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What you need to know about the HESI exam

Student taking the HESI® exam.

The HESI exam is conducted by nursing schools as a function of a university or college nursing program. You may also hear it called the HESI A2, the HESI Admission Assessment Exam, or the Evolve Reach A2. It is one of several tests used to grant admission to nursing schools. Others are the Nursing Entrance Test (NET) and the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). Please check with your chosen nursing school to be sure you are studying for the test it requires. Also, schools vary in the number of HESI exam sections they require for admission. Either their website or the admissions office will be able to give you information about which sections you should focus on.

You will get your test results in print from the proctor at the end of your test. Depending on your nursing school, you may be able to retake the test after a waiting period. Check with your school for their requirements.

What are the costs?

According to the latest estimates, the cost for taking the HESI exam can range anywhere from $35 to $70. Costs vary according to the institution administering the test and you should contact your chosen location for details on this. There is a retesting fee if you need to take it more than once, so preparing well for the first test can save you some money.

What should I bring?

On test day, you should bring the following:

  • 1 Government issued ID (driver’s license, passport, or green card; student ID is NOT acceptable)

  • Payment for the test or copy of your receipt for payment.

  • Username and password assigned to you when you registered.

  • DO NOT BRING: calculator (one is provided in the test software), books, cell phone, tablet, other electronic devices, food, beverages

What kind of job can I get?

As a nurse, you will be responsible for numerous health care tasks. From taking patient histories and counseling patients, to interpreting records and making critical decisions on patient care, the job is as varied as the situation and the particular day you work. You will need to collaborate with other healthcare professionals and may supervise personnel in various positions.

A registered nurse can work in a variety of settings, from hospital to private practice, with many other variations in between. Nurses can also specialize in a particular health condition, a specific group of patients (elderly, infants, etc.), a certain location (school, emergency room, etc.), or in certain body part (heart, dermatology, etc.).

Am I eligible?

Nursing schools usually have their own required or suggested prerequisites for eligibility for the HESI exam. Some require that certain coursework is complete or that other exams have been passed. Often, you must have earned at least a certain GPA in order to register for the test. There are also suggestions for timing the test so that you will be most able to achieve competitive results.

Why does it matter?

We know that starting your career off on the right foot can make all the difference, and your HESI exam scores can be the key to admission at the nursing school of your choice. It is also a good indicator of your chances for success in a nursing program of study. Additionally, many of you who are already in nursing school may need to take the test again either during your degree, or as a precursor to the NCLEX examination.

What salary can I expect?

There is now an extremely high demand for nurses in the U.S. In fact, the demand has never been higher. Nursing is a thriving sector in the growing healthcare industry, and we’re here to help you get in.

According to U.S. News and World Report, yearly salaries for registered nurses currently range between less than $45,000 to $94,000. The median nurse salary is listed at around $65,000.

When is it available?

The HESI exam is administered at many nursing schools and community colleges. At some locations, the test is offered every few weeks and may also be available at a Prometric testing site near you. Check with your chosen nursing school or local community college to obtain the most current testing dates. You can often sign up for the test at the site of your institution. Most nursing schools offering the test schedule test dates to correspond with application due dates.

Time Allowed

Depending on the number of sections of the HESI exam required, your time spent testing will vary. It would be a good idea, however, to allow approximately 4 hours for the entire process.

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How to Pass the HESI Entrance Exam

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Understand the Exam

The HESI Admissions Assessment (HESI A2) exam isn’t a single test for you to complete. In order to successfully pass the assessment, you will need to complete 7 different exams that assess your mastery of:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Vocabulary and General Knowledge
  • Grammar
  • Basic Math Skills
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Anatomy and Physiology

You will also be required to work on a personality profile that assesses your learning style. The exams contain between 30-55 questions. You will need to review and master the information that’s covered by each of these exams in order to successfully pass the HESI A2 assessment.

Study for Individual Exams

These exams are designed to test your knowledge related to language arts, math and the sciences, so taking a look at your old notes for these subjects is a good way to start preparing. Be sure to study both general and healthcare-related terms and math skills for the exam.

Elsevier, the organization that created the HESI A2, also offers some study options on their website (www.evolve.elsevier.com). Additionally, because the HESI A2 was created to mirror the kinds of questions you’d face on a board examination, any study guides designed to prepare you for the NCLEX can help you successfully pass the HESI A2.

Look at Online Courses

Study.com offers a HESI Admission Assessment Exam Prep course that can help you get ready to pass this test. This study guide helps you review the exam’s seven subjects with short, engaging video lessons. You’ll be able to work on interactive quizzes and worksheets to track your progress through each subject. You can even contact specialized instructors if you have any questions. Also look ahead at the subject matter you’ll be studying once you pass the HESI A2 exam with this course on the Fundamental of Nursing .

What is the HESI Exam?

Designed by Elsevier Student Life, HESI exams are used to screen applicants to allied health care programs, chart their course progress, and help them prepare for board examinations, such as the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

Learn more about the HESI Exam

  • Difference Between HESI & HESI A2 Nursing Exams
  • What Does the HESI A2 Nursing Exam Consist of?
  • Study.com HESI Scholarship: Application Form & Information
  • What is the HESI A2 Admission Assessment Exam?
  • How Long is the HESI A2 Nursing Exam?
  • How is the HESI A2 Nursing Exam Scored?
  • How to Pass the HESI Exit Exam
  • Passing the HESI A2 Nursing Exam
  • View All

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