HESI Biology Study Guide

Are you gearing up to take the hesi biology test? We'll go into detail about what the Biology exam entails and some tips to study for it.

Are you gearing up to take the HESI A2 Biology test? If so, then this blog post is for you! We’ll go into detail about what the exam entails, how to study for it, and what some helpful tips are.

HESI A2 Biology Review

There are 30 questions on the exam and we recommend that the time limit for the Biology test is 25 minutes. Most schools will, but there is a possibility that your school may establish a different time limit, so before exam day, be sure to check it. All information that you need is on the nursing school’s website.

What’s on the HESI A2 Biology Test?

hesi biology
HESI Biology Study Guide

To do well on the Biology section of the HESI exam, There are some main concepts that need to know:

Classification of Organisms

Living things are classified by a system developed by Carl Linnaeus. Organisms are often named by the binomial system of genus and species. 

The classification of species allows the subdivision of living organisms into smaller and more specialized groups.


The first division of living things in the classification system is to put them into one of five kingdoms. They are: 

  • animals (all multicellular animals)
  • plants (all green plants)
  • fungi (molds, mushrooms, yeast)
  • protists (Amoeba, Chlorella, and Plasmodium)
  • prokaryotes (bacteria, blue-green algae)

Further divisions

We can rank the living things according to:

  • phylum
  • class
  • order
  • family
  • genus
  • species

The kingdom is broken into Phylum that has many different organisms. For examples:

  • Chordata, which have backbones
  • Arthropod, which has jointed legs and an exoskeleton
  • Annelids, which are segmented worms

The class follows Phylum. For example, class results in the Chordata phylum being divided into:

  • Mammals
  • Birds
  • Amphibians
  • Fish
  • Reptiles

The order follows class and as an example, mammals can be further subdivided into a variety of different groups such as:

  • Carnivores
  • Primates

The Family follows the order. Here are some examples of which carnivores can be split into:

  • Canidae – dogs
  • Felidae – cats

Genus, the Felidae family can be further divided into 4 genus examples:

  • Acinonyx – cheetah
  • Panthera – lion and tiger
  • Neofelis – clouded leopard
  • Felis – domestic cats

Species is the final classification stage. The genus Panthera includes:

  • Panthera leo (lion)
  • Panthera tigris (tiger)

As an example, the complete breakdown of the classification of lions:

  • kingdom – animal
  • phylum – vertebrate
  • class – mammal
  • order – carnivorous
  • family – cat
  • genus – big cat
  • species – lion

The Scientific Method

The Scientific Method is a method of devising and performing experiments that yield meaningful results. It includes a procedural approach to collecting information about the physical world that starts with a formulated question and ends with the rejection of a hypothesis and the reevaluation of the experiment.

We can summarize The Scientific Method as the following:

Question – A curiosity about a phenomenon increases and, in response, a question is formulated. Early thinkers looked at the sky and wondered why it was blue or looked at the grass and wondered why it was green.

Research – After formulating a question, a scientist looks for any relevant research or data already discovered and provided for the phenomenon in question. This is useful in giving some direction in how to build or approach the question.

Hypothesis – The scientist then created a hypothesis, or an educated guess, as to what could be causing the phenomenon. This step is useful in narrowing down the possible options or experimentation.

Experiment – Using available measuring tools and technology, to provide valuable data for the scientist to investigate, an experiment is designed.

Evaluation – The data will then be analyzed and assessed for its validity. Do the observations made support the hypothesis, or do they support a different hypothesis?

Conclusion – In the end, the scientist will determine if the hypothesis is confirmed, in which case other scientists will then recreate the same experiment to identify that the results hold true at a different time or place not using the different methods. The scientist may select to change some of the experimental methods or devise a new hypothesis if the hypothesis is not confirmed.

In summary, the Scientific Method provides a methodical method for investigating experiments, data, and drawing conclusions. It is worthwhile to see that developments in scientific research do not increase from haphazard guessing and checking, but rather through logical design and reasoning. Even a basic familiarity with the method will prove useful while making sense of scientific experiments.

Cells, Tissues, and Organs

The most fundamental unit of life is the cell. Organisms that exist as a single cell, like bacterium, are called prokaryotes and those that are multicellular, like humans, are called eukaryotes. The main difference between these two groups is that eukaryotes possess a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles when prokaryotes do not.

