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By Education Team | 26 Aug. 2019

How to Pass the HESI Exam

How To Pass the HESI Exam

Getting into a good nursing program or many other types of healthcare programs requires passing the HESI exam. The following information tells you everything you should know regarding how to pass the HESI exam.

Know the Exam

It’s important to know all the details regarding the exam before taking it. There are technically two HESI exams. The HESI A2 is taken when you’re applying to a nursing program. There is also a HESI exit exam that’s taken when graduating from a nursing program. This information in this article refers to the HESI A2. Currently, there are 326 questions on the exam. The exam is broken into 9 separate sections. You are given 4 hours to complete the exam. Most schools require you to receive 75% to 80% on the test. Currently you aren’t allowed to bring your own calculator for the test. There is, however, an on screen calculator that you can use.

Know the Sub-Sections

The HESI A2 consists of 9 different sections. The following are each of the specific sections you’ll cover during the test. Some schools require applicants to complete every section of the test. Other’s may not. It’s important that you know exactly what sections the schools you’re applying to require. You’re not required to take each section in any particular order. It’s usually advised to take the sections that are easiest for you first.

  • General Knowledge & Vocabulary
  • Basic Math
  • Grammar
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Personality
  • Learning Style

Invest in a Study Guide

If you can’t find one for free, it’s a good idea to invest in a quality study guide. Make sure to choose a study guide that has been specifically written for the HESI A2 exam. It’s possible that your local library may have copies of a good guide you can check out for free. Make sure to get a current guide that will have questions most similar to the ones on the test you’ll be taking.

Create a Study Routine

Cramming a few days before a test may work with some tests. It almost certainly won’t work with the HESI A2 exam because it’s such an extensive test that covers a wide range of material. You’ll want to schedule your test date a few months, or at least several weeks ahead. You’ll then want to create a study routine to give yourself a specific amount of time most days to study.

Take a Practice Test

No matter how much you read about something, it’s always better to actually get hands-on experience. Taking at least one practice test will help you get a feel for the real exam. You’ll also learn which areas of the test you need to work on. If you don’t do well the first time, that’s okay. Taking several practice tests will help you get comfortable with taking tests as well as help you learn the material.

Get Plenty of Rest

You should try to keep your schedule light the day or two before the exam. You don’t want to be stressed or worn out the day of the test. Make sure you have an alarm or someone to wake you so you’ll have plenty of time to get ready. You don’t want to be rushed or tired right before the test.

Read Each Question Carefully

This exam is known to be a bit tricky. It’s important that you take the time to carefully read each question and each answer. This may seem like simple advice, but this is very important when learning how to pass the HESI A2 exam. Sometimes the answer for each question is very clear. Other times there may be answers that might be partially correct but aren’t the overall best answer. You may need to read the question and answers a few times before the correct answer stands out.

Manage Your Time

This is a long test and it’s important to manage your time when taking it. As stated earlier, you’ll want to carefully read through all directions, questions, and answers. If you’re really stuck on a particular question, temporarily pass over it. If you spend too much time on a single question you may run out of time to carefully consider the others. In each section answer all the ones you clearly know first. Then make sure to go back and read over those you may have skipped.

Knowing how to pass the HESI exam won’t be difficult if you follow each of these steps. Preparation and good study habits are essential to passing the test.