Anyone who is planning to go into nursing will need to take an entrance exam in order to be accepted. Your entrance exam will depend on your school but will generally be the TEAS or HESI exam.
When it comes to taking the HESI exam, you want to make sure you know what you need to do. So, let’s take a look at how to pass the HESI entrance exam and what it’s going to take for you to get your best possible result the first time through (even though you can take it multiple times).
We’ll look at what kind of score you want to get, how many questions are on the exam, how you should study, and what you need to do in order to get the best possible exam score. That way, you can move on to your actual studies.
What is a Good HESI Entrance Exam Score?
For anyone who wants to get into nursing school, the first thing that you need to do is talk to your school of choice. They will be able to speak with you about the requirements for admission, as well as the type of HESI scores that they are looking for.
If you hit the minimum score that they consider, you will be eligible to get into the school even though you are not guaranteed admission. That’s why it’s essential to also know the average score of admitted students rather than only the minimum score.
For most schools, if you get a 75-80% on each of the different sections of the exam, you should be able to get in. However, this is not true for all schools as some may require higher numbers to be even considered for admission. If you are looking to attend a higher-level school, you may need a better score.
Scores that are between 75 and 80% are generally considered ‘satisfactory.’ That means you are doing all right but not quite as good as recommended. If you get a 80% score to 90%, you are in the category that is considered ‘very good,’ which will generally give you a slightly better chance of getting into even higher-level schools.
Those who get scores above 90% are considered in the ‘excellent’ category and should not have a problem getting into any school that they want. If you’re looking at a more prestigious school, you may want to work on getting your score as close to this section as possible to ensure entry. For those who are looking to get into the average nursing school a 75% or higher should be able to get you in.
How Many Questions are in the HESI Entrance Exam?
The HESI exam varies slightly in the number of questions that are provided in each section, though there is a general amount. Keep in mind also that not all schools require you to complete every area of the exam. Depending on your school, you may be able to get by with only a few sections.
Overall, the exam consists of approximately 326 questions. This is broken down into the ten different sections, though the breakdown of questions is not exact.
There are 50 questions each in 3 of the sections: vocabulary, grammar, and math skills.
There are 25 questions each in 3 sections: biology, chemistry and anatomy, and physiology.
There are 47 questions in the reading comprehension section, and the remainder are in the critical thinking and general profile sections.
What Subjects are on the HESI Exam?
There are ten different sections on the HESI exam though not all of them are technically ‘subjects.’ Each of these sections evaluates slightly different things, however, to make sure that you are a qualified candidate for the program of your choice. Keep in mind that your school may not actually require you to take all of the different sections of the HESI exam; make sure you talk to them to find out.
This section of the exam studies how you analyze different situations and how you draw conclusions based on information.
This section of the exam studies your knowledge of sentence structure using simple and complex vocabulary.
This section of the exam studies your knowledge of speech, including speech patterns, basic terminology, and common errors in grammar.
This section of the exam studies your basic math skills, including decimals, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and proportions.
This section of the exam studies your knowledge of basic biology, including cellular respiration, metabolism, water properties, cellular structure, photosynthesis, and biological molecules.
This section of the exam studies your knowledge of chemical equations, nuclear chemistry, periodic tables, chemical bonding, and mater properties.
Anatomy and Physiology
This section of the exam studies your knowledge of applied terminology and structured mechanisms of anatomical systems.
General Profiling and Learning Style
This section of the exam is all about you and studies your personality type and learning techniques through more personalized questions.
This section of the exam studies your knowledge of how to weigh problem-solving and how to analyze data to make decisions.
How Long Should You Study for the HESI Exam?
When it comes to studying for the HESI exam, you want to make sure you’re doing enough but don’t spend too much time on this process. After all, you should know most of this information already without having to study extensively. Just make sure that you review any of the information that you don’t know.
By taking a practice test early, you should be able to figure out which areas you are strong in and which areas need a little bit of help. This will help you determine whether or not you need time to study at all. You may find that you already know the information you’re going to be tested on, especially if you’ve taken classes recently.
If you do need time to study, you could likely get everything you need completed within a month or less with only a short amount of study per day or week. This will give you enough time to prepare thoroughly and make sure that you are comfortable with the exam on test day.
Make sure you allow yourself enough time to prepare without getting overwhelmed. If you feel like you’re going to struggle with the entire exam, you may want to push your test date back slightly so you can take the amount of time that you need to study and thoroughly prepare.
7 Helpful Tips to Ace Your HESI Entrance Exam
When it comes to getting the best possible score on the HESI exam, you want to take a look at several different steps and tips to help you along. We’re going to look at seven things that you should be doing in order to get the best possible score and make sure that you are on the right track.
- Know what’s there. One of the first things you need to do is make sure you understand what you’re being tested on. Look at each of the different sections of the exam (only the ones your school requires you to take) and then prepare for just how long each of those sections is. This will let you know how much studying you need to do.
- Take a practice test. You absolutely need a practice test before you start studying so you can gauge your starting knowledge and gauge your progress as you go. This will also help you prepare for the other aspects of the exam, including the timing you need for each of the sections.
- Read the questions thoroughly. This exam is designed to be difficult, and it’s intended to potentially trip you up. Make sure you read through each of the questions carefully and read the answers just as carefully. This will ensure you choose the right answer for the question.
- Budget your time. Before you begin, during your studying process, you should put together a time schedule. This will help you prepare for just how long you want to spend on each of the different sections, so you don’t miss anything. That way, you can stay on top of your allowed time when it’s test day.
- Start with the easiest tests. You can take the tests in any order that you want, so start by taking the easiest ones or the ones that you feel the most confident about. From there, you’ll be able to move onward to the more challenging and more demanding tests. That’s going to allow you to work your way up and feel more confident as well as getting through more of the test in case you don’t finish.
- Double-check everything. Don’t assume that you get the answer right on the first try. Remember, it’s always possible that you could click the wrong button or read something wrong on the first try. Review all of your answers if you have time (budget this into your time) and make sure the answers you’ve selected are the ones you want.
- Know the score you need. Talk with the school or schools of your choice and make sure you know what kind of score you actually need on the exam. This will help you to prepare and will let you better evaluate what you’re looking for when you’re taking a practice test or studying before the exam.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Pass the HESI Entrance Exam
There are a number of different factors to consider when it comes to your HESI entrance exam. Make sure that you’re paying attention to each of the tips we provided, especially using practice tests and starting with the easiest tests before moving on. This will help you get the best possible score on your exam and give you a better chance of getting into the school you want.
Talk with that school and make sure you know what your goal needs to be in order to get in. Don’t just ask about the minimum required score but also about the average that accepted students have. That’s the number you want to aim for rather than the absolute minimum.