Starting with the knowledge of the cell, its form, and function, we can begin to make sense of how life operates, and what cellular features enable this operation. Learning the components of the cell is not a difficult task, but it can be tedious.

One great way to learn about cells is to complement lists of cellular components/features with drawings of cells – this is particularly useful for eukaryotic cells and their organelles. Accompany these drawings with the name of the cell “part” and what its function or purpose is. For instance, the nucleus houses genetic information and instructions for cellular operations; the mitochondrion helps generate ATP to provide energy for the cell… In studying the differences between plant, animal, and bacterial cells, a mini whiteboard can be a huge asset. Repeatedly diagramming the elements of the various cell types and their parts (noting similarities and differences) will cause long-term retention.

When a group of cells functions together to accomplish tasks, they are operating as tissue. Due to the differences at the cellular level, plants and animals organize into different types of tissue. Plants possess meristematic tissues, which enable them to increase in size, and permanent tissues, which enable them to maintain their form.

Animals possess connective, epithelial, muscle, and nervous tissues. As the tissues in plants, these groups serve different functions and have different forms. Connective tissues provide structure to organisms. Epithelial tissues are those found where cells line and cover organs. Muscle tissue allows animals to move, and nervous tissue enables animals to send and receive signals to its different parts.

Just as cells combine to form tissues, tissues combine to form organs. Humans possess an extensive list of organs that all serve a particular function: some help digest food to provide energy, while others help circulate air and blood. And, like tissues, organs act collaboratively to form organ systems.

The same approach of studying the cells and their functions can be applied to tissues, organs, and then organ systems. It is most important to generate your own diagrams when learning the form and function of these different systems. It is easy to believe that one has a solid grasp of these things when reading from a book or even a page of notes; however, this is much different from being able to work from the ground up in describing the composition of organisms. Condense lists of organismal features into its basic parts, and work through repeatedly processing this information with the aid of a whiteboard and note cards.

Genetics and Heredity

Heredity is the passing on of genetic traits from one generation to the next; it is the reason that children resemble parents, and why humans give birth to other humans. Genetics is the study of the principles underlying heredity.

Workable knowledge of genetics is impossible without becoming familiar with DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). This familiarity entails its composition [knowing that guanine, cytosine, adenine, and thymine (also known as GCAT) are its nucleotides, knowing how they pair, and knowing that its strands run antiparallel, among other features], as well as its function (to house and maintain the instructions for a cell’s operations).

An understanding of “the central dogma” of molecular biology, which states that genetic information flows from DNA to RNA to proteins, can serve as a great outline for how gene transfer takes place. Before moving on to transcription and translation, understanding can help you be familiar with DNA replication, the details of which can be processed through learning the names and functions of the various structures and enzymes involved. Because this is a systematic procedure that incorporates many different parts, drawing and redrawing diagrams can prove worthwhile for long-term retention of the operations.

When these operations are understood, a more general understanding of genetics can be studied. A familiarity with Gregor Mendel and his laws (Law of Dominance, Law of Segregation, and the Law of Independent Assortment) can act as a solid foundation for genetic transfer beyond the microscopic scale. This will lead one to learn about parents, first and second generations, and the expression of phenotypes as predicted with Punnett squares.

Much difficulty in studying genetics and heredity stems from the necessity of learning an exhaustive number of terms and definitions. Intelligent utilization of flashcards and diagrams can address these problems.

Mitosis and Meiosis

Mitosis and meiosis are processes by which cells reproduce. A mitosis is a form of asexual reproduction where the resulting cell is genetically identical to the parent cell, whereas meiosis results in a cell that contains only half of the chromosomes found in the parent cell. It is wise to note both the similarities and the differences when reviewing the two processes. Similar to the method used for recalling the various taxonomic classes, a mnemonic device can prove valuable in learning the stages of mitosis and meiosis.

While these two reproduction methods share essentially the same steps, it can be useful to think that because meiosis is involved in sexual reproduction, a method for diversifying life; it is more complicated than mitosis. Recalling this can help you remember which mnemonic goes with which process.

Familiarity with the cell cycle is helpful in understanding these two processes. Cells do not arbitrarily reproduce, nor do they reproduce nonstop. Instead, there are triggers and signals that must be present before a cell will begin reproduction. Mitosis can be broken down into four main stages: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase. But there are two additional “stages” of interphase and cytokinesis. The acronym IPMATC can be useful in recalling the order in which these stages happen.

