ATI TEAS Study Stress Management

Top 8 Tips to Manage TEAS Study Stress

You have a lot riding on the TEAS. However, you’re also doing the work you need to do to reach your goals. Unfortunately, sometimes just knowing that you’re working hard won’t make your test anxiety go away. Thus, here are some stress management tips from our long experience of helping students prepare for standardized tests.


  • Clock in and out of your TEAS studies

    Once you’ve set up a study schedule for yourself, treat it like a job. That is, imagine clocking yourself in and out of TEAS studies according to that schedule. Do your best to stick to your schedule, and when you’re not “clocked in,” don’t let yourself think about the TEAS. That will help you release your stress about the test in between study sessions.

  • Don’t punish yourself while you study

    If you get tired or overwhelmed or discouraged when studying, don’t respond by pushing yourself harder. Instead, step away and engage in a relaxing activity like going for a walk, watching a movie, or playing with your cat or dog. Then, when you’re ready, return to your studies with fresh eyes.

  • Remember to Breathe when studying

    Remember to take deep breaths, consciously using your diaphragm to breathe “into your stomach.” This breathing technique will help your muscles to relax, and when your body relaxes, your mind relaxes as well.

  • Set small, manageable prep goals

    Each week, set manageable goals for your TEAS progress. Then reward yourself when you’ve achieved them. Examples of small goals might be:

    • Memorize and practice the Kaplan Method for Science until I no longer have to think about what the steps of the Method are.
    • Do 20 math questions and practice each until I can move confidently and efficiently from the information provided to the correct answer.
    • Review all the spelling rules that the TEAS is likely to test until I can identify words that use them and words that are common exceptions.
  • Keep healthy for your studies

    Good health, adequate rest, and regular interactions with friends and family make it easier to cope with the challenges of studying. Stay on a regular sleep schedule as much as possible during your studies, eat well, continue to exercise, and spend time with those you care about and those who help you feel good about yourself. Also, don’t fuel your studies with caffeine and sugar. Those substances may make you feel alert, but they can also damage focus.

  • Remind yourself why you are studying

    If you feel tempted to pass up a planned study session because you’re tired or something comes up that feels like a higher priority, remind yourself how important a good score on the TEAS is. Success on this test will open the doors to an important educational credential and many career opportunities after that. If you planned to study for 90 minutes and don’t think you can study for that long, then study for 30 minutes. You will make progress toward the score you want, and you will feel better about yourself than if you “blow it off.” You may even be surprised at how fast the 30 minutes go by and decide that you can study longer after all.

  • Keep the right prep mindset

    Most importantly, keep telling yourself that you can do this. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’re not “allowed” to feel confident yet. That’s a self-punishing attitude that will only hurt you. Rather, remember that confidence breeds success. So let yourself be confident about your abilities. You’re obviously ambitious and intelligent, so walk into the TEAS knowing that about yourself.

  • If you get discouraged while you study, make a list

    If you start to wonder if you’ll ever reach your TEAS goals, stop what you’re doing and make a list of everything you’re good at. List every specific skill that you are bringing to the TEAS. Here are some examples:

    • Finding the main point of a passage
    • Using commas correctly in lists
    • Identifying what a math question is asking for
    • Comparing two fractions to find which one is larger · Naming the organ systems of the human body
    • Explaining how oxygen reaches tissues in the body

    Post that list of things you’re good at somewhere you’ll see it every day and add to it as you continue to study. It will be a long list in no time! We at Kaplan recommend making this list because many people focus too heavily on their weaknesses while preparing for a standardized test. But if you only focus on your weaknesses, you aren’t seeing an objective picture.

    There are TEAS skills you’re good at. Keep that in mind and focus on building on those strengths.

Bonus Tip: Taking Stress Out of Choosing a School

Think about what school(s) you will apply to. What are your criteria for a program? Consider the degrees offered, geographic location, cost, campus culture, and other factors.

Research the colleges and universities that offer the kind of program you’re interested in. Visit their websites to learn more about the admissions process and talk to an admissions officer about the school’s acceptance criteria for prospective students.

Talk to alumni of your target programs to learn about how their education has prepared them for their careers and what surprises and challenges they have encountered.

By researching the school(s) you’ll apply to, you will be able to choose a school that is a good fit for you and your goals. You’ll experience much less stress as you work toward your degree than you would if you are not in a school that meets your needs.

[ NEXT: 10 Test Day Tips to Ace the TEAS ]