10 Things You Need to Know to Pass the HESI Exam

10 Things You Need to Know to Pass the HESI Exam (2024)

Passing the HESI A2 exam can be a daunting challenge, but this is one of your first steps to get into the healthcare or nursing program of your choice. But before you start stressing about taking the HESI exam, here are a few tips that you should know that can help you successfully get through the HESI A2 exam.

HESI A2 Prep Course

1. Know the Exam

You’ve studied and you know the material, but have you taken the time to look at the actual exam? Taking the time to look at the exam itself will help you to learn more about the details of the HESI exam and what you can expect when you take the actual exam.

Here’s what you need to know about the HESI test:

  • There are 326 questions within 9 content areas on the HESI exam.
  • You are given four hours to answer the 301 questions.

2. Read Everything Carefully

The HESI exam can be a tricky test, so it is important that you read carefully the entire question as well as all of the answers. Often times, the test writers will throw in a few tricks to distract you and to keep you from seeing the correct answer. They may throw in an answer or two that could seem correct but is not necessarily the “best” answer.

HESI A2 Flashcard Study System
HESI A2 Flashcard Study System

3. HESI A2 Flashcards

Flashcards come in handy when you need to get right down to the detail of the concepts that you need to study. Not only will using flashcards to study help you get right down to the details, but they also help you remember more information for the long-term. Using flashcards will come in very handy when you’re studying for the vocabulary section of the HESI test.

4. Know That There Is No “Pass” or “Fail”

The HESI exam is scored on a scale ranging from 750 to 900, with 900 being the best score possible. While you don’t actually “pass” or “fail” the HESI exam, every school has their own set score, and which subtests, are required for admittance into the program.

HESI A² Secrets Study Guide
HESI A² Secrets Study Guide

5. HESI A2 Study Guide

Using a study guide can help you understand details about the HESI exam as well as help you to brush up on the concepts and key terms that can be expected on the exam. It’s important to find a study guide that is specifically designed for the HESI exam, and even more important to find one that gets right to the point of what area you need to study.

6. Create a Study Schedule

Don’t wait until the last minute to start studying for your HESI exam. Once you have scheduled your test date, sit down and create a study schedule that you can stick with leading up until right before the test. Also, instead of cramming the night before the exam, use this time to get a good night’s sleep so you will be refreshed and ready for the exam the next day.

7. HESI A2 Practice Test

The only way you’re going to really know which areas you’re going to need work in is to take a HESI practice test. Not only will this give you an advantage of knowing which area you need more work in, but you will also get a feel of the real exam.

8. Find Out Which Tests You Need

Many nursing schools require their applicants to take every section of the HESI A2 exam. However, there are also many schools and programs that do not require every section to be completed. Make sure to check with the nursing school that you wish to attend to see about which sections of the HESI A2 exam you will need to take. This way you can properly prepare for them.

9. Take The Individual Tests in Order from Easy to Difficult

You’re not required to take the individual tests in a specific order, you can choose which section you want to take first. In this case, take the sections of the exam that are easier for you and leave the more difficult sections for a later date. Not only will this give you more time to study for the more difficult section of the HESI exam, but you’ll be able to get some of the easier sections out of the way.

10. Check Your Answers
The HESI test as a whole is timed. However, the individual sections are not. This means that you can spend as much time as you need to on an individual section. Since you’re not timed during individual exams, you can go back and check your answers to make sure you didn’t make any mistakes. This will be very important when it comes to the Mathematics section.


What is the HESI exam?

The HESI is an exam that is used by schools for admittance into their nursing program. The exam is used to predict if the student will be a success in their nursing program.

What subjects are on the HESI exam?

There are 9 subjects that you will be tested over on the HESI exam: Anatomy and Physiology Basic Math Biology Chemistry Grammar Learning Style Personality Profile Reading Comprehension Vocabulary and General Knowledge

How many questions are on the HESI?

There are 326 multiple-choice questions on the HESI exam.

How many times can you take the HESI exam?

You can take the HESI exam only once every 60 days but no more than 3 times in a 12-month period.

Can you use a calculator on the HESI?

You are allowed to use a calculator on the HESI exam. However, you are not allowed to bring your own. There will be an on-screen calculator that you can use during the exam.

What does HESI stand for?

HESI stands for Health Education Systems, Inc. with A2 standing for Admission Assessment.

What is a passing score for the HESI exam?

Each school sets their own passing score for the HESI exam. The minimum score for many nursing schools is between 75% and 80% on each section of the exam.

How much does it cost to take the HESI exam?

Each school has their own fees associated with taking the HESI exam. The fees can range between $40 to $100.

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Jay Willis

Jay Willis joined Mometrix as Vice President of Sales in 2009, and has developed several key strategic relationships that have enhanced the distribution of Mometrix products. With nearly 20 years of sales experience in the publishing industry, his dedication to providing the highest quality experience for customers, coupled with his sales and marketing expertise, has resulted in significant growth of the Institutional Sales division. Learn more

4 thoughts on “10 Things You Need to Know to Pass the HESI Exam (2024)”

  1. I think as an RN, HESI exam should not be mandatory requirement by colleges. It is more stressful to students because they cannot graduate unless they pass this HESI exam. It’s a waste of time and money! Reviewing for board exam to become an RN is enough. A student has to wait another year to be able to retake HESI if they fail 3x!!!! What a waste!!!

  2. thank you for this. It really helped me out in figuring out what I need to know about the test.

  3. If my school doesn’t require Bio & Chem sections, can i just not attempt it? Also will this affect my overall score if i don’t attempt these sections? Thanks

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