So you wanna study for the ATI TEAS® Math section? Awesome! Right here is a whole buncha ATI TEAS Math prep tips so that you can get your studying nailed down… plus a breakdown of the exact TEAS study curriculum recommended for you.
Let’s jump in. 🙌
ATI TEAS Math Prep Tip#1: Check in—do you have math anxiety?
TEAS Math freaks out a poop ton (technical term) of students. When I began teaching a TEAS review course years ago, I quickly realized that about 50 percent of the class had significant math anxiety around the TEAS. A good part of teaching math is just saying, “Relax. It’s gonna be OK.”
So if you have math anxiety…guess what… you are normal.
Stop beating yourself up.
Stop thinking that you’re stuck.
You can do this.
If you have math anxiety, the best thing to do—starting today—is practice questions.
Do 3 math practice questions every day. It’s exposure therapy, and you need to start getting yourself used to what you’ll see on the TEAS math section.
To help you get started, here are free resources you can use for free ATI TEAS math prep.
Prenursing Smarter Free Preview—includes 10 practice math questions with select video answer explanations. Plus, you’ll get practice questions for the other TEAS sections too.
PEMDAS calculator—this calculator lets you write your own questions and check your math. It’s an easy way to create drills for yourself.
Mixed numbers calculator—create your own equations and check your answers. Work up to equations that have at least 3 numbers and two operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division) ← You’ll be combining mixed numbers and PEMDAS!
When you practice like this, you’ll get more comfortable. It might feel yucky at first, but it will get better. I promise. 😌
By the way, if you have math anxiety, don’t worry about timing yourself yet.
Give yourself as much time as you need—don’t add to the math stress by giving yourself a time limit! Focus first on subtracting fear from the equation (get it? subtracting? equation? so many lame jokes!) and sit down with 3 problems at a time. Simple. Doable. Sustainable.
Next, you can focus on recognizing keywords in math problems, how math problems are set up, and applying different ways to solve them.
This might take you a month of dedicated studying. When you feel comfortable with these steps, you can start timing yourself.
ATI TEAS Math Prep Tip#2: Understand the test structure
When you know how the test is put together, you study the right stuff, you spot questions that are possibly not scored (saving time ftw!), and you’re better prepared for test day.
⏱️ You will have 1 minute and 30 seconds per math question.
Does that seem like a lot or a little to you? Those 90 seconds include the time you need to read the question, figure out what it’s asking, solve it, check your work, and take a few seconds to regroup before you move on to the next question.
📊 You will have a standardized breakdown of scored questions.
You have 36 math questions on the TEAS. Of these, 32 questions count toward your score.
32 scored questions
+ 4 unscored questions
= 36 total questions
(Whew! An easy math equation! 😅)
Because the TEAS is mean, you won’t know for sure which questions actually count toward your score. The test mixes up all the question types.
Here’s your standardized breakdown of your scored questions:
You will have 23 scored questions on, essentially, solving equations.
Pretty informative, huh? 😝 The TEAS calls these questions “numbers and algebra.” The vast majority of questions you see will be on these topics.
More specifically, these questions can involve…
→ Working with decimals, fractions, and percentages, including in word problems.
→ Applying the order of operations (PEMDAS) in various ways, like with numerals, fractions, or with one variable.
→ Solving word problems that test you on your ability to translate words into expressions. (Meaning, you know that “Paul gave each of his cousins a present” means that you’ll likely need to divide. The word each signals division).
→ Solving word problems that can involve formulas for speed, average, or proportions.
You will have 9 scored questions about interpreting data.
For example, you might need to answer questions based chart, table, or graph. With some questions, you might need to read the units and axis and interpret the graphic. For other questions, you might need to apply some statistical terms like correlation or skew.
You’ll also see questions that require you do conversions using the metric system.
Finally, you’ll have questions that require you to calculate the perimeter, the area, the surface area, or the circumference of certain shapes.
Keep Reading: Algebra Tips for the TEAS
As you might be able to tell by now, you’ll need to memorize some formulas as part of your ATI TEAS math prep.
We talk about exactly what you need to memorize in the online course (and you’ll get plenty of practice too), but you can probably tell from the question breakdown that you’ll need to memorize formulas for things like…
→ The average (sum of terms divided by number of terms)
→ How to set up a proportion
→ The circumference (2πr)
→ The surface area of a cube (6a²)
→ How to work with the metric system
To help you get started, here are free TEAS flashcards and practice questions on the metric system:
ATI TEAS Math Prep Tip#3: Set yourself up for success with the right tools
So how do you prepare? How do you apply what you’ve learned so far?
When it comes to your ATI TEAS math prep, you need to understand how the test questions are structured and how you can pick the right tool to solve them. This is such a huge part of any ATI TEAS math prep plan.
✅ Learning how to read a word problem so that you can actually find out what the question is actually asking.
✅ Mastering specific “TEAS toolbox” strategies so that you can tackle the types of scored problems you’ll see with confidence.
✅ Recognizing when you can “plug and chug” answer options and if that might be the best use of your time—and when it might be faster for you to solve the entire problem.
✅ Watching me solve sample math problems along with you so that you can see how to set them up, how to approach them, and what type of mistakes to watch out for.
Keep Reading: More TEAS Math Flashcards and Test Prep Tips
In the online TEAS prep course, you can learn these concepts in a variety of ways that make it easier to process:
♥ Multimedia lessons including video, text, and interactive practice.
♥ Practice questions, including quizzes and full-length practice TEAS math exams (awesome news: you can take and retake the questions as many time as you like!).
♥ Downloadable study resources like worksheets, reference sheets, and flashcards.
♥ Time-saving strategy tips and tricks specifically tailored to the TEAS math section.
♥ Support and guidance from a friendly instructor and community—you’ll get your questions answered and study inspiration along the way.
As you can see, you’ll see everything you need to know in lots of different ways. This helps the information stick… and makes it easier to study.
ATI TEAS Math Prep: Learning Objectives from Prenursing Smarter
Here’s a sampling of the course curriculum for you online ATI TEAS Math prep plan:
- Apply a practical math strategy to make sense of word problems
- Recognize when a word problem can be solved with a proportion
- Set up a proportion to solve it correctly
- Identify fractions rules to commit to memory–and apply them with time-saving strategy
- Identify common tricks that might make a word problem seem extra complicated
- Lists 5 steps to approaching any word problem
- Reframe certain word problems with the “TEAS Triangle”
- Prepare for the challenges of a computerized exam and math anxiety
- List the unique rules for adding/subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions
- Name a common PEMDAS mistake many students make on the exam
- List the four steps to save time with your calculator
- Apply the order of operations to fractions with a step-by-step example
- Identify three clues that a word problem can be solved with a proportion
- Recognize and apply a metric system memory device
- Identify which types of algebra questions are most likely to be scored
- Apply the 3 main tools of your TEAS Toolbox to solve a variety of equations
- Recognize when it might be faster to “plug and chug” your answer options
As you can see, in the course, we cover a mix of learning, practice, and strategy. Your goal is to get a great breakdown of what to expect, how to tackle it, and several tools in your TEAS toolbox so that you are prepared.
And don’t worry… we’ll tackle all of these objectives one-at-a-time over several different lessons.
Every lesson will take you 30 minutes to an hour, so as long as you can set aside about 5 hours a week, you can totally do this! ❤️
Kate is a CRLA certified tutor and test prep expert. She founded Prenursing Smarter in 2017. Kate lives in sunny Southern California and is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (Mnikȟówožu Lakȟóta). Prenursing Smarter is an inclusive business and actively seeks opportunities to collaborate with and support diverse voices.