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How To Study For The TEAS Reading Section Of The ATI TEAS Test

In this post we’ll go over an outline of all the topics on the TEAS reading section you will see on ATI TEAS exam as well as provide you with a free timed TEAS reading practice test. This outline comes directly from the Smart Edition Academy TEAS online course. You’ll also get an idea of how using a timed TEAS reading practice test can help you become more comfortable with the format of the test, the types of questions you will see, and help you become faster at answering the questions with the given time limit.  Check out everything you need to know about the test in our TEAS test ultimate guide review.

Table of Contents

So how do you study for the TEAS reading section of the ATI TEAS test? We get this question all the time. You’re not the first person to ask and you’re not the first person to struggle with this section of the ATI TEAS. 

Step 1: If you’re *just starting* or taking the ATI TEAS for another attempt, the first thing to do is take a free timed TEAS reading practice test here

By taking this TEAS reading practice test, you have access to a full-length timed test which will then give you a breakdown of how you did on all the topics outlined in the table of contents below. As a result you’ll also get a “feel” for how quickly the time passes so you can be prepared for the actual test.

Step 2: Evaluate your diagnostic report from the TEAS reading practice test section of the practice test. Most importantly notate exactly what topics within reading you did well on and the areas you need more practice on.

TEAS reading practice test

Step 3: Make a study schedule or a study plan. For example begin by making a list of subjects within the TEAS reading section that you are scoring 70% or better, 40-69%, and 0-39%.

Likewise, Don’t study topics that you scored high in. Start by studying the topics you scored the lowest in because you will have to revisit those topics several times and apply practice before seeing improvements in those categories.

Study the topics you scored low in and begin to plan when you will study these topics.

For example, for two weeks straight, you might dedicate 5 hours a week to reviewing two categories within the reading section: topic sentences and types of passages.

Watch this video on how to make a TEAS study schedule with a free template here.

Step 4: Get Good TEAS Test Prep Resources Based On Your Learning Style

If you like to study within a group, you might like our free group tutoring sessions and Facebook study group.

If you like to study by listening or watching videos, you’ll love the 100+ videos in our 50+ lessons inside of our ATI TEAS Online Course

If you like to take practice tests and study from the answer explanations, you’ll love our 1,300+ practice questions and 8 timed practice tests in the ATI TEAS Online Course.

Step 5: Retake a TEAS reading practice test here. At the end of those two weeks, you should be able to retake the practice test and see progression in 4 of the categories you’ve been studying.

Above all we recommend taking a practice test every 10-14 days to track your improvement. Students say studying for 6-10 weeks gives them the ability to take 4-6 practice tests and plenty of time to tackle their weak areas within each section.

TEAS Reading Practice Test and Review

The TEAS reading section is difficult for a lot of students and you might be in the same boat. 

Nursing and allied health schools want to make sure you can handle the course load during your program and there is no doubt, you will have a lot of reading and a lot of papers to write so doing well on this section demonstrates that you have the ability to do well in the program 

The TEAS reading section consists of 53 questions in 64 minutes. 

This section can be hard to complete in the timeframe that they allot you. The passages are long, the questions are detailed, and you really need to know how to get into the passage and find what you’re looking for…FAST. 

The key to beating the clock is to practice with timed practice tests as much as you can. The timed aspect of a TEAS reading practice test will help you become more comfortable working within the time constraints. 

Our free TEAS reading practice test has a scored report that breaks down every question you answered by the time you took to answer it, with this information you can start to get an idea of where you took too long and got hung up, once you know the types of questions that slowed you down you can figure out how to get faster. 

So let’s go ahead and just get right into the topics that you will see in this section.

Key Ideas and Details Reading TEAS Reading Test

Main Ideas, Topic Sentences, and Supporting Details

To read effectively, you need to know how to identify the most important information in a text. You must also understand how ideas within a text relate to one other. You’ll see questions asking you to identify the following items in a passage: 

  • Main Ideas
  • Topic Sentences
  • Supporting Details

Summarizing Text and Using Text Features

Effective readers need to know how to identify and restate the main idea of a text through summary. They must also follow complex instructions, figure out the sequence of events in a text that is not presented in order, and understand information presented in graphics.

For this part of the reading test you’ll need to become familiar with:

  • Summarizing text
  • Sequences and instructions
  • Interpreting graphics

A summary is a text that restates the ideas from a different text in a new way. Every summary needs to include the main idea of the original. Some summaries may include information about the supporting details as well.

