Before a student is admitted into a sonography program in 2017 (sonography programs by state) or later, it is necessary to take the TEAS test for sonographers. TEAS is a standardized test administered to people applying for admission into health sciences programs. The CAAHEP accredited sonography programs have a limited number of openings each session, so the program staff want to admit those who are most likely to succeed. The TEAS scores help them make that determination.
What is the TEAS Test for Sonographers?
Johnston Community College is a CAAHEP accredited program that requires prospective students for the Cardiac Vascular and Medical Sonography programs to take the TEAS test. The student must score at the Exemplary, Advanced or Proficient level before the student is eligible for admission.
Montgomery College with another CAAHEP accredited program, also requires students interested in applying for entrance into the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. Consideration for admission requires students earn a 70 percent minimum reading score and a 66 percent adjusted individual total score. The higher the score, the more competitive the student is during the admission process.
What is the TEAS Test and What do the Levels Mean?
TEAS stands for Test of Essential Academic Skills. It is for health sciences students in general, and not sonography students in particular. Sonography is considered a health sciences discipline. The questions on the test are designed to assess the student’s basic knowledge in four areas:
- Reading – 48 questions on paragraph comprehension, passage comprehension and informational source comprehension
- Science – 54 questions on human body science, earth and physical science, life science and scientific reasoning
- Mathematics – 34 questions on algebraic applications, numbers and operations, data interpretation and measurement
- English and Language Usage – 34 questions on spelling and punctuation, grammar and word meanings in context and structure
The TEAS was created by the Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI). Students set up an account with ATI and take the test online, usually at the school the student is interested in attending. However, there may be other testing centers used or available.
The multiple-choice TEAS is administered online through ATI and is proctored. Some schools will accommodate special needs students who need to take the test using paper and pencil. Either way, the student gets four hours to complete all the questions on the TEAS test for sonography students. ATI scores the tests and sends the results to the school.
Understanding the TEAS Scoring
The overall TEAS score is a composite score of the scores earned in the four categories: reading, math, science and English and language usage. Sonography schools determine the cutoff scores for admission. Most are like Montgomery College, and the student must score at the Exemplary, Advanced or Proficient level which means getting a composite score of at least 57.7 percent.
Students who score at the developmental or basic levels are not likely to be considered for admission. The test can be taken twice over a 12-month period.
Preparing to Take the Test
It is important for sonography students to prepare for the TEAS test because it requires the ability to use critical thinking skills and to apply knowledge quickly. Preparation and practice can make a big difference.
There are several ways to prepare:
- Purchase the TEAS Test Prep materials through ATI which includes a practice test, the “Study Manual for the Test of Essential Academic Skills” or a package containing both
- Attend an academic skills workshop at the school the student is applying to (if available)
- Review the university or college TEAS resources and study materials website (if available)
- Complete online self-assessment modules
- Take the free TEAS practice test online like the one on this website (Google the words “free TEAS practice test” and there will be many results pop up)
All of the preparation materials will have TEAS test sample questions.Click here to learn more.
If necessary, the student can attend a TEAS preparatory course which reviews the basic material the student should have mastered before attempting the TEAS questions. There is usually no test that can be substituted for the TEAS.
The TEAS test for sonography students is required to ensure that students who are the most prepared are admitted into the sonography program. They are the students who are most likely to succeed.