ATI TEAS Strategies and Tips 

For a printable copy of the below strategies and tips, please click here

Preparation for the Test

Students should remember that preparing for an exam of this type requires more than one night of studying. In fact, test prep should begin at least two weeks prior to the test date. This gives adequate time for reviewing the material covered on the test and prevents study fatigue that can lead to burnout. Under no circumstances should a student spend the entire night before the exam studying the material covered in the study guide. Sleep is more important in test preparation the night before than a last minute cram session. Eating a good breakfast the morning of the exam is also important, as the brain cannot function adequately without the proper fuel.


ATI Teas Study Materials

An ATI TEAS Study Guide is available for purchase in the Newark Campus Bookstore or for check out at the Newark Campus Library. This study guide contains information on the content of the exam as well as many sample questions for each section of the exam. However, a separate Learning Strategies Guide is also available for students to learn strategies appropriate to the TEAS test and health-related courses in general.


Upon completion of the exam, students will be able to instantly access their scores by clicking the My Results tab after logging into their ATI account. They will see an overall or composite score, as well as scores for each of the four sections. In addition, each of the four sections of the test will be broken into subcategories, indicating strength or weakness in a given area. Students can use these results to focus their studying for future attempts at taking the TEAS test. Students will also see a breakdown of their weak areas at the end of their results page listing relevant pages in the Study Guide. If a student does not own the study guide, they may click the Focused Review link to view a digital version of just the pages of the Study Guide referenced in this section.

Test Taking Strategies

Process of Elimination is a key strategy to improve test scores. Students eliminate the answers that are obviously wrong, leaving only reasonable options. Remember, eliminating just one of the four answer choices brings a student’s probability of success up from 25% to 33%.

Triage is a testing strategy used on the ACT or any other standardized test in which the questions are not ordered based on difficulty. This method encourages students to go through the section once answering questions for which they are certain they know the correct choice and make a quick guess on any questions that seem difficult or that might take more time to answer. On the second pass through the test, students review their guessed answers, spending the necessary time answering the test questions that were more challenging and making educated guesses for questions that they deem “impossible.” Because students cannot mark the questions of which they were unsure, students should use their scrap paper to note which questions they should review during their second pass. By using this technique, students will build their confidence, reduce test anxiety by demonstrating competence, use time efficiently, and maximize points by ensuring that they do not miss “easy” questions at the end of the exam.


When Reading Test Questions

It is important to know when to make inferences. In the Mathematics section, inferences can lead to incorrect answers as students add information from personal experiences into their reasoning. Only use the information that is given, and do not read between the lines. However, in the Reading section, some questions specifically ask students to make inferences, putting together the pieces of information given to determine information that is not specifically given. Knowing which questions are appropriate for making inferences will help students determine how to answer each question appropriately.
Read questions carefully, and read answer choices even more thoroughly. This is a selection exam, and therefore, its purpose is to eliminate individuals from a pool of candidates. If elimination is the goal, then trick questions are often an effective strategy on the part of the test-makers. Many answer choices will look similar to part of the question but with subtle differences that change the meaning. Typically, if an answer looks like another answer or part of the question, it should be examined carefully before being chosen or eliminated.
Often, the answers will give a hint to the focus of the question. For this reason, reading the answers before the question can guide a student in finding a solution to the problem. In the Reading section, it is a good strategy to not only read the answers before the questions, but also to read the questions before the relevant passage.



3 Types of Questions

Paragraphs and Passages: Short passages followed by a series of multiple-choice questions. Typically test comprehension in a variety of ways (see chart below).

Charts, Maps, Graphs, and Diagrams: Visual representation of information or data followed by series of multiple-choice questions. Typically test ability to comprehend, interpret, or apply data.

Following Directions: Step-by-step instructions that lead to a specific solution or result. Typically test ability to sequence events and locate important details in text.

