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HESI A2 Admissions Assessment Exam Online Preparation, Tips & Free Practice Questions – 2024

Solving Aptitude Tests

What Is the HESI A2 Admissions Assessment?

The Health Educations System, Inc. Admissions Assessment (HESI A2) is a screening test for students who wish to enter nursing school and other healthcare programs. The test was created by Elsevier, a company that has provided educators and students with innovative teaching and learning technology for nearly 150 years.

The test will cover different academic information that those in any healthcare field should be familiar with, such as language, math, and science. You will also answer questions regarding your learning style and personality for the program to gain better insight into who you are, how you learn, and how you may behave in a professional environment.

While this exam is only part of the application process, it is required to pass the test for most health profession programs. The HESI admission assessment is a valid predictor of student success in a healthcare program. Therefore, you’ll want to take the time to prepare for the test to ensure that you do well.


HESI Fees and Policies

The HESI A2 Admission Assessment will likely be given at the school you are applying to. Check with your institution about their testing schedule, as exams must be taken by appointment. In most cases, you may take the test up to three times per year if the test dates are at least 30 days apart.

Each school will also have its own testing fee, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $100 to take the HESI entrance exam.


The HESI A2 Exam Format

The HESI A2 exam is a multiple-choice test that consists of 330 questions. The test consists of three main academic sections, each with its own subsections, and one learner profile.

However, it is important to note that not all programs require you to take every section. Be sure to check with your program about the requirements before you create your study plan.

The following table shows the different sections that you can expect to see in the test:

Main Section Sub Section(s)
English Language Reading Comprehension
Mathematics Basic Math Skills
Science Physics
Learner Profile Learning Style
Personality Profile


The exam is computer-based, and you will have a built-in calculator and scratch paper to use during the test.

Each program will have its own time limit for the exam. While some schools require you to complete the test in four or five hours, others do not have a time limit. Therefore, you need to learn about your specific program’s requirements in advance, so you know what to expect and can prepare adequately.


HESI A2 Exam: Reading Comprehension

The first portion of the HESI A2 entrance exam is the English language section broken up into three subsections, the first being reading comprehension. The reading comprehension section will consist of roughly 55 questions and should only take about 60 minutes to complete.

This subsection will assess your ability to understand written information. The test will present you with a paragraph, and you will need to identify the overarching idea, answer questions, and make inferences based on the passage. Each passage will likely be health-related, so you should be familiar with the context of the paragraph.

Reading comprehension questions can be tricky because you may see more than one answer that could be correct. You’ll need to read each passage carefully and thoroughly and be sure to select the best answer choice for each question.


Reading Comprehension Example Question

Sample Question 1:

Please read the following paragraph and answer the question that follows:

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, better known as HIPAA, requires a national standard that protects sensitive patient health information from being disclosed to a third party without the patient’s consent. HIPAA’s Privacy Rule allows certain “covered entities” to disclose protected health information under certain circumstances without an individual’s authorization. These purposes and situations include abuse, judicial proceedings, identification of a deceased person, and workers’ compensation.

In what situation may a covered entity disclose protected health information:

  1. When the spouse of the patient asks for their wife’s pregnancy results.
  2. When the parent of the patient asks for their adult son’s medical history.
  3. When the patient is the victim of domestic violence.
  4. When an employer calls to ask about how the patient’s recent testing went.


Answer 1:

The correct answer is C: When the patient is the victim of domestic violence.


HESI A2 Exam: Grammar

Another subsection in the English Language portion of the exam is the grammar section. Here, you will answer 55 questions in roughly 50 minutes. These questions will ask you to identify specific parts of speech, fix common grammatical errors, and answer other questions related to English grammar.

While most people have a general understanding of how you should structure sentences and what sounds correct, many would struggle to identify the participle of a sentence. This is an excellent section to focus your study time on if it has been a while since you’ve taken an English class.