Meiosis shares the same stages, but it occurs in two ordered sequences, so there is an IPMAT 1 and an IPMAT 2. The best method for retaining the details involved in both processes is to utilize a whiteboard and diagrams, drawing and redrawing the steps until this can be done without the aid of any reference material. It may sound repetitive, but this method of learning is invaluable for gaining functional knowledge of this material.


Photosynthesis is the process by which plants transform the energy in light into chemical energy that can be used to fuel life functions. A solid grasp of photosynthesis entails an understanding of what cellular structures enable the process (think chloroplasts, and other structures present in plant cells that are not in animal cells) as well as how the process happens (without carbon dioxide and water the process cannot take place).

Just as you should be familiar with the chemical equation governing cellular respiration (the energy liberating process in animal cells), you should also understand the chemical equation relating to the reactants and products of photosynthesis. Both of these processes rely upon the transfer of free electrons to generate chemical energy. And, just as animal cells carry out the Krebs cycle to generate ATP, plants carry out the Calvin cycle to generate energy. Analogs like this are very useful to recognize as they can reduce two distinct processes into a single concept and thus simplify the material to be learned.

Familiarity with the different types of photosynthesis is also useful to learn. Some types require the presence of light whereas others can be performed in the absence of light. An understanding of what biological purpose or function this serves can be helpful. Similarly to all of the other systems and processes, the usage of a whiteboard and diagrams, as well as a complementary list of the cellular features necessary, can prove invaluable when reviewing involved procedures such as photosynthesis. However, when you can already generate the information without the aid of reference materials, you can be certain that you have developed a firm comprehension of the concept.

Helpful tips for the HESI A2 biology test

Make flashcards. You can either make them yourself with the help of friends, classmates, or family members; you could buy pre-made cards from stores like Target and Walmart; or if not, use sites online such as StudyBlue to create your own deck of study cards at no cost. Flashcards serve as a great way to review important concepts.

Take practice quizzes, exams, and tests before the HESI A21 Biology exam date. This allows you to get a feel for what will be on your test so that when it comes time for the actual exam day, you’ll know what to expect. It also helps reduce anxiety as many people are more nervous about recalling information than putting it together.

Use a study planner to help you plan your time during the week and divide up work for each day so that you’re not overwhelmed. You can make this as simple or detailed as you want, but just try to map out when and how much studying will happen on any given day of the week.

Never start studying for the HESI A21 Biology exam without knowing what you’re going to do after. If that means taking a break from study, make sure you establish when and why it’s appropriate to take one before starting your work.

When studying for the exam, it’s important to work on your strengths and weaknesses. If you’re really struggling with a particular subject or concept, take notes in class so that you can spend more time drilling down into what you find difficult later.

Hesi A2 Biology Practice Test Resource

Where can you find Hesi A2 Materials and Test Resources? We highly recommend that you use our HESI practice website with complete guidance and practice tests with explanations, and short assessments to measure your understanding. It can help you prepare for exam day by giving you a strong math foundation. Take our HESI practice test now!


HESI A2 Grammar Study Guide (2021)

The Hesi A2 Grammar Study Guide is designed to help you prepare for the Grammar Section of the HESI A2 exam. Check it out now!

The Hesi A2 Grammar Study Guide is designed to help you prepare for the Grammar Section of the HESI A2 exam. This study guide covers all of the concepts that may be tested on this exam. It also provides tips for how to pass the Grammar Test as well as a free HESI A2 practice test source for you. We hope that this blog post helps prepare you for success!

hesi a2 grammar practice test

HESI A2 Grammar Test

Grammar is the final test in the English and language arts portion of the HESI. Being skilled in reading and understanding written passages is very important to success in nursing school, and so is having a large and wide-ranging vocabulary. However, these aren’t enough by themselves. It’s also very important to have a strong grasp of grammar, which is basically the set of rules that govern how to use a language. Of course, there are a lot of different rules that govern how to use English, and many of them are very complicated.

Like the other two exams, it also has 55 questions (five of which don’t count). The recommended time limit for Grammar is 50 minutes, but you’ll want to check with your school to find out the actual time limit you’ll be up against. Many people who have taken all of the sections report that they found the Grammar test to be the most difficult of the three exams in the English portion of the HESI.

