This is a free HESI A2 Study Guide!
You can use the comprehensive HESI A2 study guide in this article to help you ace your test and get ahead.
What is the HESI exam?
The HESI Entrance Exam is also known as the HESI Admissions Assessment Exam or the HESI A2. The test is used by Nursing Programs nationwide as a tool to help them, screen applicants.
To pass the HESI A2 exam, you should score at least 75% or higher in each section. A score in the range of 75% to 79% is considered to be in the bottom range of acceptable, but an applicant whose score falls in this range will probably need quite a bit of help to succeed in nursing school.
Scores from 80% to 89% indicate that the applicant should be able to graduate from nursing school with only minimal academic assistance. A score of 90% or higher is a sign that the test taker is very likely to do well in nursing school without any academic assistance. The total time allotted to complete the exam is 4.25 hours.
How many questions is the HESI A2 exam?
The format of the HESI A2 exam includes 4 general content exams: Math, Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, and Grammar. Four subject exams are Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry, Physics, and Biology. The two exams are meant to identify a student’s learning style. Nursing programs may offer them as an option depending on their own admissions criteria.
Let’s take a closer look at the detailed information about each subtest:
Reading Comprehension (55 questions -50 scored + 5 pilots with 60 minutes time limit). The reading test questions evaluate a student’s ability to comprehend health-related reading passages. Students must understand word meanings, identify main themes, create logical inferences, and understand passages.
Vocabulary and General Knowledge (55 questions – 50 scored + 5 pilots with 50 minutes time limit). Students are presented with various vocabulary words and expected to determine their definitions. Many of the vocabulary words are related to health.
Grammar (55 questions – 50 scored + 5 pilots with 50 minutes time limit). Students must display their knowledge of basic grammar concepts. Students must show their comprehension of parts of speech, typical grammar errors, and important grammatical concepts.
Math (55 questions – 50 scored + 5 pilots with 50 minutes time limit). The HESI math questions evaluate a candidate’s knowledge of basic mathematical concepts. The math skills tested typically have some correlation to health-related scenarios. Students should have a strong grasp of the following math skills: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, proportions, ratios, and decimals. Questions will also be presented on roman numbers, calculating dosages, household measures, and conversions.
Physics (25 question exam with 50 minutes time limit) The physics test will cover general physics concepts such as rotation, friction, gravitation, energy, average speed, Newton’s Laws of Motion, projectile motion, light, optics, and acceleration. The physics test is usually only required for Nursing programs that require Physics as a pre-requisite course.
Biology (25 question exam with 25 minutes time limit) The biology questions are focused on general biology topics including biology basics, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, metabolism, biological molecules, and cells. The biology test is not required by all Nursing programs.
Anatomy and Physiology (25 question exam with 25 minutes time limit) The Anatomy and Physiology test is often referred to as the A&P exam. The A&P exam evaluates a student’s understanding of fundamental Anatomy and Physiology concepts such as anatomical systems, structures, and general terminology. The A&P exam is not required by all Nursing schools.
Chemistry (25 question exam with 50 minutes time limit) Students’ knowledge of general Chemistry principles is assessed. Specifically, students may meet the questions on the periodic table, chemical equations, atomic structure, chemical bonding, nuclear chemistry, and chemical reactions. The chemistry exam is usually only required by Nursing schools that require chemistry as a pre-requisite.
The Learning Style assessment (14 question exam with 15 minutes time limit). This assessment is a good opportunity for students to understand their learning style preferences. The Learning Style Assessment can help determine how an individual best learns and applies material, which may be important during the Nursing program of study.
The Personality Style assessment (15 question exam with 15 minutes time limit) is an opportunity for students to learn about themselves. The Personality Style Assessment is a good way to understand oneself better and how one interacts with others, which may be important during the Nursing program of study.
Read more in detail at What’s on the HESI A2 Exam?
How can I get better on the HESI?
HESI Reading comprehension tips: skim the passage quickly and identify important information. Read each sentence carefully to understand its meaning. Mark any words, phrases, or sentences that are unclear in order to focus on them later. And recheck for understanding after you have read a passage by asking yourself “What is this about?” and “Why does it matter?”. This will help ensure comprehension of what you have read.
HESI Vocabulary tips: Use flashcards or a word bank to help with memorizing vocabulary and general knowledge. Place the words in their categories. But instead of creating a new category for each type of question, create one main category that encompasses all questions. This will allow you to see where you need improvement.
HESI Grammar tips: Place the words in their categories but instead of creating one new category for each type of question (e.g., science) create one main category that encompasses all questions. Besides, create a word bank by typing words into an online dictionary, then print it out and place it next to your workstation or laptop. Practice questions as often and as much as possible.
HESI Physics Study Tips: Review the questions from your past quizzes before an exam. Practice with a study group by discussing topics and giving tips to each other.
Anatomy and Physiology Study Tip: It is important to review a variety of topics and terms, including the musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular system, renal system, endocrine glands (hypothalamus), blood vessels/systems, and lymphatic systems.
Math Exam Study Tip: Review your unit notes, study guides, and last year’s final exams. Review any notes that you may have taken in class or from your textbook/study guide. Categorize topics by difficulty: easy questions, medium level questions, hard level questions. Create a Study Schedule with due dates to ensure that you covered all of the material before taking the exam. Take Practice Quizzes over time so that you can get an idea.
Biology Exam Study Tip: Review recent lectures and labs as well as old homework assignments not already completed. Make sure to highlight any important points and study the class notes. Find a Study Buddy to help you review for exams, especially if there are sections of the exam that they excel in more than you do!
HESI Chemistry Tips: Before studying for the exam, take time to analyze what your strengths and weaknesses are in chemistry so that you know where to focus on more preparation. For example, did you do well on questions about chemical reactions but struggle with atomic structure? This will allow you to better tailor your studies accordingly…
Learning Styles exam: There has been much research done on different types of personalities when it comes down to processing information from one’s environment. Oftentimes assessing “learning styles” can provide insight as far as how a person best absorbs information.
The Personality Style assessment Exam: Understanding the different personality styles and how they can affect study habits is important when it comes to studying for your exam. Learning about one’s own learning style (s) will help with time management, and organization skills, as well as provide a better understanding of what tools work best for them…
Read more>> How to prepare for the HESI A2 exam?
HESI A2 Study Guide and HESI Practice Test
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