Grammar Example Question

Sample Question 2:

Select the correct word or phrase for the blank in the following sentence:

Ruth _____ to the store last night.

  1. is going
  2. goes
  3. go
  4. went


Answer 2:

The correct answer is D: went.


HESI A2 Exam: Vocabulary

The last portion of the English language section is vocabulary. You’ll have roughly 50 minutes to answer 55 questions demonstrating your vocabulary proficiency. You’ll need to define different words that are common in the English language and the medical field.

It is best not to assume that this section will be easy. Take the time to look over different words that you may be unfamiliar with or may not know how to spell. You never know what can pop up on this test, and it is best to prepare for anything.


Vocabulary Example Question

Sample Question 3:

What does the word “Epistaxis” mean?

  1. Nosebleed
  2. Earwax
  3. Runny nose
  4. Sinus infection


Answer 3:

The correct answer Is A: nosebleed.


HESI A2 Exam: Basic Math Skills

In addition to knowledge of the English language, you’ll also need a basic understanding of mathematical principles. While the complexity of math you will need depends on the exact field you are entering, all professionals in the medical industry should have a basic understanding of common principles and calculations.

For example, you’ll need to prove that you are proficient in:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Proportions
  • Decimals
  • Fractions
  • Ratios
  • Measurements
  • General mathematical knowledge

Remember that you will receive a calculator and scratch paper for this exam. However, you won’t always need to work out every problem. If you have a general understanding of what the answer should be, you may be able to eliminate some answer choices before you even start to work through the problem.

For example, if you are asked to add the numbers 147,265 and 238,765, you know the correct answer must have a 0 in the one’s place because 5+5=10, and you can automatically eliminate any answer choices that do not.


Math Example Question

Sample Question 4:

Sara and her friend Sam went out to lunch. Though Sara’s meal was $13.62, and Sam’s was $17.48, they decide to split the bill evenly. If the friends played $4.00 in tax and gave a $8.00 tip, how much did each person pay?

  1. $22.05
  2. $23.10
  3. $21.55
  4. $21.50


Answer 4:

The correct answer is C: $21.55.


HESI A2 Exam: Chemistry

One of the most critical subjects in any healthcare field is science. The science section of the HESI A2 covers various areas, including chemistry.

The chemistry section consists of about 30 questions that you should be able to complete in about 25 minutes. You’ll answer questions regarding chemical bonding, equations, reactions, atomic structure, and other principles.


Chemistry Example Question

Question 5:

What is the most prevalent element in Earth’s atmosphere?

  1. Oxygen
  2. Hydrogen
  3. Nitrogen
  4. Argon


Answer 5:

The correct answer is C: Nitrogen.


HESI A2 Exam: Physics

The physics section is most commonly given to students seeking placement in imaging programs and covers different physics laws, energy, voltage, currents, wave classification, and optics. The section consists of 30 questions, and you should be able to complete it within 50 minutes.

Even if you aren’t applying for one of these programs, it may still be a good idea to have a basic understanding of fundamental physics principles, such as the laws of motion.


Physics Example Question

Sample Question 6:

What is the force that acts on a moving body in a circular path that is directed toward the center of the circle?

  1. Gravitational force
  2. Centripetal force
  3. Magnetic force
  4. Tension Force


Answer 6:

The correct answer is B: Centripetal force.


HESI A2 Exam: Biology

Biology is a fundamental science in healthcare fields because it is the study of living organisms. The biology portion of the HESI A2 test consists of 30 questions and is about 25 minutes long. The questions will cover biological molecules, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, and metabolism.

Since this section is so important, you’ll want to ensure that you include it in your study plan for the HESI entrance exam.


Biology Example Question

Question 7:

Jellyfish lack which of these?

  1. Brain and nervous system
  2. Skin and heart
  3. Lungs and eyes
  4. Heart and brain


Answer 7:

The correct answer is D: heart and brain.


