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McGraw-Hill's Nursing School Entrance Exams 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
It seems that there is no one book that sufficiently prepares you for this test. This was one of three manuals I used for the TEAS exam and probably the one I liked the most. I found it less detailed than the Kaplan's book-GOOD THING!. I'd especially recommend it over the Kaplan if you are short on time. It is well-written, easy, and fits the TEAS better. However, it only prepared me sufficiently for the Math and English sections. Sadly, about 60% of its Science section I found useless for this test (applies to all books I'VE tried). And the most upsetting, about 6 topics necessary to pass the exam were missing in all books. You can't screw up more than 5 questions out of 40 per section. Someone told me that you could find the geography questions on various nursing blogs. I could not, but it's worth trying.
TEAS consists of English, Reading, Math and Science and is not hard. You'll be given enough time-I was able to bank at least 5 minutes per section, even though I was not rushing. If you were a decent student in high school and have a good recollection of it, you will probably do fine.
The biggest problem for me was not knowing exactly what to expect.
Math section is heavy on all sorts of conversions such as: decimals to fractions and to percentages, Fahrenheit to Celsius, KGs to LBs and so on. Review graphs/charts and their purpose-when would you use bar graph or line graphs. Be able to solve equations such as "x-3=10". Review multiplication tables-you can't use calculators (a big mean lady watches you) so do lots of simple addition, multiplication, and subtraction such as 2359-219, 369*4469, (order of operation (multiplication and division before subtraction an addition, unless in parenthesis) and so on. Know how to calculate the area and peremeters of a circles, triangles, cubes, squares, know Pythagorean theorem, know how to compare different fractions with different bottom part (forgot the name), know some common percentages (25%=1/4,=0.25, 35%, 75%, 50%=0.5=1/2)-this book has an excellent table-memorize it, otherwise, you'll be reinventing the wheel.
I was completely caught by surpirse by 3 or 4 Geology questions. You will not find them in any of the books I've used! Also, some Physics questions caused surpirse. I imagine you can read up on that in some basic Earth Science textbooks but who has the time? Moreover, the book's Science section is unnecessarily deep. Aim for basic understanding of concepts. For Chemistry: know bonding, sub-atomic particles, isotops, acids. Don't forget to study the Mendeleev's Table-covered nicely in the book-know what columns and rows represent. It's useful to know some common element symbols (K, Ca, H and so on. Know basic genetics, alleles, phenotypes (mother is short, father is tall-what children are we expecting). Know how to calculate speed, average speed, mean, mode, velocity, electricity (basic), definitions of melting and evaporation. Know the difference between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, basic ecology-like who eats who in the animal chain (grass is the producer, mouse eats grass, hawk eats mice). Know some basic anatomy: stomach, mouth, trachea and so on. Know where South, West, North is on a map (that's easy!). Book covers plants well, memorize what "autotropism" is and some other definitions.
Reading Comprehension review in this book was much more extensive and way harder than was required on the test, but somehow I still managed not to do well on it.. Also, the vocabulary on the actual test was more basic than covered in the book. I found the exam's level to be closer to the GED tests. Also, many questions call for drawing conclusions from various graphs and prescription labels. Passages are short, but some multiple questions are a little confusing. I found helpful pre-reading questions first. You will be asked to identify main ideas. You really have to pay close attention, but you'll have enough time, so don't rush. Even though this section seemed easy, lots of people don't do well on it.
I found the English to be the easiest section of all, and this book prepared me adequately. Be able to correct some common English usage problems (GED Books). Review basic grammar (especially, commas). Be able to find subjects and verbs. Study easy vocabulary such as "ambivalent", "biannual". Don't go into harder ones of SAT level (ex: aesthetic, zephir, taciturn). Know how to fix a run-on sentence. It's crucial to review all commonly misspelled words. This book did not help me with these sections at all. If anything, it made me more nervous by emphasizing hard vocabulary that turned out to be unnecessary. Again, I'd find a simple GED study guide with test samples in addition to this book, and you'll do fine.
Please know, if you finish each section with time left, you'll be given an option to go back and review that particular section. Be very careful with the reading section, as I changed many correct answers at the end :-(. The tester in the college I took this test never mentioned the option to review.