Events happen in a sequence. However, many written texts present events out of order to create an effect on the reader. You might see a sequence like a recipe and you’ll be asked to identify a step in that sequence. 

Information is often presented in pictures, graphs, or diagrams. These graphic elements may provide information to back up an argument, illustrate factual information or instructions, or present key facts and statistics. You’ll need to be able to interpret graphics like a diagram or a flow chart or bar graph or a pie chart and pull out that information, interpret it, and be able to choose the right answer.

Craft and Structure TEAS Reading

Tone, Mood, and Transition words

Authors use language to show their emotions and to make readers feel something too. They also use transition words to help guide the reader from one idea to the next.

The tone of a text is the author’s or speaker’s attitude toward the subject. So you might see the same negative type of words, or they could be really positive words or pessimistic, or they might be using words that are dismissive, recognizing these types of tones or moods are going to help you with these types of questions. 

Authors use connecting words and phrases, or transitions, to link ideas and help readers follow the flow of their thoughts. The number of possible ways to transition between ideas is almost limitless.

Know common transition words like first, second, next, now, for example, for instance, as a result thus, despite, however, those are all kinds of transition words. So you need to be able to identify those and know what they are. 

The Author’s Purpose and Point of View

When writers put words on paper, they do it for a reason. This reason is the author’s purpose. Most writing exists for one of three purposes: to inform, to persuade, or to entertain.

Every author has a general outlook or set of opinions about the subject. These make up the author’s point of view. A reader must recognize implicit clues in the text and use them to develop educated guesses about the author’s worldview.

Evaluating and Integrating Data

Effective readers do more than absorb and analyze the content of sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. They recognize the importance of features that stand out in and around the text, and they understand and integrate knowledge from visual features like maps and charts.

Text features include things like introducing a topic, titles, headings and subheadings and many others

You will see maps and charts on the TEAS, you need to understand what the labels, symbols, and pictures mean. You also need to know how to make decisions using the information they contain. You might see a question asking you to pull out some sort of information from a table so you’ll need to know how to do that.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas TEAS Reading

Facts, Opinions, and Evaluating an Argument

You need to know facts and opinions and how to evaluate an argument. Nonfiction writing is based on facts and real events, but most nonfiction nevertheless expresses a point of view. Effective readers must evaluate the author’s point of view and form their own conclusions about the points in the text.

Effective readers must evaluate an argument and decide whether or not it is valid. To do this, readers must consider every claim the author presents, including both the main argument and any supporting statements. If an argument is based on poor reasoning or insufficient evidence, it is not valid—even if you agree with the main idea.

Understanding Primary Sources, Making Inferences, and Drawing Conclusions

Effective readers must understand the difference between types of sources and choose credible sources of information to support research. Readers must also consider the content of their reading materials and draw their own conclusions. 

You’ll need to know what a primary, secondary, and tertiary source is. 

Not everything you read is equally trustworthy. Many sources contain mistakes, faulty reasoning, or deliberate misinformation designed to manipulate you. Effective readers seek out information from credible, or trustworthy, sources.

You can do this by knowing the types of sources, the date of publication, so if something is super outdated it might not be that credible anymore. Other signs of credibility are the author’s bio, a publisher’s information, and the professionalism of the writing in general within a reading passage can offer a lot of clues that will help you answer a lot of these types of questions on the test.

Types of Passages, Text Structures, Genre, and Theme

To read effectively, you must understand what kind of text you are reading and how it is structured. You must also be able to look behind the text to find its deeper meanings.

You will be expected to know different types of passages, text structures, genres and themes.

The types of passages that you need to know are: 

  • Narrative
  • Expository
  • Technical
  • Persuasive

Authors rarely present ideas within a text in a random order. Instead, they organize their thoughts carefully. To read effectively, you must be able to recognize the structure of a text. That is, you need to identify the strategies authors use to organize their ideas.

The different texts structures are:

  • Sequences
  • Comparing/contrasting
  • Cause/effect
  • Problem-solution

Literature can be organized into categories called genres. The two major genres of literature are:

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction


While the reading section of the test contains a lot of material and very long passages, if you are able to put in the study time with good study materials you should be able to dominate this section. 

Take advantage of our free practice tests and online course in order to get the most out of your study time.