How is the HESI A2 Nursing Exam Scored?

Scoring System for the HESI A2 Nursing Exam

Students who take the Health Education Systems, Inc. Admissions Assessment (HESI A2) tests will receive percentage scores on each of the 10 subtests that they take. They will also receive a cumulative score, which is the average of all scores received on the HESI A2 subtests.

It is important to understand that there is no set passing or required score that applies to all test-takers. Each school determines its own HESI A2 score requirements. Individuals preparing to take the HESI A2 need to check the admission guidelines for the postsecondary institution they are applying to. Some schools have cumulative score requirements while other schools look at individual exam results. Some schools may consider both scores.

Cumulative Scores

Two factors determine the minimum cumulative score a nursing program applicant needs to earn. One is the standards of the school they are applying to and the other is the type of nursing program they are planning to attend.

School Requirements

Each college or university that uses the HESI A2 can establish their own score requirements for aspiring students. For example, Miami Dade College will only consider nursing program applicants who earn a minimum cumulative score of 65%, Louisiana State University's admission requirement is a cumulative score of 80% while Lewis-Clark State College expects applicants to earn a minimum of 70%.

Program Requirements

Higher cumulative scores may be needed to apply to some nursing programs. Elsevier, the creator of the HESI A2, reports that it's common for registered nursing programs to expect applicants to have a cumulative score of 75% on the HESI A2, while those applying to licensed practical or licensed vocational nursing programs may only need to have a cumulative score of 70% to qualify to apply.

Individual Exam Scores

In some cases, schools establish expectations for results on individual HESI A2 tests. For example, schools may require students to earn a score of at least 75% on the basic math skills subtest or 85% on reading comprehension. These schools may set minimum requirements on all the subtests they require or they may have minimum score requirements for just some of the required tests. Students concerned about scoring requirements on individual subtests can check with their schools prior to taking the exam.

When Test Scores Are Available

Test-takers can receive their scores on each exam after they complete the HESI A2 testing requirements. In some cases, individuals may see their results on the computer once they complete a test. Copies of their score results are provided in printed form at the end of the testing period.

What Happens if Test-takers Don't Score High Enough

Many colleges and universities allow individuals to take the HESI A2 again if their scores don't meet the school's minimum requirements. Some schools have waiting periods; others may limit the number of times a person can test within an application period. It is important to check on the retake policy for the college that you plan to attend to know what your options are.

Preparing to Retake the Test


Elsevier offers a remediation program to all individuals who do not succeed on their first attempt on the HESI A2. The remediation program is designed to help them improve their scores in the areas where they had difficulty. There is no charge for Elsevier's remediation training.

HESI A2 Study Course

The HESI Admission Assessment Exam Course is an excellent online study program that was created to guide individuals preparing for the HESI A2 through all of the information that they will be tested on. Those who take this program can fit in study time at their convenience while working through the 109 lessons offered.

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).

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