How to Make the HESI Exam Preparation Process Effective and Dynamic

The HESI exam is designed to be used by nursing schools as an integral aspect of the admission processes. The HESI test is developed to evaluate whether a candidate will perform well when taking a nursing curriculum offered in the school of their choice. There are eight different areas that the exam will evaluate. It will assess the personality and learning styles of the candidate. The content areas that you will be tested on include mathematics, grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. The areas, such as chemistry, physics, biology, anatomy and physiology, can be also featured in the exam, depending on the prerequisites for the admission process in the particular school.

It is important to note that HESI is also designed to help you get familiar with the type of questions of the NCLEX exam. The HESI test contains about 55 NCLEX-style questionsthat are computer-based and strictly timed.

When it comes to studying and preparing for the exam, the major thing to keep in mind is that you need to be smart about your preparation. In short, the best way to study for your HESI exam is as follows:

  • Be flexible with your exam preparation.

  • Engage in studying when you are very alert.

  • Understand the content of the test. You might need to check the exam overview to fully comprehend this.

  • While studying, dedicate more time to materials you are not familiar with. Taking practice tests is the best way to discover the areas you are not conversant with.

How to prepare for the HESI exam?

So,are you ready to start your preparation for the exam, but need to know what steps to take in order to have an effective study time?

In this guide, we have highlighted tips that will help you organize an effective study and boost your chances of success during the exam. Start here:

  • Start your study early

When preparing for the HESI exam, it is very easy to keep postponing your study to a later date. However, it is recommended that you start your study early enough so that you can cover all topics before the exam day. Get the HESI study guide from the official exam page to support you in your preparation. Even though you have your regular class works to deal with, you should still dedicate at least one hour to your study towards the exam. Remember: you have just seven weeks of classes to prepare for your exam. In addition to the classes, you must take time out to study regularly on your own so that you can discover your weak points and work on them.

  • Use practice tests

According to Chaka Brittain, the manager of CAS (Center for Academic Success), the candidates should invest 40% of their exam preparation time on the review of the exam content and the remaining 60% on completing practice tests. While taking a practice test, it is important that you consciously work on your test taking skills so that you can be well-prepared to handle questions within the time limit that is allotted to you. Studying for the exam gives you the necessary information you need to answer the questions but if you don’t take time to take practice tests; you might not know the manner of approaching certain questions during the exam. Some questions are application-based and without practicing, you may not be able to answer these.

  • Aim to score at least 900 in the exam

According to a study published in the Journal of Professional Nursing, it was discovered that the students who score at least 850 in their HESI A2 Practice Sample Exam Questions have very good chances of passing their NCLEX exam compared to the candidates who score lower than 850. Although the yardstick score for the exam is 850, it is important that you aim at 900. If you consistently score 900 in yourpractice exams, there is a high chance that you will pass the NCLEX exam as well. This is because you might not perform exceptionally well when it is time to write the NCLEX test if you aim at just an average result.

  • Read the question and answers carefully

After investing adequate time in your exam preparation, the next thing is to sit for the actual HESI exam. There are so many things that can go wrong during the exam to make you lose focus on what you have studied. It is therefore important that you forget everything else as soon as you step into the exam center. Before you proceed to provide an answer to a question, even if you feel you know it, still take time to carefully study the questions and the answer options given. This is because some questions are tricky and if you are not careful, you might miss the correct answer. You need to look at the answers critically before choosing the one you think fits perfectly.

There is a couple of tricks that exam writers infuse into the exam questions that you need to be aware of. Below are some of such tricks that you should be aware of to improve your chances of scoring high during the test.

  • Beware of the questions that include words and phrases like “except” or “which of the options below is NOT true”. Many candidates often miss this clause and end up providing wrong answers. If you take your time to read the exam questions carefully, you will know what exactly the examiner expects of you.

  • There is no absolute answer. When you see answers that come in absolute forms such as always, must, never, greatest, etc., know that they are usually not the correct ones.

  • Never ignore any information in the exam. Every word of the question is not there just to fill the page; it is there for a reason. So,pay attentionto every aspect of a question.


The HESI exam is usually an important step in the journey to your nursing career. If you remember and follow the above mentioned tips, you will have nothing to worry about during the exam and pass it with excellence.

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