Identify the Purpose of the Question: By determining why the question is being asked, a student can quickly discover what kinds of answers are applicable. This will help eliminate obviously wrong answers that do not address the question’s purpose. The following chart has been adapted from the Pre-Test Study Manual for the Test of Essential Academic Skills, Edition 3.0, and can help students gauge the purpose of specific kinds of questions.
Type of Question Purpose
What is the passage about? Subject Matter
What are the essential points of the passage? Main Idea
What are the specific facts or opinions used? Details
What does the author want you to do or believe/ Purpose
What conclusions can be drawn from the generalizations or the details of the passage? Draw Conclusions
How can you apply the conclusions you have made about a passage to new situations not addressed in the passage? Apply Conclusions
What is the feeling or attitude of the author toward the subject matter of the passage? Tone and Attitude of Author/Passage
What is the general meaning of a word as used in the passage? Vocabulary in Context
What do you notice about the organization of the passage or how are the generalizations related to each other? Communication Techniques

Questions First: Read the questions and the answers before reading the relevant passage. This will give a general idea of the types of answers being given, but it will also guide the student as he/she reads the passage. This kind of guided reading improves comprehension on the first pass through the text, saving the student time later.
Take Notes: Jot down ideas from the Questions and Answers to help guide reading, then write the answers on the same paper when the information is found in the text. Transfer that information to the actual test once all of the questions from a specific passage are answered.
POE: Remember to eliminate obviously wrong answers before selecting answers, especially if you are unsure of which answer is correct.
Plug It In: If dealing with synonyms or word meaning, try plugging the answers into the question to see if it makes sense.
Read with Caution: Don’t let the testers fool you! Many times, words that look similar to the words in the question are given as possible answers. Just because the words look the same does not mean that they have the same meaning. Also, watch for similar-looking words in the answer choices. Often, this technique of trying to “trick” the test taker by giving two choices that look almost identical means that one of these answers is likely to be correct. Just remember to read carefully when selecting your answer!




Numbers: Real, counting, whole, integers, rational/irrational

Operations: 4 basic functions, radicals and exponents (basic)

Percents: %/decimal/fraction, % of #

Ratios and Proportions: Create and solve

Algebra: Simplify expressions, solve equations, distance formula, simple interest formula

Measurements: Metric/English, conversions, absolute value as distance, perimeter/area/volume, circles, Pythagorean Theorem

Graphs and Diagrams: Line, histogram, bar, pie, stem and leaf, mean/median/mode
Inequalities: graph, solve


POE: Get rid of unreasonable answers first. Incredibly large or small numbers in relation to the numbers given in the problem are typically unreasonable. Units can also help identify answers that do not make sense in the given problem.
Plug It In: Try plugging answers back into the problem to see if the results make sense. Often times, this is faster than actually solving the problem.
Draw a Picture: This technique is especially helpful with word problems. If you can organize information into a picture, chart, table, or graph, it is often easier to see what approach will work best for the situation.
Estimation: Round the numbers in the problem so that you can do the math quickly and easily, and then eliminate the answers that are nowhere near the estimated answer. Determining what a reasonable answer is will help narrow the choices, often to just one or two possible answers.
Work Backwards: Sometimes starting with the answer and working your way backwards through the problem will help eliminate wrong answers and identify the right one faster than trying to set up an equation and solve for an unknown.
Read Carefully: Remember, the test-makers are trying to trick you. Read each question and its answers carefully, and do NOT add more information to the problem than what is given.


Science and Technical Reasoning
Areas of Knowledge

Science Reasoning: Scientific Method, Making Inferences, Critical Thinking, Accuracy vs. Precision, Venn Diagrams

Life Science: Cells, Organisms, Ecology, Evolution
• 5 Characteristics of Living Things
• Cell Structure and Chemistry (Passive/Active Transport)
• Mendelian Genetics and Punnett Squares

Human Body Science: Anatomy and Physiology, Cell Replication
• Structure of Human Body: Cells -> Tissues -> Organs -> Organ Systems -> Organisms
• 4 Tissue Types: Epithelium (Simple/Stratifies), Connective, Muscle (Skeletal, Smooth, Cardiac), Nervous (Neurons, etc.)
• 11 Organ Systems: Integumentary, Skeletal, Muscular, Nervous, Endocrine, Cardio-Vascular, Lymphatic, Respiratory, Digestive, Urinary, Reproductive
• Functions of Life (Organ Systems Interact to Achieve These): Maintaining Boundaries, Responding to Environmental Changes, Moving, Ingestion/Digestion, Reproduction, Growing, Excretion, Metabolism (Adaptation, Circulation, Elimination, Locomotion, Nutrition, Oxygenation, Regulation, Self-Duplication)

