Which Nursing Entrance Exam Should You Take?

Posted January 6, 2020 by in Career
group of young doctors and nurses

Now is the perfect time to be a nurse. The demand has never been higher and it will continue to increase over the next few years.

What’s driving this demand? There’s a whole generation of nurses that are retiring. On top of that, there’s an aging population that is putting a lot of strain on the healthcare system. In just a couple of years, there will be a need for 1 million nurses.

In order to become a nurse, you have to go to school. Most schools require a nursing entrance exam before admitting you. It’s like the SAT for nursing school.

This is where it gets confusing because there are a lot of different entrance exams for nursing school. Would you like to learn which nursing entrance exam you should take before applying to nursing school?

Keep reading to learn more about the different nursing exams and how to find the right one for you:

The NET Exam

The Nursing Exam Test is the most common test that’s given to potential nursing students. It’s a 2 ½ hour test that has math problems, common nursing scenarios, reading speed, and even how you cope with stress.

There are also questions that gauge your learning style and exam skills. In order to pass the exam, you need at least a 65 on the math portion and 55 on reading. The individual schools will decide the score thresholds for other areas. 

Kaplan Nursing School Admissions Test

Kaplan is a well-known testing company. They help students prepare for a variety of exams from the SAT to the LSAT.

They also administer their own nursing school exams. The Kaplan Nursing School Admissions test will test you in a few areas: math, science, reading, and writing. This test is generally for LNs and LPNs. 

The test takes nearly three hours to complete, at 2 hours and 45 minutes. That’s intense for an exam that only 91 questions total.

Each school that uses this exam to determine what an acceptable score is. In most cases, a 70 or above will work. You’ll want to check with your own school before you apply.

Health Education Systems Admissions Assessment

This is another exam that expects you to have some knowledge of math and science. You can expect to see questions about biology, chemistry, anatomy, math, grammar, reading, anatomy, and physiology.

Similar to the NET exam, you’re going to be tested on how you would behave in certain nursing or social situations. These questions are tricky for many test-takers because they want to rush through them.

You want to take your time and ask yourself what the main problem is in the situation. Then, look for the best answer that solves the main problem.


The Test of Academic Skills (TEAS) test is another common exam that’s administered to nursing students. Be prepared to answer questions that cover writing, reading, math, and science. 

It’s a long exam, that takes about 3 1/2 hours. This exam is usually given to RNs and LPNs.  There are about 53 questions on the reading and science portions, 28 on the vocabulary section, and 36 on the math section. 

In the math section, you should understand how to do conversions from metric to imperial measurements. You’ll see this a lot in your nursing career as most things are done by the metric system.

Fortunately, there are ways to prepare for the TEAS exam. You can learn more about prep for this exam. 

PSB Exams

The Psychological Services Bureau administers two different exams. One is the PSB Aptitude for Practical Nursing Exam, which is for those entering an LPN program. The other exam s the PSB Registered Nursing School Aptitude Exam, which is for RNs.

The exams are pretty similar in content. You’ll be tested on reading, vocabulary, math, reasoning, spelling, and science.


Yes, you still have to sit for the SAT or ACT exams to get into some nursing schools. Nursing programs that are at colleges or universities are likely to require one of these scores.

The reason why is because you have to get into the university and then get accepted into the nursing program.

The SAT or ACT will determine your ability to get into the university. The specific nursing school entrance exam will determine whether or not you can get accepted into the school’s nursing program.

Choosing the Right Nursing Entrance Exam

There are a lot of exams to get into nursing school. Fortunately, you don’t have to take all of them. You’re likely going to have to take more than one nursing school exam.

How do you know which ones you’ll need? That’s largely up to the nursing schools that you want to attend and your chosen career path. If you plan to get a bachelor’s degree in nursing, you can expect to take several exams, including the SAT or ACT.

However, if you decide to go with a shorter nursing program and become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), you’ll have to take one of the exams like TEAS to get into the program.

If you’re in a situation where you know which schools you want to apply to, check to see which exams you’ll need to get into the schools.

Get Accepted to Nursing School

Now is a great time to become a nurse. There is a high demand for nurses, and that demand will continue for the foreseeable future.

In order to get into nursing school, you’re going to need to take at least one nursing entrance exam. These exams are designed to test your ability to do well in nursing school. You’ll want to have some background in math, science, anatomy, and demonstrate grace under pressure.

Before you sign up for a bunch of exams, think about your career path, the nursing programs you plan to apply to and their requirements. That will help you narrow your focus and prep for the exams you need to take.

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