support learning of health sciences-related content. Students at this level will require additional preparation for most objectives assessed on ATI TEAS. 0.0% to 40.7%
Basic  Basic scores generally indicate a low level of overall academic preparedness necessary to support learning of health sciences-related content. Students at this level are likely to require additional preparation for many objectives assessed on ATI TEAS. 41.3% to 58.0%
Proficient  Proficient scores generally indicate a moderate level of overall academic preparedness necessary to support learning of health sciences-related content. Students at this level can require additional preparation for some objectives assessed on ATI TEAS. 58.7% to 77.3%
Advanced  Advanced scores generally indicate a high level of overall academic preparedness necessary to support learning of health sciences-related content. Students at this level are not likely to require additional preparation for the objectives assessed on ATI TEAS. 78.0% to 90.0%
Exemplary  Exemplary scores generally indicate a very high level of overall academic preparedness necessary to support learning of health sciences-related content. Students at this level are not likely to require additional preparation for the objectives assessed on ATI TEAS. 90.7% to 100.0%

Sample TEAS Score Report

Review the sample score report below to get a better idea of what will be on your report. 

TEAS scores

National Mean Score

The National Mean Score is a score taken from students around the country and then compared against the score of the individual taking the test.

Program Mean Score

The Program Mean Score is similar to the National Mean Score in that both are calculated based on a random sampling of national test scores. The Program Mean Score is the average total score of all test takers in a specific program type (e.g., BSN Programs).

National Percentile Rank

One’s National Percentile Rank is, once again, calculated based on a sampling of students that represent various health science disciplines. The National Percentile Rank – which will fall between one and 99 - reflects the percentage of students earning a score at (or below) the test-taker’s score. The National Percentile Ranks are reported for each test-taker’s total score and the four content section scores.

Program Percentile Rank

Similar to the above-noted percentile ranks, the Program Percentile Rank is calculated based on a sampling of students. Note though, the sampling of students is from the same health science discipline as you. The Program Percentile Rank reflects the percentage of students earning a score at (or below) the test-taker’s score. 

What is a Good TEAS Score? What is a TEAS passing score?

What is considered a good score on the ATI TEAS VI exam will vary from school to school. Some schools will require a minimum total score for acceptance. Other schools may require specific minimum scores in each content area. Some schools do not even have specific minimum scores.

As such, it is critical for the test-taker to confirm the minimum TEAS scores required for those schools they apply to.

Although each school's admission criteria are likely to differ, most schools set the admission score bar at least 65% to 75%. 

Can the TEAS Test be Retaken?

Students who score below the minimum score and are not accepted into a nursing school are allowed to retake the exam. However, the testing fee will have to be paid again. 

Every school has its own set of rules governing retakes though. 

  • Some only allow one retake per year while others allow three. 
  • Schools also have a waiting period requirement between each test. This is usually set at 30 days but could be longer. However, it is important that you give yourself time to study and strengthen the areas where you failed. 

Preparing for the TEAS Exam

Each nursing program candidate is responsible for properly preparing for the ATI TEAS test. Nursing program candidates are advised to recognize the importance of carving out enough time to prepare for the TEAS exam as a way to optimize TEAS test scores potential! 

To help you prepare, use these recommended resources:

If you are looking for more information on BoostPrep or other TEAS prep courses, check out our in-depth TEAS prep course reviews.

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