Anatomical Terms:
Anatomical Position, Dorsal, Ventral, Superior, Inferior, Posterior, Medial, Lateral, Intermediate, Proximal, Anterior, Distal, Superficial, Deep, Sagittal Section, Midsagittal Section, Transverse Section (Cross Section), Frontal Section (Coronal Section), Dorsal, Body Cavity, Ventral Body Cavity

Chemical and Physical Science: Science Measurement, Chemical Quantities, States of Matter
• Quantitative vs. Qualitative Measurement
• Scientific Notation
• Density
• Moles and Molar Mass
• Atomic Structure (matter, mass, element, atom, nucleus, atomic number electron, energy levels, molecule, compounds, chemical reactions, bonds, ions, ionic bonds, free energy, exergonic vs. endergonic reactions, catalyst, enzymes, redox reactions)
• States of Matter (kinetic energy, Kinetic Energy Theory, gas pressure, vacuum, liquid, vaporization, evaporation, solid, crystal lattice, change of state)
General Science: Hydrologic cycle, rock cycle, and plate tectonics
• Hydrologic Cycle: Cycle of water moving from earth’s atmosphere to the surface and back again (evaporation, condensation, precipitation, transpiration, infiltration, and surface run off)
• Rock Cycle: One rock type changes to another over time with applied heat and pressure (Igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic, magma, physical weathering, chemical weathering)
• Plate Tectonics: Outer layer of earth’s surface is broken into seven large pieces, or plates, and many small ones that shift due to changes in the flow of the liquid mantle beneath (plate boundaries -> convergent, divergent, transform)


Critical Thinking: The most important part of the science and reasoning portion of the exam is critical thinking. You must be able to take pieces of information that are given and apply them to new situations. You must also be able to break problems down into their most basic components and determine which pieces of information are important in formulating an answer. This skill takes time and practice, so make sure you are analyzing and synthesizing information both as you study for the test and in everyday life. The more you practice your critical thinking skills, the stronger they will become.

Ways to Practice Critical Thinking:

• Watch news programs and determine if the reporters are reporting all of the facts. What questions could you ask to find out more? Where could you go to learn more about the issue? Is there something obvious that the reporter overlooked during the segment? If so, why do you think he/she neglected to share this information with the audience?
• Compare the value of several brands of breakfast cereal at the grocery store. Which brand is the best price per ounce? What other factors should you consider as you make your selection? Why is this extra information an important factor in your choice?
• Go for a walk and pay attention to your surroundings. Where are you? What objects and scenery surround you? How much wildlife is in this area? How do you know? Why do you think that is the case?


English and Language Usage

Areas of Knowledge

Punctuation: (Express tone, pauses, emotion) Period, comma, semicolon, colon, dash, quotation mark, parentheses, question mark, exclamation mark, hyphen, apostrophe

Grammar: Plural nouns, syllabication and hyphen usage, capitalization, parts of speech, agreement, tense, pronoun case

Sentence Structure: Kinds of sentences (declarative, imperative, interrogative, exclamatory), simple vs. compound, appositives (nonrestrictive vs. restrictive), misplaced modifiers, parallel structure

Contextual Words: 8 kinds of context clues (definition, description, examples, synonyms, antonyms, comparison, contrast, explanation of situation)

Spelling: rules, common mistakes, commonly confused words


POE: Remember to eliminate obviously wrong answers before selecting answers, especially if you are unsure of which answer is correct.
Plug It In: If dealing with synonyms or word meaning, try plugging the answers into the question to see if it makes sense.
Read with Caution: Don’t let the testers fool you! Many times, words that look similar to the words in the question are given as possible answers. Just because the words look the same does not mean that they have the same meaning. Also, watch for similar-looking words in the answer choices. Often, this technique of trying to “trick” the test taker by giving two choices that look almost identical means that one of these answers is likely to be correct. Just remember to read carefully when selecting your answer!
Context Clues: Remember, context clues may not be located in the same sentence as the word in question. It is important, therefore, to read carefully. If you do not find the information you are looking for in the sentence surrounding the word, try the sentence before or after.


The Newark Campus

1179 University Drive
Newark, OH 43055

The Coshocton Campus

200 North Whitewoman Street
Coshocton, OH 43812

The Knox Campus

236 S. Main St
Mount Vernon Ohio 43050

The Pataskala Campus

8660 East Broad Street
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068

If you have trouble accessing this page and need to request an alternate format, contact the Webmaster via email at webmaster@cotc.edu.