HESI A2 Exam: Anatomy

Anatomy is another vital subject for those going into any healthcare profession. The anatomy section of the HESI exam is 30 questions long and should take about 25 minutes to complete. The topics covered in the exam include anatomical structures and systems, along with general terminology.

Doing well on this section is essential for any field, especially those directly patient-facing and body-focused. For example, you may want to take extra time to study for this section if you are taking the HESI nursing entrance exam or the HESI exam for dental hygiene.


Anatomy Example Question

Question 8:

If a patient has O negative blood, what blood type(s) are they able to receive?

  1. A-, B-, and AB-
  2. O-
  3. All blood types
  4. O+


Answer 8:

The correct answer is B: O-.


HESI A2 Exam: Learning Style

Those taking the HESI assessment must also complete a learner profile section. The first part of this section will assess your learning style. You’ll answer 14 questions in 15 minutes about how you learn and retain new information.

Everyone learns differently, and schools can use this information to ensure that your learning style is compatible with their teaching style. Here are the different learning style categories that you may fall under on the HESI A2 will examine:

  • Cognitive: Cognitive learners find meaning in the classroom and relate that knowledge to their personal lives. They are good at identifying relevant information and will often understand best when they can explain the content in their own words.
  • Visual: Visual learners understand best by seeing. Pictures, diagrams, and flashcards are beneficial to these learners.
  • Auditory: Auditory learners do best with lectures and reading out loud. They do well with verbal instructions and like to learn by teaching others.
  • Analytical: Analytical learners are detail-oriented and value facts. They enjoy learning about the “why” in the content and not just the “how.”
  • Kinesthetic: Kinesthetic learners learn best by doing. They enjoy lab work and will take practice tests to help them study.
  • Global: Global learners work well in a team and typically “go with the flow.” They learn best when they can relate new knowledge to real life and do not always perform well on tests.


Learning Style Example Question

Question 9:

If you come across a word that you aren’t sure how to spell, what are you likely to do?

  1. Spell the word in the air with your finger
  2. Write down your best guess
  3. Spell the word out loud


HESI A2 Exam: Personality Profile

Similar to the learning style section, the school uses the personality profile to learn more about you and decide if you would be a good fit for the program. Each personality profile reveals the dominant traits, strengths, and weaknesses of the test-takers that identify with that profile. Schools will then use this information to help them determine who may or may not be a good fit for their programs.

These personality profiles include:

  1. Calm
  2. Leader
  3. Creative
  4. People

This section consists of 15 questions that you should be able to complete in 15 minutes.

Personality Profile Example Question

Question 10:

I like to take the lead in group projects.

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Agree
  3. Neither Agree nor Disagree
  4. Disagree
  5. Strongly Disagree


HESI A2 Admissions Exam Scoring

Because the HESI is a computer-based exam, your scores will be available almost immediately after the test.

The test is scored on a percentage system, with 100% being the highest possible score. You will receive scores for each academic section and a cumulative score.

Note that the personality profile and learning style sections are not graded and do not affect your test scores. However, the results of these two sections will be included in your score report.

Each program will have a different benchmark for the cumulative and section scores that it will consider passing. Most schools will require at least a score of 75% to 80% on each section.


How to Prepare for the HESI A2 Admissions Assessment Exam?

Getting into a program for a healthcare profession is not easy. The industry is highly competitive, and you must stand out from the crowd when applying to your desired school if you want to be selected. Since the HESI A2 exam is a required portion of the application process, you’ll want to ensure that you perform as well as you can on the test.

The best way to get a good score on the HESI A2 is to study. There are also HESI entrance exam practice tests online that will provide you with sample questions similar to what you may encounter on the actual assessment. These are a great tool to understand what you will require on the exam fully.

Be sure to contact the school you are applying to and confirm the sections they require and the minimum score they accept. You’ll want to use that information to tailor your study plan to the program you wish to enter.

Those who give themselves plenty of time to prepare before the exam date are likelier to do well on the test.