What’s On the HESI A2 Grammar Test?   

Parts of Speech

Remember all the lessons about nouns and verbs? Well, those could come in really handy right about now! Be sure to familiarize yourself with the eight parts of speech: noun, verb, adverb, adjective, preposition, conjunction, pronoun, and interjection. It may also be helpful to know what these mean: pronoun-antecedent, subject, and predicate.

For example, you know a verb is an action or being word. Well, a predicate is just the verb, plus the other words that go with the verb.

Look at this sentence:

Harry wrote the letter neatly.

Wrote is the verb and wrote the letter neatly is the predicate.

Verb Forms and Tenses

This is an important concept you should pay attention to while studying for the HESI A2 Grammar Test.

Besides knowing what part of speech verbs are, you must know what form and tense of a verb to use in different situations. For instance, do you use ring, rang, or rung, when talking about a bell? The rule for this is: ring is what a bell does in the present tense, rang is in the past, and rung is in the past perfect and must use has, had, or have. Other words like this include swim and bring (there is no such word as brang). Candidates may make some very common errors with these words: see, saw, seen.

You can say, “I saw,” but not “I seen.” You have to use have or had with seen. The same goes for ride, rode, and have/has/had ridden. But never use have, had, or has with saw or rode. Yeah, isn’t the English language great?

Pronoun Use

Unless you are about 2 years old, you know that the sentence “Her went to the store” does not sound right. But what about this? Which one is correct?

– Jamie called Butch and I to dinner.

– Jamie called Butch and me to dinner.

Believe it or not, it’s the second one. The word me is used for objects and I is used for subjects in a sentence. An easier way to determine me versus I is to take the other person out of the sentence and see which sounds right. “Jamie called I to dinner” just doesn’t cut it. It would be “Jamie and I went to dinner” because “Me went to dinner” is just wrong.

Also, practice the use of him and her, as well as when to use himself or herself, instead. Oh, and there is also no such word as “theirselves.”


If you’ve read things on social media lately, you know that some people can go a little crazy with capital letters. Some people use them all the time and some, not at all. For this test, you’ll need to prove you know the rules.

Basically, all sentences and proper nouns (the name of a person, place, or thing) begin with a capital letter. So do titles of people (Mr., Dr., etc.) and a few other word types. You can find a number of lists of capitalization rules online to help you nail this skill.

There are some tricky things to capitalization, too. For example, look at the word dad in these sentences. Both are correct.

– My dad is my best friend.

– I told Dad to come with us.

Why the difference? In the second sentence, Dad is used as a name. In the first, it is not. Saying, “my dad” is the same as saying, “my ball, my dog, my pencil,” none of which need capital letters.


Punctuation basics are easy, right? A period at the end of a sentence, question mark after a question, etc. But there are some confusing points, too. Here are a few rules to remember:

Commas used in a series of words typically include one before the word and in academic writing: I had apples, peaches, and pears for lunch. This is the serial comma, or also known as the Oxford comma. It is a matter of style preference, so remember to check the preferred style guide of the institution, or school, for whom you are writing, or read test instructions, and practice consistency.)

An apostrophe used to show possession is always directly after the person/s or animal/s that actually possess/es the thing: If the bone belongs to one dog, it is “the dog’s bone,” but if it belongs to two or more dogs, it is “the dogs’ bone.”

Looking up other apostrophe rules would be a good idea. There are many.

Apostrophes are not used just to form a plural! “I love my baby’s” is just not right. It should be babies.

Quotation marks: Generally, all other forms of punctuation are written inside the quotes. Jean said, “I am the oldest person here.” And “Hi!” said Tom.

Review where to use a hyphen (-).

Confusing Words

The English language has many confusing words. The Grammar section of the HESI exam will test your knowledge of a few of them. To prepare for this section of the test, take note of the following reminders:

Know the differences among your/you’re, there/their/they’re, and its/it’s. You should be able to split any two words that are joined with an apostrophe into those two words and have the sentence still make sense.

Example: “I saw you’re house” may sound right, but if you split you’re into two words, it becomes “I saw you are house,” which is not right. By the same token, “Your my best friend” is not right, either. This time, it is supposed to have the equivalent of you are in it, so “You’re my best friend” works.

Other tricky words to study include: accept/except, effect/affect, and advice/advise. Example: He gives advice. But, He did not advise her.

