HESI A2 Test

The HESI Admission Assessment or A2 exam is used nationwide as an entrance exam for many schools, universities, and institutions that offer nursing programs. Each school may use their own criteria for determining what an acceptable passing score is and also which sections of the exam to use. Therefore, it is important to check with your nursing program about if you need to take this exam, what sections of it are required, and what your scores will need to be for each of those sections.

Online HESI A2 Prep Course

If you want to be fully prepared, Mometrix offers an online HESI A2 Prep Course. The course is designed to provide you with any and every resource you might want while studying. The HESI A2 Course includes:

  • Review Lessons Covering Every Topic
  • 3,250+ HESI A2 Practice Questions
  • More than 550 Digital Flashcards
  • Over 150 Instructional Videos
  • Money-back Guarantee
  • Free Mobile Access
  • and More!

The HESI A2 Prep Course is designed to help any learner get everything they need to prepare for their HESI A2 exam. Click below to check it out!

Who is Eligible?

While this exam is widely used as a nursing school entrance exam, some schools may choose to use other tests instead of this one. Moreover, each school will have their own set of criteria that they use along with this exam to determine the right candidates for them.

Be sure to check with your school’s admissions and/or nursing department to determine if you qualify for admittance and to take the HESI A2. Some may require that you have a certain GPA, taken and passed other exams, and/or have completed certain paperwork requirements.

There is an exam fee of $35 to $90 depending on your school of choice. There may be scholarships or assistance available for financial help. Your admissions and/or nursing department will have the information necessary for this if it is provided.

When and Where is it Taken?

Timing and locations of the HESI A2 usually depend on the school or institution you are applying to. Some schools offer the exam every couple of weeks at locations on their campus, while others may only offer it a few times a year at Prometric testing sites. However, most nursing schools that use the HESI and any of its sections typically try to schedule testing dates so that they correspond to admission application deadlines.

Check with the admission office/department for a complete list of testing dates, times and locations that are available to you.

What Should I Bring?

Be sure to arrive early for your HESI exam. There is a sign in process that must be completed with some institutions giving the opportunity to pay for the exam upon arrival. Those who arrive late will not be admitted and will have to reschedule for another date.

It is important that you bring at least one form of personal identification with you to the testing site. This must include your full name as it appears on your registration information, a recent and recognizable photo, and your signature. If the one that you present has missing or incorrect information, you may be asked to present another one or not admitted to test at all.

You will also need to make sure you know your login information for your HESI account, as the test is taken on a computer.

You will not need to bring any other personal items with you. This includes calculators, pencils, scratch paper, or any other testing supplies. These will be provided for you when you arrive. It is important to note that any electronic devices, including cell phones, are strictly prohibited and are grounds for dismissal.

What is Covered?

There is a total of 10 possible sections in this exam. Eight of those are used for academic purposes. The other two, labeled as Learning Style and Personality Profile, are not used towards your score calculations. However, they are used by some schools and nursing programs to select the best candidates for admittance.

Each school and/or nursing program is allowed to pick and choose which sections of the HESI A2 are most compatible for their program and, therefore, may not use all eight of them. Be sure to check with the admission or nursing department at your school to understand which sections will be covered on your testing day.

The complete HESI A2 is made up of 169 multiple choice questions. You will be given about 5 hours and 15 minutes to complete this exam if all sections are used. Each section is typically timed separately.

Below is a brief outline of all eight academic sections, including the number of questions in each and how much time is typically given.

Reading Comprehension

  • Understand word meanings
  • Analyzing Texts
  • Create logical inferences
  • Identifying main ideas and topic sentences
  • Understand passages

You are given 47 minutes to complete 60 multiple choice questions.

Vocabulary and General Knowledge

  • Medical and healthcare terms
  • Using context to find the meaning of reference terms

You will be given vocabulary words and be expected to know and understand each one to determine their definitions. You are given 50 minutes to complete 50 multiple choice questions.


  • Parts of speech
  • Common errors
  • Important terms and uses

You are given 50 minutes to complete 50 multiple choice questions.

Basic Math Skills

  • Addition and Subtraction
  • Multiplication and Division
  • Decimals and fractions
  • Measurements
  • Proportions and ratios
  • Mean, median and mode
  • Ways to read tables and graphs
  • Other math basics

You are given 50 minutes to complete 50 multiple choice questions.

Anatomy and Physiology

  • Anatomical terms
  • Anatomical structures
  • Anatomical systems

You are given 25 minutes to complete 25 multiple choice questions.


  • Chemical equations and reactions
  • Atomic structure
  • Chemical Bonding
  • The periodic table
  • Matter
  • Nuclear chemistry

You are given 25 minutes to complete 25 multiple choice questions.


  • Cells
  • Genetics
  • Photosynthesis
  • Taxonomy
  • Metabolism
  • Cellular respiration
  • Water
  • Biological Molecules
  • Other biology basics

You are given 25 minutes to complete 25 multiple choice questions.


  • Rotation
  • Friction
  • Newton’s Laws of Motion
  • Energy
  • Gravitation
  • Projectile motion
  • Average speed
  • Light
  • Optics
  • Acceleration

You are given 25 minutes to complete 25 multiple choice questions.

The Learning Style section consists of 14 questions and the Personality Profile has 15 questions. You are given 15 minutes to complete each of these sections.

How is it Scored?

Scores for the HESI A2 are made available to you as soon as you finish online through your HESI account. These are typically printed out for you at the testing site. Here you can also find a detailed report of your scores, including a breakdown of each section and your final composite score, which is an average taken from all the graded sections of the exam you took. You can access your HESI account online for more details and to have access to your scores at a later date.

The HESI A2 does not have an established minimum passing score for all schools nationwide. However, nursing programs will use your score, as well as the not scored sections of the exam, to assist them in deciding on whether or not you would be a good fit for their program. Many schools may require a certain score on the exam as a whole or each section to be eligible for admittance.

If you do not pass this exam or meet the standards of your nursing program, retakes are typically provided depending on availability. However, there is a retake fee in most cases.

How Can I Prepare for the HESI A2 Test?

We believe that different learning styles require different tools for success. We have compiled a list of the best study guides, flashcards, and practice tests that we’ve found on the market. Some of these guides have review videos, for you visual learners out there. Others have practice tests, which have been proven to increase student scores by a whole letter grade (in some cases more than that)!

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Last Updated: March 7, 2024