HESI scores are used by nursing schools to review applications during the admissions process. Schools use the score to help identify if a student will have success in their nursing program.
The HESI is unique because every school can choose which sections to administer. Every school also sets their own passing scores and score requirements.
There are a total of 8 potential sections that can be administered, but all 8 are usually not given. Most schools like to see their students score above 75%.
If you want to practice for the exam, take a free HESI A2 practice test.
How is the HESI Exam Scored?
Each section of the exam is scored (separately) on a percentage scale from 0% to 100%. For example, if you scored 50 out of 55 on the math section, you would receive a score of 91% on that section.
While each section of the exam is scored separately, you will also receive a cumulative score. This cumulative score is the average of all your subtest scores.
Example: If you scored the following –
- 91% in math
- 85% in grammar
- 82% in reading comprehension
- 88% in vocabulary
Your cumulative score would be 86.5%.
Some schools may require students to have a cumulative score above a certain number (usually above 75%). Other schools may require students to score above a certain percentage for each subtest they take. The requirements by school and program will vary.
If the program you are applying to is a competitive program, you will most likely need a higher score. A higher score will help you stand out when compared to other candidates.
HESI Score Conversion Chart
Many students are curious about what their scores actually mean. You can reference the HESI conversion score chart below to get a better idea of what your score means.
|80% to 89%||Very Good|
|75% to 79%||Satisfactory|
|Below 74%||Needs Improvement|
What is a Good HESI Score?
A good HESI score is any score that allows you to get into the nursing program of your choice. Since every school has their own guidelines, this is not set in stone.
Your program will most likely provide some guidance on a specific HESI passing score, but some programs do not.
In general, you should be shooting for a HESI score above 75%. This is the minimum score that a lot of schools and programs use as a baseline.
Want to raise your score? Take our HESI practice test to prepare.
HESI Score Calculator
Many students want to know how many questions they need to answer correctly to pass the exam. While every school has their own requirements, a score of 75%+ is a good starting point.
We have calculated the minimum number of questions you would need to answer correctly for each subject to achieve a 75%.
|Subject||# of Questions Answered Correctly||Total # of Questions||% HESI Score|
|HESI Anatomy and Physiology||23||30||76%|
Each section has some unscored questions, so the number of questions you need to answer correctly may slightly vary.
If you are shooting for a high score, you can create your own HESI score calculator. Simply take the number of questions you expect to answer correctly and divide by the total number of questions.
HESI Math Scores
The math section of the HESI is designed to evaluate a student’s basic mathematical skills. A basic 8th/9th grade knowledge is sufficient.
|90%+||Students should be able to calculate all levels of math needed.||Excellent|
|80% to 89%||Students should be able to calculate most levels of math needed, but may need some additional assistance for higher level math.||Very Good|
|75% to 79%||Students will require different levels of assistance when it comes to math.||Satisfactory|
|74% or Below||Students will need additional assistance in the form of a remediation program when it comes to math.||Needs Improvement|
HESI Vocabulary Scores
This exam tests a student’s general knowledge and vocabulary on a 10th grade level.
|90%+||A student who is well-read and has vocab skills at a 10th – 11th grade level.||Excellent|
|80% to 89%||A student who can be successful in nursing school but may need to look up or re-read certain areas.||Very Good|
|75% to 79%||A student who may have some trouble keeping up with reading assignments.||Satisfactory|
|74% or Below||A student who will need to seek out additional help from a reading or vocabulary program.||Needs Improvement|
HESI Reading Comprehension Scores
This exam tests a student’s ability to understand basic 8th grade level text.
|90%+||A student who can read and comprehend nursing and health textbooks.||Excellent|
|80% to 89%||A student who should be successful in reading and comprehending nursing and health textbooks.||Very Good|
|75% to 79%||A student who may have some difficulty following along with reading assignments.||Satisfactory|
|74% or Below||A student who will need to seek out additional help in the form of a remediation program when it comes to reading.||Needs Improvement|
HESI Grammar Scores
The grammar exam tests basic high school level grammar skills to ensure students are able to navigate the learning resources that will be present in their program.
|90%+||A student who can complete written assignments relatively easy when it comes to grammar.||Excellent|
|80% to 89%||A student who should be able to complete written assignments but they may need some review by someone before being submitted.||Very Good|
|75% to 79%||A student who has difficulty with grammar in terms of writing and speaking. Outside assistance will be helpful.||Satisfactory|
|74% or Below||A student who will most likely need to enroll in an English or Grammar program before entering nursing school.||Needs Improvement|
HESI Subject Test Scores
These scores include anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry, and physics.
|90%+||A student who has comprehensive knowledge of the topic.||Excellent|
|80% to 89%||A student who should be well prepared to enter nursing school.||Very Good|
|75% to 79%||A student who has some knowledge of the topic, but may need some outside help while in nursing school.||Satisfactory|
|74% or Below||A student who will need to enroll into a remediation program or complete a pre-requisite class before entering nursing school.||Needs Improvement|
As stated above, each program and school will have their own requirements.
Most schools require a score above 75% to be considered for their program. Students should strive to get the highest score possible to stand out against their peers.
If you want to start your preparation, use our HESI A2 practice test to begin your studies.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a passing HESI score?
There is not one standardized passing HESI score. Each school and program have their own passing requirements.
With that being said, you can generally expect to need to score above the 70-75% range in order to “pass” the exam.
Can you retake the HESI?
HESI retakes depend on your school or program. Many programs do allow students to retake the exam.
How do I see my HESI score?
You can locate your HESI score by creating and logging into your Evolve account.