Know when to use lay and lie, less and fewer, harder and hardest, etc. Trick: Use -er ending when comparing two things and -est for three or more.

It should be “I could have danced all night,” not “I could of danced all night.”

Its is the only possessive that doesn’t have an apostrophe. It’s, with the apostrophe, means it is.

Sentence Structure

Some of the questions will ask you to decide which form of a sentence is correct. What this means is, “Which form makes the meaning most clear to you, the reader?” This may involve punctuation or word usage. There may be two answers that are actually correct, but only one of them is best.

For example, Jane was just thinking of John, not Tim, when she ran into him. (It is not clear who she ran into.)

This is better: Jane had been thinking of John when she ran into Tim.

Other Items

It would probably be a good idea to know what each of the following items means and to be able to tell if a sentence has them and where they are in the sentence:

– dependent clause

– independent clause

– weak clause

– active verb tense

Word Pairs and Common Mistakes

Some of the questions in the grammar subsection of the test will be related to clauses, word pairing, and common grammatical mistakes. For example:

Read the following sentences and determine which sentence includes only an independent clause and which includes a dependent clause

  1. Jim went walking in the park
  2. Jim went walking because he needs to lose weight

The first sentence contains only an independent clause. Jim is the subject and went walking is the verb. This statement can stand on its own. The second sentence contains a dependent clause: because he needs to lose weight. This clause cannot stand on its own and needs the independent clause, Jim went walking.

Read the following sentences and identify the correct missing words

  1. Dostoyevsky is the man___ wrote Crime and Punishment
  2. I asked to ___ the package had been delivered

Word pairs are words that have similar meanings and uses and can be easily confused. In the first question, the answer is who. Sometimes, people will use that instead of who, but who should be used when discussing a person. The second answer is whom, which is only used in the objective case (when the pronoun is the object and not the subject), rather than the nominative case (referring to the subject).

Read the following sentences and determine which sentence is a run-on

  1. John and I took a trip to Paris it was a really good experience.
  2. Betsy and Phil went to Italy, and they had a lot of fun.

The first sentence is a run-on sentence. It should read: John and I took a trip to Paris. It was a really good experience. Or, alternatively: John and I took a trip to Paris, and it was a really good experience. The sample sentence contains two clauses that run together. It is missing punctuation, or punctuation, and a transition word.

Tips to study for the Grammar section

There are some tips you should know and remember when studying and taking the test:

  • Know which punctuation to use, and when.  
  • Study the English usage of pronouns.  
  • Learn how to correctly use possessives.
  • Review subject-verb agreement thoroughly so that you are confident in your answers.
  • You will meet many questions in these three areas: sentence structure, word choice, and punctuation.   
  • Make sure to study the Apostrophe section as it’s a common mistake in college-level English courses.  
  • When you see an abbreviation, make sure that you know what dates are abbreviated.
  • Review the Comma rules for Quotations and lists of items.
  • Remember that there are two sets of homophones and they’re often confused.

A great way to study Grammar is to read a lot, so practice reading the newspaper as if you were going back in time – without an Internet connection!   

Hesi A2 Grammar Practice Test Resource

Where you can find the HESI A2 practice test resource? We highly recommend that you use our HESI exam training website with a complete HESI A2 study guide and practice tests with explanation, and short assessments to measure your understanding. It can help you prepare for exam day by giving you a strong grammar foundation. 

Thousand of HESI A2 practice questions and various full practice test will help you boost your knowledge and get 100% familiar with the test format. Take it now!

HESI A2 Vocabulary Study Guide

Do you want to do well on the Hesi A2 vocabulary test? Let's read our detailed study guide and then take the free HESI practice test now!

Do you want to do well on the HESI A2 vocabulary test? We have created a study guide for you that is full of words and definitions. HESI A2 vocabulary study guide is designed to help you learn and retain the words that are used in your Hesi exam. It includes a list of important words, their definitions, an example sentence, and tips for how to remember them. We hope that this blog post helps prepare you for success!

HESI A2 Vocabulary practice test

What’s On the HESI A2 Vocabulary Test?

This test contains 55 multiple-choice items and a recommended 50-minute time limit for this portion of the HESI, but schools are free to use a different time limit. You should make it a point to verify the time limit with your school before you take the test. Like the other two sections, Vocabulary also contains five questions that won’t count toward your score because they’re being used for research and development purposes.

