How to pass the nursing school entrance exam!
The majority of nursing schools use an entrance exam to determine if a potential student is qualified to attend their nursing program. Some schools even use your score on the entrance exam as a deciding factor in whether you will get into their program. If you will be attending an RN program, there are two main entrance exams you might be taking. LPN programs typically use one specific entrance exam. This blog post will discuss each entrance exam and show you how you can not only pass them, but get the best score possible to ensure you get into the nursing program of your choice!
First I will discuss the two different types of entrance exams given to potential RN students. The first is the TEAS test, or the Test of Essential Academic Skills. It is administered through a company called Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) and claims to be able to identify students who would do well academically in a nursing program. You should contact the nursing school you are wanting to attend to find out how the TEAS is offered at your school (some schools offer it on-site, others don't so you have to take it at a testing center).
There are a few different ways you can prep for the TEAS test. Either way you choose I definitely recommend you make a study plan and plan on studying for the exam for a few hours most days for the few weeks prior to taking the exam. First you can choose to purchase study materials for the TEAS test through ATI. You can view these materials here.
These study materials can be costly, so you want to be sure you are purchasing study materials for the correct version of the test you will be taking. If you take the TEAS test prior to August 31,2016 you will be taking the 5th version of the TEAS. After August 31, 2016 only the sixth version of TEAS will be offered. The cost of the actual TEAS exam is approximately $100 (this does not include any study materials, just the fee to take the test).
Another option you have is to purchase study materials on your own and study for the exam. There are several resources available, and this may be the way to go if you are trying to save money on study materials. Please note that there are affiliate links listed below.
This is a highly rated comprehensive review for the TEAS exam.
This books promises to prepare you for the TEAS exam in a shorter amount of time than other programs.
If you learn well by taking practice questions, there are a few resources available that have practice exams for the TEAS:
And finally, if you are looking for a quick exam review that breaks the information down simply, you may want to check out this quick guide to the TEAS:
Now that we have covered the TEAS exam, let's talk about the other exam used for entrance into RN programs. The HESIA2, or often referred to as 'HESI' exam, is another comprehensive academic test that is supposed to predict student success in nursing school. The HESI test is usually given at the nursing school itself, and can take up to 4 hours to complete. It is a little more affordable than the TEAS, as it generally costs $35-70 to take. As with the TEAS test, I strongly recommend you develop a study plan and study for the few weeks prior to taking the HESI exam. Below are a few resources available to help you study:
And if you prefer studying practice exam questions as well, here's some resources for that:
If you are interested in attending an LPN program, you may also be required to take the TEAS or HESIA2 exam. Some schools that offer both LPN and RN programs just have all their students take one specific exam. There is another type of entrance exam that some LPN programs use, it is called the NET (Nurse Entrance Test) exam. Generally the NET will be administered at the nursing school itself. Like the other exams, I strongly recommend you spend a few hours a day in the weeks leading up to the test studying. There's a free resource available online for NET test takers, check out this link for a more thorough description of the NET test, as well as some free practice questions to help prepare. There are some other resources available for NET test takers as well, please check out the affiliate links below if you are interested:
And finally, if you are looking for some practice test questions for the NET here's your resource for that:
So to give a rundown on exactly what you need to do from this point, your first step is to choose your desired nursing program you want to attend. Contact the school and find out exactly which nursing school entrance exam they require you to take to be considered for their program. You also want to make sure you know the specifics of the program, such as if there are any pre-requisite courses you're required to take prior to the exam, and when exactly you need to take the exam. The last thing you want to do is take the exam just for them not to accept your score when you go to apply later on! (some schools have limits as to how long an entrance exam test score is valid)
Once you know that information, it's time to formulate a study plan, study and take the exam. If you want to be successful on the exam (and you do, considering many schools use your exam score to determine if you get into their program!) I highly recommend planning on studying at least 1-3 hours a day for at least the 2-3 weeks leading up to the exam. Just remember, you can't be too prepared! Good luck!
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