HESI A2 Test

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The Health Education Systems, Inc. Admission Assessment examination (HESI A2), also known as the Evolve Reach Admission Assessment,[1] is an entrance examination designed to assess prospective students' readiness for higher education programs in health-related fields. It is one of several test batteries maintained by the HESI organization. The examination continually evolves and changes as experts in clinical practice and education add new questions and remove old ones from a large pool of potential examination questions.[2]

Function of the Test

HESI A2 Study Guide

The HESI A2 examination is commonly administered as an entrance examination by university programs in health-related fields, especially in nursing. The typical test-taker is a high school graduate who may not yet have any specific training in medical subjects. A total of ten component examinations exist for the HESI A2, including eight academic subjects, a Learning Style exam, and a Personality Profile exam, but most programs require only a subset of these examinations to be taken. For example, the nursing program of Houston Baptist University requires applicants to take only three of the eight academic examinations—Reading Comprehension, Grammar, and Anatomy & Physiology—and requires neither of the two non-academic examinations to be taken.[1]

The HESI organization does not publish specific numbers pertaining to the number of examinations taken per year or the number of university programs requiring the HESI A2 examination. However, as of December 2003, 565 schools of nursing used HESI examinations in some official capacity.[3]

Test Administration

HESI A2 Flashcards

The HESI A2 is an online examination. It is most commonly administered directly in individual colleges' and universities' computer labs, but it is also offered at Prometric testing centers.[4]

Because most universities require candidates to take only a subset of the ten possible sections of the HESI A2 examination, there is no single examination process or schedule. The length of the examination depends on which sections a given university chooses to administer.

Similarly, because the examination is most commonly administered directly on university campuses, each university has its own policies regarding examination dates, examination fees, retesting, possible accommodations for students with disabilities, and other administrative issues. Candidates are encouraged to contact their prospective universities directly for details.

The HESI organization states that "[t]here is no timed-testing involved" in the HESI A2, but as a practical matter of room scheduling, individual universities might restrict test-takers to a certain amount of time to complete the examination.[2]

Test Format

Sections of the HESI A2 Test
HESI A2 Test Subject Areas Number of Questions
Reading Comprehension 50
Vocabulary and General Knowledge 50
Grammar 50
Basic Math Skills 50
Biology 25
Chemistry 25
Anatomy and Physiology 25
Personality Profile 15
Learning Style 14

Test Environment

The HESI A2 Exam is a test required for admission into many college nursing programs. The testing usually takes place on campus. The only thing required for testing is photo identification. Calculators, pencils, and other testing supplies will be provided.[5]

Test Structure

The HESI Admission Assessment Exam is made up of 275 items that have to do with seven exam topics: Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary and General Knowledge, Grammar, Basic Math Skills, Biology, Chemistry, and Anatomy and Physiology. There will also be an additional 29 items that have to do with personality profiling. All 304 questions are expected to be answered in the 5.25 hours allotted to take the exam.[6]

Test Content

  • The English Language section will consists of 33% Reading Comprehension, 33% Vocabulary and General Knowledge, and 33% Grammar.
Sample English Language Questions:
  1. What is the meaning of the word prognosis?
    A. forecast
    B. description
    C. outline
    D. schedule
  2. Select the phrase that makes the following sentence grammatically correct.
    Working __________ the mission of the entire committee.
    A. to peace is
    B. toward peace am
    C. to peace was
    D. toward peace was
  • Sample Mathematics Questions:
  1. 27 – 3.54 =
    A. 24.56
    B. 23.46
    C. 33.3
    D. 24.54
  2. Round to the hundredths place. Change the fraction to a decimal: 7/8 =
    A. 0.88
    B. 0.92
    C. 0.84
    D. 0.78
  • The Science section is made up of 33% Biology, 33% Chemistry, and 33% Anatomy and Physiology.
Sample Science Questions:
  1. What is the name for the physical presentation of an organism’s genes?
    A. phenotype
    B. species
    C. phylum
    D. genotype
  2. What is the name of the binary molecular compound NO5?
    A. nitro pentoxide
    B. ammonium pentoxide
    C. nitrogen pentoxide
    D. pentnitrogen oxide

More free HESI A2 practice test questions.


The HESI A2 examination consists of up to eight possible academic examinations and up to two possible non-academic examinations. Possible examinations include:[2][4]

  • English Language
    • Reading Comprehension
    • Vocabulary and General Knowledge
    • Grammar
  • Math
    • Basic Math Skills
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Anatomy and Physiology
    • Physics
  • Learner Profile
    • Learning Style
    • Personality Profile

The HESI A2 score report includes percentage-based scores for every individual test section as well as an overall composite score that incorporates scores from all examinations administered to the candidate.[2] Because percentage-based scores are calculated by dividing the number of correct answers by the number of total questions, there is no penalty for guessing. Incorrect answers and omitted answers are treated the same way.

There is no standard "passing score" on the HESI A2. The HESI organization suggests that RN and HP programs use 75% as a minimum acceptable composite score and that LPN/LVN programs use 70% as a minimum acceptable composite score, but individual university programs are free to set their standards as high or low as they please.[2]

Answers to Sample Questions

English Language 1:A; 2:D; Mathematics 1:B; 2:A; Science 1:A; 2:C;


  1. ^ a b Evolve Reach Admission assessment - (HESI A2) 25 March 2014
  2. ^ a b c d e HESI Admission Assessment (A2) Exam - Frequently Asked Questions 25 March 2014
  3. ^ HESI Exams: An Overview of Reliability and Validity 25 March 2014
  4. ^ a b HESI Admission Assessment Exam 25 March 2014
  5. ^ HESI A2 FAQ 24 June 2014
  6. ^ HESI A2 Content 24 June 2014