The HESI A2 Vocabulary Test is quite basic – it is designed to assess how extensive your vocabulary is, as well as your ability to identify the meaning of words you haven’t encountered before. This involves understanding an unfamiliar word by using context clues or word elements. Much of the reading you’ll do in nursing school will be on topics you’ve never read much about before, so you’ll need to have a good vocabulary. The exam will cover words that the average person uses every day, as well as more complex terms that most people do not use on a regular basis. It is necessary to keep in mind that the HESI’s Vocabulary section will also include some medical terminology. Medical terms are one area where memorizing several word roots, as well as prefixes and suffixes, will often be enough to make the meaning of a medical word clear, even if you’ve never seen it before.

Medical Terminology

Unlike many other jobs, a medical position requires a working knowledge of a litany of concepts and terms that are largely foreign to the populace at large. To brush up on this aspect of the medical field, read as much and as frequently as possible. Read textbooks, read journals and reports, and read articles related to the medical field. This will allow you to catch a glimpse not only of terminology but of usage as well.

Study terms and their usage. While vocabulary is essential to communicating and understanding others in the medical field, you must not only be able to identify the meanings of words, but also be able to put those words into action and place them properly in sentences. Be sure to also study context and placement.

Common Medical Prefixes and Their Meanings

In the HESI A2 Vocabulary Test, you may meet the questions about Medical Prefixes and Their Meanings.

Medical prefixes function the same way that standard prefixes do; they are used to alter the meaning of a root word. In the medical field, prefixes are usually used to describe the state of a patient, or a procedure. Here is a list of the most common medical prefixes and their meanings:

A/Ah ― Without

Arteri ― Artery

Arthro ― Bone joint

Bi ― Twice/double

Carcin ― Cancer

Chol ― Bile

Cis ― On the same side of

Crani ― Head/skull

Cyt ― Cell

Derm ― Skin

Ect ― Outer/outside

Ferri ― Iron

Gyn ― Woman

Hema ― Blood

Hist ― Tissue

Hyster ― Uterus

Kerat ― Cornea

Kinesi ― Movement

Lacto ― Milk

Leuko ― White

Mast ― Breast

Melan ― Black

Necro ― Death

Onco ― Tumor

Osseo ― Bone

Pan ― All/entire

Common Medical Suffixes and Their Meanings

Like traditional suffixes, medical suffixes are used to bring further clarity to a root word and are attached to the end of a root. These words are frequently applied to words to denote an operation or procedure. The most common medical suffixes are identified as follows:

Ac/Acal ― Of/pertaining to

Aemia ― Blood condition

Algia ― Pain

Centesis ― Surgical puncture

Crine ― To secrete

Cyte ― Cell

Dynia ― Pain

Ectasis ― Expansion/dilation

Ectomy ― Surgical procedure/removal

Genic ― Formative

Gnosis ― Knowledge Graph ― Record/picture

Iasis ― Condition

Iatry ― Field of medicine

Icle ― Small

Ismus ― Spasm/contraction

Itis ― Inflammation

Lysis ― Destruction/separation

Oma ― Mass/collection

Penia ― Deficiency

Pepsia ― Digestion/digestive tract

Plasty ― Repair/reconstruction

Plexy ― Stroke/seizure

Rrhagia ― Rapid flow of blood

Scopy ― Viewing

Tensive ― Pressure

Common Vocabulary Concepts

“Vocabulary” is a word used to describe one’s verbal arsenal. Your vocabulary reflects significantly upon your breadth of knowledge, as it reveals how much exposure you have had to advanced concepts―not merely in the medical field, but in all academia, and even in day-to-day life. Someone with a well-rounded vocabulary is capable of retaining language needed to function on a coherent level with other adults and of engaging in more “high-minded” discussion, such as current events or academic concepts.

The greatest asset in developing a solid vocabulary is the ability to read thoroughly and efficiently. While some amount of your vocabulary can be developed through speaking and practice, reading exposes you to words you might not encounter any other way, and it reveals methods of speaking you might not have considered outside of your social circle. To develop a well-rounded vocabulary, place your primary focus on reading items of all natures, ranging from magazine articles to academic journals, to novels. Exposure is key to nurturing an expansive vocabulary.

To assist in your development, three basic vocabulary concepts are identified: prefixes, suffixes, and root words.


