What’s On The HESI A2 Exam? Let’s Explore It

So, with that time constraint, are you wondering what’s on the HESI A2 exam? Here is an overview of the HESI A2 examination subjects and what you need to know about them.

April 20, 2022

Nursing schools utilize the HESI A2 test to assess applicants for admission to nursing programs. The HESI A2, also known as the Evolve Reach Admission Evaluation, is a multiple-choice examination that includes five scored exam subjects and one unscored personality assessment. The exam can be completed in a maximum of five hours and fifteen minutes by test takers.

So, with that time constraint, are you wondering what’s on the HESI A2 exam? Here is an overview of the HESI A2 examination subjects and what you need to know about them. 

What topics will be covered on the HESI A2 exam?

what's on the hesi a2 exam

The HESI entrance exam has nine topic categories. These subjects involve specialized math, science, and reading abilities. A Personality Profile and a Learning Style part are also included in the HESI entrance test.

What subjects are on the HESI A2 exam?

The HESI test is divided into nine sections. Vocabulary and General Knowledge, Reading Comprehension, Grammar, Basic Math Skills, Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry, and Physics are the subjects covered.

There will be five non-scoring questions on each of these areas. Elsevier conducts research using these five experimental questions in order to improve future versions of the HESI. However, you should try to answer each question properly because you won’t be able to tell which ones are experimental and which aren’t.

English language

The English Language part has 55 exam items (50 of which are scored and 5 of which are pilot/unscored). It is divided into three parts: Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary and General Knowledge, and Grammar.

  • Reading comprehension

This section contains reading scenarios that may be used to assess reading comprehension, such as recognizing the main concept, determining the meaning of words in context, passage comprehension, forming logical conclusions, and so on. The reading comprehension component of the HESI A2 has a large number of topic questions. After reading a section, the test will question you (in a number of ways) if you grasp the idea. Typically, there will be eight questions for each passage.

  • Vocabulary and general knowledge

This section comprises vocabulary terms that are often used in general English-speaking environments as well as in health care sectors. You’ll be able to get over this part using context clues

  • Grammar

This section covers fundamental grammar, such as parts of speech, significant terminology, and their applications, often occurring grammatical faults, and so on. The test emphasizes questions such as “Fill in the blank of the following sentence to make it the most grammatically accurate.” There are additional multiple-choice questions that ask, “Which of the following is incorrect?” This means you’ll need to master basic vocabulary and grammatical norms, but you should be able to answer most questions correctly using context clues.


The Math component contains only one part and 55 test items (50 scored and 5 pilot/unscored).

Basic math skills

This part focuses on the arithmetic abilities required for health care areas, such as basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions, decimals, ratio and proportion, home measurements, general math facts, and so on. Fortunately, in the HESI A2 exam, you will be able to utilize a computer calculator. You should be able to perform conversions, fractions, decimals, and word problems.

  • Fractions: You must comprehend fractions. This comprises fractions with dissimilar denominators and mixed numbers, as well as how to add and subtract them. You’ll be alright with the HESI A2 fraction problems if you can reduce fractions and identify the common denominator.

  • Word questions: There are a few fundamental word questions covering addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

  • Proportions: You must be able to deduce the value of X from a proportion and create a proportion to calculate a percentage. (For example, 47 percent of the pupils in the class are female, and the total number of students is 54.) How many of your students are male?)

  • Conversions: Basic conversions include liters to milliliters, ounces to cups, gallons to cups, kilograms to pounds, milliliters to ounces, and so on.

  • Roman Numerals: Review your roman numerals (basic). There will be a few questions in which you will be asked to identify a roman numeral as a number. Here’s a simple roman numerals table to help you learn.

Read more>> HESI A2 Math Practice Test 


There are 30 exam items in the Science portion (25 scored and 5 pilot/unscored). Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology are the three sub-sections.


The biology subsection discusses biology fundamentals such as water, biological molecules, metabolism, cells, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, and so on.


The chemistry subsection includes questions about materials, chemical equations and reactions, the periodic table, atomic structure, nuclear chemistry, chemical bonding, and other topics.

Physiology and Anatomy

A&P is the most challenging element of the HESI A2. This section covers generic terminology as well as anatomical structures and systems.

  • Basic heart anatomy: Atriums and heart layers

  • Circulatory system: The circulatory system consists of major arteries and veins.

  • Endocrine system: What glands emit which hormones in the endocrine system? What do some hormones do. How certain glands are controlled.

  • Joints: Understand the fundamental body joints.

