Nursing is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling professions in the world. Nurses are on the front lines, caring for patients who need it most. But did you know that getting into nursing school can be challenging?
The requirements for nursing schools vary but typically require a certain number of prerequisites such as general education courses, science courses, and math courses before enrolling in nursing programs. So what does this mean for someone with a low Teas score? What if they don’t have all their pre-reqs completed or taken yet? Are they out of luck? The answer is not so simple!
Initial things to know about the Teas score
The Teas score is a numerical value given to potential nursing students who are interested in applying to schools. It’s actually not an ACTUAL test but rather places you on a scale of 1-5, which determines your qualifications for admissions into nursing school or other undergraduate healthcare programs. A lower Teas score means that you have less experience or education, whereas a higher Teas score shows the opposite.
If your test falls below a 3, there are options for you to gain the experience you need before applying to schools
Option 1: Test out of prerequisites
Testing out of prerequisite courses means that you have already passed the required classes with an A or B grade and can move on to more advanced classes without actually taking or passing them first. This is a great option if your ACT score doesn’t meet the average requirements for transferring into nursing programs because you can get valuable hands-on experience in other healthcare areas.
Option 2: Attend community college first
Attending community college comes with its own set of advantages. You get access to all the same prerequisites but at a lower cost per credit! You have more time to study and focus on one or two classes at a time instead of being overwhelmed with full course loads.
You also get the opportunity to take nursing courses for FREE! Even if you don’t plan on transferring to a 4-year university, attending community college is still extremely beneficial.
Option 3: Study for the Teas test
Studying for the teas test can be quite daunting, especially if you are not used to standardizing testing. A person could study 1-2 months prior to taking it, but even still, many people just simply do not have that kind of time available.
Can I get into nursing school with low teas score?
So if someone gets a lower Teas score, does this mean they are automatically disqualified from applying? The short answer is no. Just because you don’t have all your prerequisites done yet to get into nursing school doesn’t disqualify you.
However, it’s important to know that admission committees use nursing programs like additional information when deciding who gets accepted into the school; since prerequisites are required for admission, you may be asked for these courses or at least show proof that they are being taken before you can be admitted.
So what happens if someone doesn’t have all their prerequisite coursework done but still wants to get into nursing school? If this is your situation, then there are a few things you can do. First of all, look into schools that offer conditional acceptance. This means that although the application process won’t go through until all of your prereqs are completed; you will be able to get into the nursing program once they are done.
There are some schools that don’t require all prereqs to be done, but instead, they require a certain percentile of the course, or you must have at least completed half of it. This is an option for someone with a low Teas score. The next thing you can do is research programs offered at colleges and universities near you through your local hospital systems. There are programs out there that will allow people who are interested in pursuing nursing as their profession to get into the program without having all their prerequisites done, therefore not disqualifying them because of this aspect.
These are good options for those with low Teas scores because of a lack of courses or experience needed to apply. Even if these aren’t an option, students still have the ability to take non-nursing courses during the summer to fill in what is needed for admission.
The bottom line is that people with low Teas scores are NOT disqualified from getting into nursing school, but there may be some extra steps they need to take before being admitted. The key thing you can do is not give up; keep trying and research your options until you find one that works best for you! Good luck!
Study Tips for Successful Teas Scores
1. Start with the official Teas study guide
Assuming you took a standardized test before or attempted college courses, you will find that studying for the teas is very different from any test you have seen previously.
The best place to start your preparation is with the official Teas study guide available through NASN – National Association of State Boards of Nursing. This comprehensive guide will give you an overview of what exactly to expect on test day, as well as key strategies for doing well!
2. You don’t need to stress over every detail
The truth about taking this type of test is that most questions are not “trick” questions but rather straightforward math problems and science problems. Yes, there are some challenging questions that may require you to read more than one option, but if your goal is just scoring well, stop stressing over every detail.
If you miss a question, take the time afterward to review it and then move on! You can always come back later for retesting.
3. Review key terms that show up often
The teas test contains several sections, which include math problems, science problems, drug calculations, and vocabulary questions. These are very specific subjects, so studying for this test would be similar to mastering an entire course.
Over half of nursing students struggle with math, so it’s especially helpful to go over all the basic equations covered in algebra 1 class (i.e., exponents, fractions/decimals/percents, properties of numbers, logs, factors/multiples).
4. Eliminate wrong answers
When it comes to taking any type of standardized test – your main goal should be eliminating all the wrong answers. There will always be 4-5 answer choices that are incorrect, so if you can eliminate these, then you know exactly what the correct answer is!
How do you do this? Some people recommend completing practice tests with a pencil so that you can check off items as you go along, but whichever method works best for you would definitely get the job done. Remember; don’t waste time on questions that are difficult or time-consuming because there could be several other questions equally as simple and just as important!