A prefix is an add-on placed ahead of a word to change or enhance its meaning. “Pre” is an example of a prefix used to denote “before.” “Post” is another prefix that denotes “after.” The following is a list of the most common prefixes and their meanings.

Anti ― Against

Co ― With/alongside

Dis ― Not

Ex ― Out of/former

Il/Im ― Not/without

Inter ― Between

Non ― Without

Omni ― All/every

Post ― After

Pre ― Before

Sub ― Under/below

Trans ― Across

Un ― Not


Suffix is also a type of questions that often appears in the HESI A2 Vocabulary Exam

Suffixes are the opposite of prefixes; they come after a word, though they are still used to change or further explain a root word. Suffixes can be more difficult to identify than prefixes, but as you read, you will find that you are familiar with most of the common suffixes used in the English language today. The most frequently used suffixes denote the passage of time.

Here is a list of the most common suffixes.

Able ― Capable/capable of being

Ate ― Become

Dom ― Place/state of being

Er ― More than/one who

Esque ― Like/reminiscent of

Ful ― Notable for

Ish ― Having the quality of

Ist ― One who

Ment ― Condition of

Ness ― State of being

Ship ― Position held

Y ― Characterized by


Roots are words that contain the idea or thought being prevailed upon by prefixes and suffixes. In the word “beautiful,” for instance, the root of the word is “beauty,” while the suffix is “ful.” Roots can be difficult to identify because they may require alteration to function with a prefix or suffix, as in the case of “beautiful.” For this reason, it is pivotal to familiarize yourself with common prefixes and suffixes; once you are familiar with the most common ones, you can more readily discover the root of words bearing additions. A few examples are given as follows:

Preview: “Pre” is the prefix, while “view” is the root.

Interchangeable: “Inter” is the prefix, “change” is the root, and “able” is the suffix.

Fanciful: “Fancy” is the root, while “ful” is the suffix.       

Tips and tricks to remember the vocabulary

  • Use flashcards.  (List of good resources)
  • Try to find words that have the same root or an obvious connection with each other and review them together.
  • Review new vocabulary as soon as you see it, before moving on to more material in a coursebook, online lesson, etc. so that they are fresh in your mind.
  • Use a vocabulary notebook to hold words and their definitions, as well as the derivation of each word if you know it
  • Take advantage of online resources that have prebuilt flashcards for every new word or use an app (you can find in passemall.com) that allows you to make your own cards with any word.   
  • Consider writing vocabulary words on your hand or arm with a permanent marker and then using an app to take pictures of the word so that it can be quickly looked up in case you forget what it means at any point.
  • Look for different ways to practice the same thing, because when we do this material over and over again, we become more familiar with it and are less likely to forget.
  • Be sure you’re practicing the pronunciation of new words in a variety of ways so that you can show what your word means without having to say anything at all!                

How to study for the Hesi A2 vocabulary exam?

The key is practice, practice, and more practice.

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of studying vocabulary words multiple times in one day so that you can go back later on if you forget what it means or how it is pronounced.

When studying new words from your textbook for class, try reciting them aloud after reading them.

Try to find synonyms and antonyms so that you can be familiar with the most common words used in your class.

Keep a list of new vocabulary words on hand, whether it’s by writing them down or using some sort of app in passmall.com (which I highly recommend).

Read over these words when you have time, and try to use them in a sentence.

It is also important that you take the time to study words from your textbook for class because they often contain new vocabulary words or more difficult synonyms/antonyms which will give context as to how these words are used in everyday life.

If you find what you’re studying hard to remember, try looking up the word in a dictionary.

Using these methods will help your vocabulary grow and improve over time, which can only make for an easier semester of learning.

Hesi A2 Vocabulary Practice Test Resources

Where you can find the free Hesi A2 Practice Test Resource?

We highly recommend that you use our website with a complete HESI A2 study guide and practice tests with a detailed explanation for each question, and short assessments to measure your understanding. It can help you prepare for exam day by giving you a strong math foundation. 

Moreover, thousands of free HESI practice questions are gamified. All you need to do is to practice round by round just like playing a game. When feeling confident with the knowledge you gained from the practice section, you can familiarize yourself with our available HESI practice tests. Take it now!


Free HESI A2 Math Study Guide 2021

Our HESI A2 Math Study Guide and our free HESI practice test 2021 will help you get 100% ready for your coming big day. Check it out!

