HESI Study Guide

HESI Study GuideMany nursing programs will require prospective students to take a HESI Admissions Assessment (A2) Entrance Exam.  For most schools, the score you achieve on your HESI are a critical factor in your admissions.  Schools are under intense pressure to only admit the best students so that their retention, passing and placement rates meet their accreditation standards.  The good news is that your score on the HESI A2 Entrance Exam can easily be increased with the right study guide. provides two free methods for preparing for your HESI: Free HESI Practice Exams and HESI Flash Cards.  For those students that prefer a traditional HESI Study Guide, we also recommend a few that we have found useful.

Free HESI Practice Exams:

HESI A2 Math Practice Test- Note: The Math Tests are randomized, so please take the test multiple times.

HESI A2 Vocabulary Practice Test - Note: The Vocab Tests are randomized, so please take the test multiple times.

HESI A2 Grammar Practice Test

HESI A2 Reading Practice Test

Free HESI Flash Cards:

HESI A2 Math Flash Cards

HESI A2 Vocabulary Flash Cards

HESI A2 Anatomy and Physiology Flash Cards


Recommended HESI Study Guides:

AMZ Hesi Study Guide

The HESI A2 Entrance Exam can consist of up to 10 different exams: four on general content, four on subject specific content and two on personality and learning style:  The four content exams are: Math, Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary and Grammar.  The four subject exams are: Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry, Physics and Biology.  The subject exams are typically required if your Nursing program has one or more of these subjects as a pre-requisite.  The last two exams are intended to identify a student's learning style.  Nursing programs can pick and choose which of the exams that they offer, depending on their own admissions criteria.

Each Nursing program will have their own criteria with respect to their required scores on the HESI A2.  Some schools will require absolute minimum scores, while other schools will look at the score in relation to other admissions criteria (e.g., High School grades, experience, etc.).  Some schools will judge your scores in relation to other students vying for a spot in an upcoming term (i.e., schools may decide to take the top 50 scores for a specific term).

In general, if you want to do well on your HESI Entrance Exam, you should make sure that you are well prepared.  Effective HESI study techniques include:

  • Know what is on the exam.  See our HESI Entrance Exam overview for more details.
  • Take practice HESI exams
  • Review material with HESI Flashcards

Another thing to keep in mind is to make sure you have good test taking skills. Having good test taking skills allows you to still have a chance at getting the correct answer without knowing the material.  Good test taking skills also allow you to have a lot more time when taking the test and insure that you will not run out of time.

Ways to study:
One way you can study is by reviewing the most basic content.  By reviewing the most basic content you are insuring that you will get some answers right on the HESI exam.  When you are doing practice questions, make sure you know why the right answer is right and why the wrong answers are wrong.  If you just randomly pick an answer and get it right but you don’t know why it is right then that will not help you.

One of the most important things you can do on the HESI exam is read the questions and analyze it.  Reading the questions will ensure you will not misinterpret the question and not make a mental mistake. Sometimes on these tests they will give you information that is irrelevant and you should be able to pick out that irrelevant information.