HESI A2 Exam Overview

The HESI A2 exam is an entrance exam given to prospective nursing students. Nursing schools and programs administer this exam to ensure students are ready for the challenges associated with nursing school.

HESI stands for Health Education Systems Inc and the A2 stands for Admissions Assessment. Hence the name, HESI A2.

The main purpose of the HESI A2 is to serve as a screening exam for nursing schools to use in the admissions process.

If you want to practice for the exam, take one of our free HESI practice exams.

What is on the HESI Exam?

The HESI A2 is made up of 8 total subject exams. Each subject is given individually and has its own time limit. While there are 8 total subjects on the HESI test, you may not have to take every subject.

The subjects given on your HESI exam are determined by your school or program. Some nursing programs may require all 8 HESI subjects, while other programs may only require 4 subjects.

 Total QuestionsTime Limit (Minutes)
HESI Math5550
HESI Reading5060
HESI Vocab5050
HESI Grammar5050
HESI Biology3025
HESI Chemistry3025
HESI Anatomy and Physiology3025
HESI Physics2550

It is important to check with your specific school or program and see which subjects you will be tested on.

You do not want to study and prepare for subjects you will not be tested on!

An infographic showing a complete overview of the HESI A2 exam.

How Many Questions are on the HESI Exam?

The total number of questions on the HESI exam is 326.

The number of questions on the HESI nursing exam varies depending on the number of sections you are required to take.

Remember, each section is given separately. So, if you are taking the reading section, you will only be asked reading questions.

The number of scored and unscored questions for each section can vary slightly.

If you want to practice, visit our HESI practice questions home.

How Long is the HESI Exam?

The HESI exam is 365 minutes long if you are required to take every section. That is just over 6 hours long.

However, the exam is a lot shorter for a ton of students, as most programs do not require every section of the HESI to be taken. You can expect to have some breaks while taking the HESI test.

Where Do I Take the HESI Test?

There are a couple of different options for students looking to take the HESI A2 exam. Some options include:

  1. Prometric Testing Center
  2. Remotely at Home (Proctored)
  3. Through Your School / Nursing Program

The options available to you will vary depending on your individual school / program. Some schools require students to take the exam in person at their institution, while other schools are more lenient and will allow you to take it online or at a proctoring center.

How is the Exam Scored?

Each HESI section is scored separately. The sections are scored on a percentage scale from 0 to 100. Some schools may require a minimum score for each section, while other schools may require a minimum combined score of all sections.

Each school will also have their own requirements. However, you should shoot for a score above 75% as most schools and programs have their requirements at or above this percentage.

You can learn more about HESI scores with our complete guide.

How Many Times Can I Take the HESI A2?

The number of times you can take the HESI test varies depending on your school or program. With that being said, most schools allow at least 1 re-take of the HESI exam.

Students can expect to be able to take the exam 2 to 3 times total.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, most students will not need to take all sections of the HESI exam. Schools and programs will pick and choose which sections of the HESI exam they give out.

It is important to verify which sections you will need to take so you can prepare properly.

You will be able to take the HESI 1 of 3 ways. You can take the exam at a Prometric testing center, remotely at home, or at your school / program.

Some schools and programs will limit the options above, so check with your school or program to double check which option you can use.

The HESI A2 is given to prospective nursing students who are looking to enter a nursing program.

The HESI exit exam is given to students who are finishing their nursing program. It is an indicator for success on the NCLEX. Read for more information on the HESI exit exam.

The costs will vary depending on your school or program, but you can expect to pay between $50 and $80.

Yes, you can use a calculator. However, it will be an on-screen calculator.

Jan Olson
Dr. Jan Olson has her Bachelor's degree in nursing, Master's degree in nursing, and Doctorate in nursing.