what is the HESI

What is the HESI Exam & How to Prepare for the Exam?

What Is the HESI Test?

What does HESI stand for? HESI is short for Health Education Systems, Inc. Elsevier Student Life created the HESI exams to assist students studying for licensing and board exams, such as the National Council Licensure Examination, in the nursing and other health professions (NCLEX). The HESI tests offer a thorough evaluation that aids students in reviewing and tracking their progress in several topics.

How does the HESI exam work?

There is a strong possibility that if you are considering attending nursing school or are already enrolled, you will soon learn more about something called the HESI exam, an entry exam necessary for many nursing schools.

A business in the US called Health Education Systems Incorporated (HESI) aids nurses in getting ready for and passing their licensing exams.

The HESI test is one of the requirements for getting into many schools because it predicts how well nursing students will do. Nursing students may use tests and study materials from HESI throughout their curriculum. HESI is not used by all colleges and institutions. However, assisting students in studying for and passing their licensing examinations is becoming more common.

What Kinds of HESI Examinations Are There?

Students studying nursing and other health professions in many subjects can take the HESI exam.

Programs for the following roles offer HESI nursing exams:

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN/LVN), or Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN).

Health professions HESI exams include exams in areas like:

  • aiding in dentistry
  • dental health
  • Radiography
  • pulmonary care
  • massage treatment
  • helping in medicine
  • Coding and billing for medical insurance
  • Animal technology
  • Paramedicine

What Is the Purpose of the HESI Exam?

Students studying nursing and other health professions can take a variety of HESI tests. Instead, they are a set of tests and study materials that schools use to gauge how well their students understand the course and program content.

The many exam kinds that health care institutions offering programs in the aforementioned areas are free to incorporate into their curricula as they see fit.

For instance, many institutions demand that applicants pass the HESI A2, a test that covers reading, grammar, math, anatomy, chemistry, biology, and physiology.

In some schools, passing HESI specialist content area tests that are utilized as midterm or final exams is a requirement. For instance, the HESI nursing exams contain specialist exams that address topics like pharmacology and nutrition. There are three APRN specialist examinations, 14 LPN/LVN specialty exams, and 18 RN specialty exams. Exams for the health professions that include important subject matter, such as CPR and community health concepts, are also available.

A thorough exit test may also be used to wrap up these programs. Mobility tests are also given for programs that involve a transition, such as LPN to BSN or EMS to ADN programs.

What Advantages Come with Passing the HESI Test?

HESI entrance examinations are used by schools to ensure that you correct any academic weaknesses up front and prevent future setbacks once you start your core coursework.

Contrarily, HESI specialty exams include challenging questions that evaluate your critical-thinking abilities in a manner similar to that of board exams, so by the time you take your license exam, you will be accustomed to these kinds of questions. This technique of study is intended to make you feel more at ease on test day, even though it can be challenging and stressful at times.

The NCLEX and other board exams’ format and substance are closely mirrored in the cumulative exit exams’ design. These commonalities mean that your scores can serve as a reliable indicator of how well you’ll perform on the actual exam.

HESI Exit Exam vs. HESI A2


Some schools administer the 4-hour HESI A2 exam to potential nursing applicants. This test may be used by schools to decide whether a candidate is eligible for admission to their program.

Also, schools can decide what a passing score is for their curriculum and modify the tests accordingly. For more information on the HESI exam, speak with your nursing program if you plan to take it.


The HESI A2 consists of 326 questions. The exam consists of nine distinct sessions covering the following topics:

  • Read: 47 inquiries
  • evaluates a student’s capacity to learn about and draw conclusions from medical and health conditions.
  • 47 questions on comprehension
  • lexical: 50 questions
  • basic medical terminology
  • Grammar: fifty queries
  • 50 questions in math
  • The HESI A2 covers a wide range of topics, including multiplication, household measurements, fractions, ratios, decimals, addition, and subtraction.
  • Top 25 questions in biology
  • Basic biological concepts like nomenclature, metabolism, cellular respiration, and photosynthesis are tested in this part.
  • 25 questions on biology and anatomy questions about the terminology, bodily systems, and anatomical structures
  • : 25 questions in physics
  • 25 questions in chemistry
  • include inquiries about the periodic table, bonding, chemical equations, and reactions
  • Remember that schools might alter the test by omitting certain information. The HESI A2 exam also seeks to identify candidates’ learning preferences in order to provide institutions with more details about the student.

