The HESI Admission Assessment (A2) Exam is used by nursing schools as part of the admissions testing processes. The intent of the HESI A2 Entrance Exam is to determine whether a student will do well with the nursing curriculum that the school is offering. The exam will potentially test a student on eight different content areas as well as an assessment of learning styles and personality. Schools, however, will typically focus on the general content areas such as Math, Reading Comprehension, Grammar and Vocabulary - unless they have pre-requisites for the subject specific areas of Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Biology and Physics.
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The key to preparing for your HESI A2 entrance exam is to study smart. The best way to study for your HESI is to focus on:
- Understanding what's on the test. For help, see our HESI Entrance Exam overview.
- Being flexible in your studies
- Focusing on the material that you don't know. HESI A2 Practice tests will help you identify these areas.
- Studying when you are most alert
In addition to these basic principles, you should also keep the following study tips in mind:
Practice. Practice. Practice.
To insure that you do your best on the HESI A2, it is important that you have a feel for what the exam will be like. One of the most effective ways to prepare is to take HESI practice exams. The benefits of taking practice exams is that they will get you used to the style and format of the actual exam. Another critical benefit is that your score on the practice exams will help you focus you study (so that you can concentrate on the material that you don't know). To get the most out of your practice exams, try taking them with self-imposed time limits.
Carefully Read The Entire Question and All The Answers
When you are taking the HESI, it is critical that you carefully read the question and all of the answers. Test writers often use trick to distract you or keep you from seeing the right answer. For example, some times a test question will have distracting information that is not required. Oftentimes, the test writer will put a "reasonable" (but not the best) answer as one of the first choices - with the intent of keeping you from evaluating all of the choices.
More Tricks To Be Aware Of
Understanding the following question tricks will help you improve your score:
- “Except” Beware!– Questions with “except” (or “which of the following is NOT true”) are often missed because they are read too fast. Some students find it easier to these questions is by covering the word except or not and then choosing the answer that does not belong.
- No Absolutes – Answers with absolutes such as never, always, greatest, must are generally not the correct answers
- Valid information – All of the information in the question is probably there for a reason. Don’t ignore anything in the question – you will need it to correctly answer the question.
Other Tips To Keep In Mind
Timing - If you have 25 minutes to answer 25 questions, then your time budget is 1 minute per question. Don't waste your time on questions you don't know.
First is Best - Your first answer is typically the best answer. Don't change your answer unless you find an obvious error.
Go with What You Know - Answer the easy questions that you know first. Skip the difficult ones that you have trouble with.
Pick Your Attitude - Be positive and have confidence...your scores will reflect it!
The HESI A2 Entrance Exam is often your first step in your Nursing career. To get into the Nursing school of your choice, it is critical that you do as well as you can.