If I had 4 weeks to practice for the test, this is how I'd handle this knowing what i know now:
1. Study multiplication tables daily-at least 10 minutes and do lots of conversions: drill yourself till it becomes second nature: fractions to decimals and vice versa, decimals to percentages and so on. (This book or any GED book). Kaplan's also has some useful examples.
2. Study this books's Science and Chemistry sections. Should take about 1-2 weeks
6. Study this book's Basic Biology and Basic Physics sections. Alternatively, any pre-nursing test book-covers the same material 1-2 weeks.
3. Take Reading comprehension tests daily,especially if you are a slow reader, 20-30 minutes daily, mainly from any GED or SAT preparation manual, focus on short, no more than 2 paragraph passages-chart your improvements-you should see the improvements. Read the questions first. Go for main ideas. This book is ok, but GED books are better for this purpose. Aim to improve your focus, by paying attention to details as you read. Learn GED"s most-used vocabulary; unfortunately, it will be more than you'd need, but there is no other way.
4. Learn frequently misspelled words. This book does not have it, get them online.
5. Practice GED format questions on how to correct wrong structure sentances: wrong tenses-this book plus any GED book.
6. Know where west, east, north and south are on the map. Know vertical from horizontal. Know directions: clockwise, count clockwise and be able to tell 90, 180, 360 degrees angles.
7. If you have some extra time, search online about origins of rocks. Nothing too deep, just general notions.
8. Improve your ability to focus and handle stress, if this is a problem for you.
Finally, prepare yourself mentally for the nursing school. After speaking to my friends who are nurses and listing to the opinions of other students in my school, I am becoming convinced that the majority of teachers are jaded nurses with poor knowledge of nursing theory, who lack teaching experience and unqualified to teach. See, being a nurse and teaching nursing, are two different things. You have to wonder how they managed to pass NCLEX. Many know this and act defensively by instilling military structure. They often break rules, yet expect perfection from others. Can you handle this? Does abuse of authority makes you angry? Students, too, act differently under the pressure and stress of nursing school. They compete with each other and often trip each other up. This was my experience at Keiser University, Fort Lauderdale Campus. To be fair, there were some teachers who were effective and stimulating, but they were vastly outnumbered by the bad teachers. So, be ready for unimaginable and often unnecessary stress.
What worked for me was finding a small group of students who became my best buddies and my support system. They kept me sane and focused, and I am grateful to them to no end. I would have not made it without them. I am ready to take the NCLEX and leave the bad experience of Keiser Fort Lauderdale Nursing school behind forever.
12/12/11 PS This book was just published [[ASIN:0071767770 McGraw-Hills 5 TEAS Practice Tests]
The pros and cons are very similar for both books. They gave WAY too much detail on certain subjects (for example, I re-familiarized myself with all the hormones from the endocrine system for this test only to find they were not even mentioned in the science section of the TEAS at all...), and very little to no information on others (geology was not covered in either book, but for some odd reason there were more questions on the TEAS concerning geology than human anatomy - look online for help with the specific geology questions on the TEAS). Both books cover all four sections of the TEAS extremely thoroughly, but in my amateur option, one should not buy these books with the opinion that they are all you need to pass this test. You need to have taken college algebra, general chemistry, and finished your English sequences to do well on this test. If you haven't taken those courses and you do well, great job! However, those courses, based on the TEAS test I took (there are several variations of the TEAS), would prepare you for the TEAS very well. Also, keep in mind, if your applying to a decent nursing school, they are not only going to want to see great grades in your science prereqs, they are going to want to see a high TEAS score. If you don't score above a 90, I'm not saying you won't get in to your program. But your chances will definitely be better if you do score 90 or above.
MATH: Out of the 4 sections on the TEAS: reading comprehension, math, science, grammar, I would say the only section I didn't feel fully comfortable with from the start was the math section. I've always scored really well in science and English courses. However, math has never been what you may call my forte. So after taking the practice tests in both books and confirming my weakness lay in the math portion, I devoted the majority of my time to that area of study. Both books prepared me very well for the math portion. Both books provided a crash course in formulas long forgotten and never since used to spark my memory and prepare me for the test. I will say this though... KNOW YOUR FRACTIONS!!! You need to know how to add, subtract, multiply, divide, convert and compare proper and improper fractions. I would say the math section of my TEAS test was comprised of about 20 fraction problems of varying difficulty.