A HESI exit test

As a student approaches graduation, nursing schools administer the HESI Exit Test to assist assess their readiness for the NCLEX exam. In certain schools, the exam is also used to decide whether or not students can graduate.

According to the business, the HESI Exit exam has a 98% accuracy rate in predicting whether or not a student will pass the NCLEX exam.


The HESI RN EXIT test has 150 questions. There are either 150 or 75 questions on the HESI LPN Exit Test. Both tests seek to evaluate critical thinking while simulating their respective NCLEX Examinations.

The HESI Exit Test covers the following types of questions as a test comparable to the NCLEX:

  • Many options
  • Many replies
  • Justify the following
  • Drag/drop

In order to get certified and start working as a nurse, nursing school graduates must take and pass the NCLEX. Schools seek to ensure that students can pass their licensing exam after graduation for this reason. All of the topics covered on the HESI Exit Test are ones that nursing schools spend a lot of time studying.


Topics for the HESI Exit Exam:

The Nursing Process

  • Assessment
  • Nursing Diagnosis
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation

Client Needs

  • a secure and efficient setting
  • Care management
  • Safety
  • preventing infection
  • healthy living
  • mental and social stability
  • basic comfort and care
  • medications and parenteral therapies


  • Nursing fundamentals
  • Geriatrics
  • Medical-Surgical
  • Pediatrics
  • Critical Care
  • Community health
  • Mental Health

How Many Questions Are on the HESI?

There are 150 questions on the HESI RN Exit Test and either 150 or 75 questions on the HESI LPN Exit Exam.

How many times is the HESI exam allowable?

The HESI admission test may be taken once every 60 days by students. There is a cap of three times each calendar year, though. The validity of scores is two years.

Is a Calculator Allowed on the HESI Exam?

It is prohibited to bring your own calculator. During exam time, you may only use the calculator that is displayed on your computer screen.

What is the HESI Test Passing Score?

Your nursing school program will determine the HESI A2 passing scores for you. To find out the requirements for passing, check with your program.

The results of the HESI Exit Test serve as a forecast for the test-performance taker’s on the NCLEX. Before graduating, students may have to meet the requirements set forth by their respective nursing schools. Also, some schools could limit the number of times a student can take the exam, usually to two.

According to the HESI website, the following exam scoring can be used to predict NCLEX passing scores:

Over 950: Great chance of passing, 900-940: Good chance of passing, 850-899: Average chance of passing, 800-849: Below average chance of passing, 750-799: Need for additional study, 700-749: Serious study, 650-699: Chance of failing
Expecting bad performance for grades under 649

What Is the Price of the HESI Exam?

The institution administering the HESI exam determines the exam’s price. But typically, they cost $40 to $100 or more.

Why Is the HESI Examination Required?

The HESI A2 exam is frequently a requirement for entrance to several schools. The HESI Exit test offers a tool to gauge NCLEX success as students get closer to graduation. By taking the HESI exam, students can find out where they are weak before taking the NCLEX exam.

How to Apply to Take the HESI Test

To take any HESI exam, receive test results, sign up for distance examinations, and make payments, you must first register. You’ll also need to register as a student to do this.

  • Create an account at https://evolve.elsevier.com/cs in order to begin.
  • Choose “I’m a student” in step two.
  • Step 3: Click “Register for Distance Testing” on the following screen.
  • Step 4: Click “Register” on the following screen, then either complete the payment or provide a discount coupon.
  • Remember that you might need to follow additional procedures from your university if you want to create an Elsevier account or sign up for a HESI exam. If your professors have any additional prerequisites for registration, ask them.

The Best Way to Study for the HESI Test

Although right now it may seem like an overwhelming task, you can succeed if you prepare ahead of time and comprehend the specifics of the HESI exam. When you get closer to graduation, you’ll probably have to study for a HESI exam in order to be admitted into another nursing program.

Here are some advice for the HESI exam:

  • Understand the topics covered by your exam. The portions of the HESI exam students will take depends on the nursing program. Knowing what they are can help you concentrate on the most important areas.
  • Know how long the test will last and how many questions there will be.
  • Recognize that you won’t receive a standard letter grade but rather a number between 100 and 1000. The greater the score, however each nursing program may have different standards for passing the exam For more information, consult the program’s administration.
  • Use a HESI study manual.
  • Use or create HESI flashcards.
  • Make time to study.
  • If you are already enrolled in a nursing program, use the HESI practice exams to identify your areas of weakness.

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