What Does the HESI A2 Nursing Exam Consist of?

What is on the HESI A2 Nursing Exam?

When individuals applying to postsecondary nursing programs are required to take the Health Education Systems, Inc. Admissions Assessment (HESI A2) exam they may be expected to complete as many as nine exams that are part of the HESI A2. This chart outlines the typical time needed, and the total number of questions asked for each test that is part of the HESI A2.

Test NameNumber of Minutes NeededNumber of Scored QuestionsNumber of Pilot Questions
Anatomy & Physiology 25 25 5
Basic Math Skills 50 50 5
Biology 25 25 5
Chemistry 25 25 5
Grammar 50 50 5
Learning Style 15 14 -
Personality Profile 15 15 -
Reading Comprehension 60 50 5
Vocabulary & General Knowledge 50 50 5

This means that the total amount of time suggested to complete all HESI A2 exams is 315 minutes, or 5 hours and 15 minutes. The maximum number of questions that an individual may be required to answer is 339. Of the 339 total questions, 35 are pilot questions that do not count towards the test-taker's score. Only 304 are used for scoring purposes.

HESI A2 Test Section Content

Below you'll find a breakdown of the content that is found in each of the primary test sections.

Anatomy & Physiology

In order to do well on this HESI A2 test, individuals will need to demonstrate that they know where different body parts are located and their functions. They are tested on their knowledge of the bones, muscular tissue, circulatory system, nervous system, organs and other systems that make up the human body.

Basic Math Skills

Everything from addition, multiplication, subtraction to division may be the basis for test questions on the basic math skills exam. Individuals should understand fractions, know how to work with exponents, decimals and be capable of performing calculations. They may also need to have an understanding of basic measurements that are used in everyday life.


The biology test focuses on things like cells, the process of photosynthesis, basic biological processes, and cellular respiration. Additional topics covered could include water, metabolism and biological molecules such as proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates.


Individuals will be tested on their knowledge of atoms and atomic structures, matter and different elements from the periodic table. Test takers may also need to be familiar with chemical reactions along with chemical equations. Test questions could also focus on topics such as chemical bonds and nuclear chemistry.


The English testing for the HESI A2 encompasses the grammar, reading comprehension and vocabulary and general knowledge tests. Test takers may need to show that they know how to use punctuation properly, how to use adjectives, correct sentence structure and how to identify the main idea in a written passage. When taking the English tests, individuals could also be asked to identify the main idea of a text.

HESI A2 Study Resource

This 109-lesson HESI Admission Assessment Exam Course was developed for individuals preparing to take the HESI A2 tests. It allows individuals to review relevant material anywhere they have an internet connection whenever it suits their schedule.

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