Math is a difficult subject for many people, but it doesn’t have to be. By reading our HESI A2 Math Study Guide and take our free HESI practice test 2021, you can prepare yourself for your HESI exam and brush up on those math skills that you may not remember from high school or college. This review will help you get ready to ace your next math test with confidence!

Free HESI A2 Math Study Guide

What’s on the HESI A2 Math Test?

The HESI math questions evaluate a candidate’s knowledge of basic math and mathematical concepts and apply that knowledge to presented scenarios. Content includes your understanding of Roman numerals, word problems, calculating dosages, household measures, and conversions.

The subtest is computer-delivered and contains 55 multiple-choice questions. Each question has four possible solutions; there is only one correct answer. Topics included in the Mathematics subtest are: Addition and Subtraction; Whole numbers – multiplication and division; Algebra; Decimals; Fractions; Ratios and proportions; Percentages; Military time; Measures and conversions and Word problems 

You have 50 minutes to complete the exam, and an on-screen calculator is available for your use.

Here are detail in each topic you can expect to see on the HESI A2 Math exam:

Working with whole numbers – the basics of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, etc.

Fractions – how to form them, add, subtract, multiply, and divide them (even when their denominators aren’t the same to express them as percentages, convert them into decimals, mixed fractions, etc.

Percentages – how to derive percentages, what they mean, how to convert them into fractions, how to express them as decimals, how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide with them, etc.

Decimals – what numbers in decimal form represent, how to read them, how to determine the proper placement of the decimal point, add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals, and convert them into fractions, how to express them as percentages, etc.

Ratios and proportions – you’ll need to understand what these are, how they relate to each other, and how to solve problems that ask you to derive one or the other, etc.

General math skills – you’ll see questions about everyday skills like balancing a checkbook, reading a label on a medicine bottle for the correct dose, common measurements such as quartz, pounds, ounces, gallons, pints, and how they relate to each other, etc.

What is the best way to study for the HESI?

Hesi a2 math

Here are some tips on how to complete the HESI Basic Math Skills exam successfully:

Manage test anxiety: Get plenty of rest and exercise while preparing for the HESI A2 test. Learn some relaxation techniques that work for you, and don’t forget to eat and drink on exam day.

Be ready for the exam: We recommend at least 1 to 3 months of HESI A2 math review beforehand. Knowing you can do the math will give you great confidence on exam day.

Avoid doing problems in your head: Instead, write out the solution steps using pencil and paper. Our best HESI A2 math practice questions will include guided solutions that show all the work in an organized manner, providing a model to follow when setting up and solving math problems.

Read the questions carefully: It’s also a good idea to draw pictures and highlight keywords if allowed. Finally, don’t forget to use the calculator if it’s available. It would be a shame to give wrong answers due to minor arithmetic errors.

Don’t stress if you can’t answer a question: Go through the problems in order. Skip the ones that seem difficult and go back to them later (if this is allowed). As you answer the easier questions, you’ll gain the confidence you need to tackle the harder problems. For multiple-choice questions, don’t be fooled by distractors. Remember to substitute answer choices as a strategy for solving the more difficult problems.

Use all of the time allowed for the test: If you finish, go back and rework the problems, but don’t change an answer unless you’re certain there’s an error.

Is the HESI math test hard?

If math isn’t your cup of tea, or if it’s been a while since you’ve seen a math problem of any kind, you may find the HESI A2 exam challenge. There’s no need to worry, however, as long as you properly prepare. The best way to successfully navigate the HESI exam is to familiarize yourself with everything you’ll face, then focus your attention on the concepts that give you the most trouble.

As mentioned previously, the math on the HESI A2 test won’t seem hard as long as you’re thoroughly prepared and confident on test day. To be sure you can rely on your skills, you’ll need more preparation than a dry textbook or practice problems without explanations. There are a few tricky problems on it, but if you take your time and work carefully through each one, there’s no way you’ll fail to get at least an 85%.

Free Hesi A2 Practice Test

Where can you find Hesi A2 Materials and Test Resources?

We highly recommend that you use our online website and our offline app with complete guidance and practice tests with a detailed explanation, and short assessments to measure your understanding. It can help you prepare for exam day by giving you a strong math foundation. 

Thousands of free HESI A2 practice questions and our unique gamified learning technique will boost your knowledge to get the highest score on your coming big day. Let’s practice now!