Passing the HESI A2 Nursing Exam

How to Pass the HESI A2 Nursing Exam

Individuals preparing for the Health HESI A2 tests can utilize a variety of reputable resources and study strategies to enhance their study process and successfully pass the exams. There are also several practical things that individuals can do to prepare properly.

Study Resource Materials

Several websites offer free practice tests, study guides, sample questions and other study resources. Test-takers may want to check on the credibility of each website before relying on their resources by doing additional research online or checking with their selected college or university.

Review Course

Specifically designed to help individuals work through all of the material that is on the HESI A2 nursing exam, the HESI Admission Assessment Exam Course contains 109 lessons. Individuals can work through the lesson material whenever it suits them. All lessons are accessible online.

Test Content and Practice Questions

Many postsecondary institutions offer links to reputable study materials that they recommend. These materials are found on websites that offer a general overview of the different exams that make up the HESI A2 and explain what information or skills test-takers will need to demonstrate on the different tests. Sites like these may also provide individuals with practice questions they can use to study.

Practice Tests

Reputable test prep sites can also offer individuals practice tests that they can take online to determine how well they may do if they were taking the HESI A2 exams. Practice tests contain a set number of questions and individuals receive a report at the end indicating which questions the test-taker got wrong, along with an explanation of the correct answers.

Study Strategies

There are some specific things that individuals can do that may help them study more effectively when preparing for the HESI A2 tests.

Schedule Study Time

Telling yourself that you'll squeeze study time in when you're free isn't a good idea. It is important to block out chunks of time, even if that means just 10 minutes during your lunch break each day for several weeks. Individuals who block study time out on their calendar will be reminded to study regularly and they will also know how much study time they have available, which will keep them from booking their exams before they're ready.

Join a Study Group

Many people can rationalize skipping study sessions if they only have to answer to themselves. Joining a study group or working with a study partner can be beneficial for a number of reasons.

  • Test-takers will schedule regular study sessions
  • Study group members may be able to explain information others are having difficulty with
  • Working with others ensures test-takers will study for all parts of the test and not skip over areas they find more difficult

If you do not have the ability to join a group or work with a study partner you can ask someone to hold you accountable for studying regularly. Knowing that a parent, partner or friend will ask if you have studied each day can help motivate you to maintain a regular study schedule.

Practical Preparation

Know Which Tests You're Taking and How Much Time You Have

Each postsecondary institution decides which of the nine HESI A2 exams that they will require for admission, so test-takers can check with their selected college or university to determine which tests they will need to take.

Additionally, each testing site determines the amount of time that HESI A2 test-takers receive to complete the exams. It can be helpful to know how much time you will have so that you budget your time accordingly when taking the tests.

This table provides a list of the nine subtests that make up the HESI A2 and recommended testing times for each section, which can be useful for test preparation. Keep in mind that your total time to take the test is dependent on your test location.

Test NameRecommended Time to Complete
Anatomy & Physiology 25 minutes
Basic Math Skills 50 minutes
Biology 25 minutes
Chemistry 25 minutes
Grammar 50 minutes
Learning Style 15 minutes
Personality Profile 15 minutes
Reading Comprehension 60 minutes
Vocabulary & General Knowledge 50 minutes

Learn About the Testing System

The Evolve Elsevier website, which created the HESI A2, has videos that provide general information about the HESI and that prepare individuals for the testing process. All individuals who are taking the HESI A2 are required to register on the Elsevier website and can access these videos through their account.

Know if You Qualify for Accommodations

Some schools do have a process for reviewing requests for accommodations that applies to admissions tests. Examples of accommodations that a test-taker may qualify for include access to a Sign Language Interpreter or having a scribe available to write notes.

It is important to contact the disability services department of the college where you will take your test to determine how to apply for testing accommodations and what types of adjustments you may be eligible for before you schedule your HESI A2 exams. This will ensure that you have the supports that you need in place when testing.

Resources for Individuals Re-taking the HESI A2

Individuals who do not pass the HESI A2 are eligible for remediation training that is provided through the Elsevier website. This is provided at no charge and is specifically developed to help each test-taker focus on improving their performance on the parts of the tests they did not do well on.

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 certification examinations, such as the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

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