How to Pass the HESI

How to Pass the HESI Exam (Report)

The nursing profession is arguably one of the most important professions in our society. Nurses are one of the primary reasons hospitals are able to function on a day to day basis. Without nurses, patients would not receive the care they desperately need. Due to the important and vital nature of the profession, nursing programs have to be very strict on who they admit to study in their programs.

The programs want only the best and brightest to ensure a prosperous future. Because of this high expectation, nursing programs have become increasingly difficult and competitive to enter. To be able to evaluate which students are ready and academically able to enter a nursing program, the HESI Admission Assessment Exam, or HESI A2 test, was created to measure each prospective nursing student’s academic abilities.

Once prospective students take this exam, nursing programs are able to view the scores of applicants and decide who they would like to admit based on these scores. This shows how important it is to do well on the HESI Entrance exam.

Hopefully, this article will help you gain a better understanding of the HESI Admission Assessment Exam, equip you with the tools needed to be successful, and help you get admitted into a nursing program.

HESI Entrance Exam Prep

As aforementioned, the HESI A2 test will gauge students’ academic readiness. The test will measure three different academic abilities:

  • English Language
  • Math
  • Science

However, these are not the only sections on the HESI Entrance Exam. There is also a Learner Profile portion which the test-makers use to improve the test in the future; in addition to, providing the nursing program information about the test taker’s personality.

The HESI A2 test will include not only scored questions but also some pilot questions. Pilot questions are questions designed to improve the HESI Entrance Exam. The questions are administered as if they were a normal part of the test but are experimental and, due to their untried nature, will not affect your score as you take the test. The test-makers use the results of these questions to determine which questions were successful and which need to be expunged. If they deem a question fit, it will be added to a future test. The reason they do this is to make sure the test is constantly adapting and can continue to be an accurate measurement of who has the skills to enter a nursing program.

HESI A2 Secrets Study Guide
HESI A2 Secrets Study Guide

The first section on the HESI Admission Assessment Exam is the English Language Section. This section will include a total of 55 test items; 50 of which will be scored, five which are pilot questions.

This section is split into three portions:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Vocabulary and General Knowledge
  • Grammar

The Reading Comprehension portion assesses the applicant by presenting the test-taker with various reading scenarios that are used to measure the test taker’s abilities regarding:

  • reading comprehension
  • identifying the main idea
  • finding contextual meanings
  • comprehension of passages
  • logical inferences.

This portion should take you about an hour to complete.

The Vocabulary and General Knowledge portion tests the applicant in their skills related to the common vocabulary and jargon in both general English-speaking settings as well as the healthcare field. This portion should take you around 50 minutes to complete.

The final portion of the Reading Comprehension section is the Grammar portion. This portion will test the applicant’s knowledge of basic grammar such as: parts of speech, important terms and their uses, and common grammatical errors. This portion should take you around 50 minutes to complete.

The next section of the HESI A2 test is the Math section. This section will include a total of 55 test items; 50 of which are scored, five of which are pilot questions. This section only has one portion; Basic Math Skills.

Like the name suggests you will be tested on your basic math skills such as:

  • basic addition
  • subtraction
  • multiplication
  • fractions
  • decimals
  • ratios and proportions
  • household measures
  • general math facts.

These skills are essential for the nursing profession. The test-makers cater the questions to test you on math skills that will be needed both as a nursing student, as well as a professional nurse. This portion should take you around 50 minutes to complete.

The third section of the HESI Entrance Exam is the Science section. This section will include a total of 30 test items; 25 of which are scored, five of which are pilot questions. The Science section is separated into three portions:

The Biology portion is made up of questions pertaining to rudimentary biology knowledge such as:

  • biology basics
  • water
  • biological molecules
  • metabolism
  • cells
  • cellular respiration
  • photosynthesis

This portion should take you around 25 minutes to complete.

The Chemistry portion will test your knowledge of things such as:

  • matter
  • chemical equations and reactions
  • the periodic table
  • atomic structure
  • nuclear chemistry
  • chemical bonding.

This portion should take you around 25 minutes to complete.

The Anatomy and Physiology portion will assess your knowledge of general terminology and anatomical structures and systems. This portion will take around 25 minutes to complete.

The final section of the HESI Admission Assessment Exam is the Learner Profile section. This section is made up of around 29 test items. It is split into two portions; Learning Style, and Personality Profile. The Learning Style portion will ask around 14 questions pertaining to your specific learning style and how you are able to learn things. Colleges can use this information to see if your learning style is a match for their teaching style. This provides colleges with more information, allowing them to narrow down prospective candidates. This portion should take you around 15 minutes to complete.

The Personality Profile portion consists of 15 questions used to determine your personality and see if you are suited for the nursing profession. This portion allows colleges to weed out those without the appropriate demeanor for being a nurse from the nursing program; thus, refining their choices again. This portion should take you around 15 minutes to complete.

The score results for the HESI A2 test will be sent to both the students and educators. The summary report sent to the educator includes composite scores, subject-area composite scores, and percentage scores. The report students receive, however, goes more in depth. It offers students to see which questions they answered correctly, as well as questions they answered incorrectly. These both include explanations of each question.

The results of the Learning Style portion of the Learner Profile section will give the student advice about study tips that will help students in nursing school. The Personality Profile portion lets the test-taker know their dominant personality type as well as strengths, weaknesses, and suggested ways to learn new information.

Hopefully this article was able to provide you with a better understanding of the HESI Admission Assessment Exam, and allow you to become better prepared for your exam. For further instruction and access to materials such as study guides, flashcards, and HESI practice tests please visit mometrix.com.

Published by

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