HESI Entrance Exam

If you are thinking about going to nursing school or are already enrolled, there is a good chance you will soon become more familiar with something called the HESI exam, an entrance exam required for many nursing programs. Health Education Systems Incorporated (HESI) is a company in the United States that helps nurses prepare for and pass their licensure exams. The HESI exam is a predictor of nursing student success and many schools use the exam as a part of the admissions criteria for acceptance. HESI also provides exams and study materials for nursing students to use during their program. Not all colleges and universities use HESI. However, it is becoming more common to help students study and pass their licensure exams.   

LINK to Admission Assessment Exam Review 5th Edition - Click Here

*Recommended Exam Reviewer before the Exam

The HESI is a 4-hour exam that schools give to prospective nursing candidates. Schools may use this test to determine if the applicant qualifies for acceptance into their program. 
- Schools may also customize the tests for their program and determine what a passing score is. If you are taking the HESI exam, contact your nursing program for more exam details.


There are 326 questions of the Exam. The test includes nine different sections in the following subjects:

  • Reading: 47 questions
    • Measures the student’s ability to read about medical
      and health situations and make conclusions

  • Comprehension: 47 questions
  • Vocabulary: 50 questions
    • Basic health-care vocabulary

  • Grammar: 50 questions
  • Math: 50 questions
    • The HESI A2 covers many areas, including addition, subtraction, fractions, ratios, decimals, multiplication, household measures, and dosage calculations

  • Biology: 25 questions
    • This section tests biology basics such as terminology, metabolism, cellular respiration, photosynthesis

  • Anatomy and Physiology: 25 questions
    • Questions on anatomical structures, body systems,
      and terminology

  • Physics: 25 questions
  • Chemistry: 25 questions
    • May include questions on chemical equations, reactions, bonding, and the periodic table

HESI Exam fee of $65.00


* If a non-passing score is received, request to retake must be approved by Program director, HESI reattempt not guaranteed."

Keep in mind that schools can change the test by excluding some information. The HESI exam also aims to discover candidates' learning styles, giving schools more information about the student.

General Questions  about the HESI Exam
How to Prepare for the HESI Exam
Studying for the HESI exam might seem like a monumental process now, but if you plan ahead and understand the details about the test, you can succeed! You will likely need to prepare for a HESI exam before being accepted to a nursing program again as you approach graduation.



Here are a few helpful HESI exam tips:

  1. Know what subjects will be on your exam. Each nursing program can decide which parts of the HESI exam they will give students. It is essential to know what they are so that you can focus on areas of importance.

  2. Know how many questions there will be on the test and how long you have to take it.

  3. Understand that you will not receive a traditional letter grade score, but a score from 100-1000. The higher the score, the better; however, each nursing program may have its own criteria for passing the test.
    Talk to administrators in your program for more details.

  4. Use a HESI study guide.

  5. Use HESI flashcards or make your own.

  6. Have a study schedule.

  7. If you are already in your nursing program, use the HESI practice tests as a way to find your weak spots.