  • Muscles: A few fundamental muscle anatomy inquiries may inquire where a particular muscle is placed.

  • Skeletal system: Understand where each bone is located as well as the four fundamental types of bones. Learn about the functions of several forms of bone marrow.

  • Nervous system: Understand the different parts of the brain and the cranial nerves. Understand the anatomy of the ear and the eyes. Know what each organ in the nervous system does.

  • Cell organelles: Understand the functions of the cell’s organelles.

Many nursing programs need all eight HESI sub-tests, but not all. You should contact the nursing school to which you are applying to find out which examinations you will need to prepare for. In addition to the academic subject examinations, most candidates will be required to complete two extra components of the HESI A2 – Learning Style and Personality Profile. These latter two aren’t assessments of your knowledge; rather, they assess your aptitudes in certain areas thought vital for nursing school success. (Both of these are nearly always necessary).

Finally, although it is not part of the HESI A2, there is a companion test that is increasingly being used in nursing schools in addition to the HESI. The HESI Critical Thinking Exam is what it’s called. You should check with the colleges you’re applying to see if you’ll be required to take this test.

Visit our free HESI A2 Practice Test to study all the above sections with detailed practice questions and explanations.

How do you sign up for the exam? Where should you take it?

In most circumstances, the HESI test will be administered by the nursing school or program to which you are applying. It will be up to them to decide which of the several sub-tests you will take, how long each test will be, and where you will take the exam. They will also decide the price for taking the HESI A2. In many circumstances, the exam will be administered on the college campus. All of this information should be available on the website of the nursing program. If it isn’t, contact the school’s nursing department by phone or email.

What you need to know about test scores

On the HESI test, there are no official passing or failing results. Each nursing school or program has its own guidelines for ranking subtest scores. However, any score below 75 percent is generally seen as a sign that the candidate is not intellectually prepared for the requirements of nursing school in that location.

A score of 75 percent to 79 percent is regarded to be in the bottom range of acceptable, but an applicant with this score will most likely require a lot of aid to succeed in nursing school. Scores ranging from 80% to 89 % suggest that the applicant should be able to graduate from nursing school with minimal academic support. A score of 90% or more indicates that the exam taker is extremely likely to succeed in nursing school even without any academic aid.

Frequently asked questions – FAQs about the HESI A2 exam

what's on the hesi a2 exam

Do you have access to a calculator on the HESI?

On the HESI test, you may use a calculator. However, you are not permitted to bring your own. On-screen, a digital calculator will be offered.

How many questions are on the HESI A2?

The HESI A2 has 25-50 questions in each area. There are 25 questions in each scientific subject, and 50 questions in each math and English portion. Reading Comprehension is the only exception, with 47 questions.

What is the cost of taking the HESI?

Each institution determines the cost of taking the HESI admission test. You should anticipate paying between $35 to $70.

Is it possible to retake the HESI exam?

This is something that each school must determine for themselves. If a student is dissatisfied with their score, most institutions allow at least one retake. However, there is frequently a waiting time that must be met before retaking the exam. Some colleges allow many retakes, but only a certain number in a calendar year. Ideally, you will perform admirably on your first attempt and will not need to retake the HESI.

Is the HESI a2 exam hard?

You should spend some time studying before taking the HESI test. It will be a difficult exam, but it does not have to be as difficult as you believe. In truth, this test comprises a significant amount of information that is either common knowledge or that you should already be familiar with.

If you are fresh out of high school or another medical program or employment, you should find it easier to study and prepare for this exam. If you haven’t attended high school or any extra schooling in a while, you may need to take a refresher course on some of the subjects you’ll be tested on.

The HESI A2 exam is not easy at all! You can read: How to pass the HESI A2 exam to increase your chance of passing the test.

What is the HESI exam passing score?

Technically, there is no passing mark for the HESI test because each institution establishes its own requirements. 90 percent to 100 percent is regarded as exceptional, 80 percent to 89 percent is considered very good, and 75 percent to 79 percent is considered decent.

Is it possible to reschedule the exam if you do not feel prepared to take it?

To reschedule your exam, you must cancel your original test date 24 hours before it is supposed to take place. After that, you may sign up for and pay for a new exam.


One of the most efficient strategies to prepare for your nursing entrance exam is to take HESI practice exams. The example questions in our HESI practice examinations will give you an idea of how the actual exam will be administered. Furthermore, using HESI study materials will provide you with the critical preparation you need to succeed.

Hope that this article about What’s on the HESI A2 exam will help you in your future. Don’t forget to check out our website for more dependable practice exams, study guides, and resources for a range of different examinations!