SCIENCE: Being a science major, and taking a test that is required to enter a program which would result in a Bachelor's of Science, you would think they would have more than 30 science questions on the TEAS. Regardless of their reasoning, you have to endure it. As I said before, there were more questions about geology than human anatomy on MY test. It was frustrating, yes, mainly because they are condensing 5 extremely encompassing areas of science into 30 extremely broad questions. But not nearly as frustrating as re-learning all the gas laws by name, formula, and relationship, learning the basics of physics (formulas and concepts for work, energy, power, voltage, current, speed, velocity, acceleration, Newtonian mechanics, wavelength, and light reflection, refraction, diffraction, and dispersion)having never had physics before... EVER..., learning about aromatics and hydrocarbons, and then taking the test to see how many of those questions I spent the last 25 days of my life studying? ZERO!!! I've had other students tell me their tests were loaded with Physics, which is one reason I studied this section so diligently. Unfortunately, there were no questions whatsoever concerning any topic related to physics or Organic Chemistry! The books also try and provide you with information about plants which was completely unnecessary (the Kaplan book provided several paragraphs spread over several pages concerning plant metabolism, structure, and cellular composition. The McGraw book provided the same information over a much more condensed, straight forward, illustration-infused approach) because the only plant question on the TEAS concerned active and passive transport, which you would know from anatomy or you will learn about in either book. So in summation, the science portion was definitely lacking in areas I thought they needed to place more emphasis. But if you paid attention in general chem, you know some basic gross anatomy, and you have some sick obsession with rocks, you should be prepared.
READING COMPREHENSION: This section is what definitely separates the two books. After taking the practice tests in the Kaplan book, I wanted to gouge my eyes out with rusty nails just so I wouldn't have to ever read those passages again! The Kaplan book was ridiculous in the reading comp section. Their passages were pages long, covering extremely boring subjects for the most part, and the questions sometimes didn't even pertain to the passage! The McGraw book, while still painful, gave me less of that eye gouging sensation. Also, after I took the TEAS, I found the McGraw's article length to be much more on par with what you should expect from the TEAS. If you are worried about this section, don't be! Examples of what this section was like consist of a menu from a restaurant, where they might ask what is the cheapest item, and a new car brochure comparing two cars and they ask you features of one car versus the other. Pretty straight forward stuff in my opinion. The longest passage on the test was about 5 sentences in length. I brought highlighters to the test because that is how I had studied with the Kaplan and McGraw books, highlighting as I read for easy reference when answering question. COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY. If you read anything on even a semi-regular basis, your skills are fine for this section. The books provide practice, but headache as well. Reader be warned, but not stressed.
GRAMMAR: I'll admit, going into this section I was a bit cocky. I've always performed well in grammar and was not concerned. However, you should be aware. The books covered this topic well, touching on basic spelling rules, punctuation usage, analogies, usage, and definitions. This section on the TEAS is 55 questions long, the longest on the test, and the questions are sometimes not clear. The books try to emphasize spelling and punctuation. Punctuation was a big part of my test (knowing where commas go, how to properly use semicolons and colons, etc.), but the most frustrating questions of all were the phrase misplacement questions. They would ask you to read a sentence, and pick out a phrase that is misplaced. I swear, I sat there until there was no one left in the room and time was almost up (it was the last section and we were free to go when we finished) reading this one sentence about a puppy dog, trying to find the misplaced phrase! I finally had to make an educated guess (you'll find yourself doing that a lot on this test) and hope for the best. There were some spelling question. There were NO analogies, a few antonym/synonym question, but all in all, if you speak on a college level, know how to properly use commas, and don't incorporate text abbreviations into your speech or regular emails, you'll be fine.
MY OPINION: I would buy the McGraw-Hill book over the Kaplan book. The information is laid out in a more organized, clear method, the illustrations are helpful (especially in the science section if you can't remember organelles and mitosis/meiosis. Not to mention there are very, very few illustrations in the Kaplan book), and the print is a larger font than the Kaplan book which is definitely helpful when your eyes start to glaze after a week or so of using these books. If you feel like you're going to to miss out by only purchasing the McGraw book and not both (like I felt), rest assured you will not miss anything. Both books cover the same material, but in my opinion, the McGraw Hill book was a better tool in helping me prepare for the TEAS. Good luck, study hard, bring a granola bar because they don't give you time off between sections, and I hope my review helped.