For those who are studying to attend nursing school, it’s essential to know just how to get started and what you need to do to get accepted into the school of your choice. One of the things that you need to do is take an entrance exam, which could be the TEAS or HESI exam. The first step is figuring out which exam to take.
When you’re considering which exam you want to take, make sure you look at all of the different factors. For example, you may be wondering is the HESI exam hard? After all, it consists of more sections and questions than you will get with other exams.
You’ll want to talk with the school of your choice to determine if this exam is recommended or if they at least accept the scores from this slightly less well-known exam.
How Long Does the HESI Exam Take?
The HESI exam is allotted a total of 4 hours, which means you’re going to want to block out approximately an entire day to take your exam. This is broken down into different time blocks based on the section of the exam that you’re taking at that particular time.
Each of the ten sections that are included on the HESI exam has a different number of questions and a different length of time that you are allotted in order to complete those questions. You are not able to bank your time from one section to the next or save the time for anything else.
Each school also has the opportunity to set the amount of time allotted for each of the different sections on the exam. Overall, there are recommended amounts of time for each of the areas, which will give you an average of what your school may require or give you a good standard for dividing your time if you do not have a set requirement.
Anatomy and Physiology – 25 minutes
Basic Math Skills – 50 minutes
Biology – 25 minutes
Chemistry – 25 minutes
Grammar – 50 minutes
Learning Style – 15 minutes
Personality Profile – 15 minutes
Reading Comprehension – 60 minutes
Vocabulary & General Knowledge – 50 minutes
How Long Should You Study for the HESI?
Before you can know how much time to spend studying for the HESI exam, you first need to understand what areas you are prone to struggle with and what the overall score is that you need to get into the school of your choice. This will help you prepare for the exam more thoroughly.
The exam itself will take you approximately 4 hours to complete, which means you will want to spend more than this on studying for the exam. Keep in mind that areas like the essential reading and vocabulary should not take you much study, just like the math section and grammar should not take a lot of study. These are areas you should be able to do relatively well in without a lot of assistance.
On the other hand, the science sections may take more review. Spending even a half-hour studying each day for a few weeks should be more than enough to prepare you for all of the different sections if you are taking the exam directly out of high school where you have just recently taken these courses.
If you have been out of high school for a while or have not taken other college courses in a while, you may need longer to review some of this information even if you knew it relatively well before. If you don’t use this kind of information regularly, you might have a more challenging time trying to remember much of it.
Take a practice exam before you start really studying for the exam, which will help you to better prepare and will allow you to figure out which areas you need to learn. This will also give you a better idea of just how long you need to study. That means you may want to take a practice exam a month or more before you plan to take the exam so you know you will have enough time for anything you need to work on.
If you do well in all of the sections or most of the sections, you can spend less time on those areas and focus on the areas that need help. You will also be able to get a better idea of whether you need a small amount of time or a large amount of time to get ready for each of those areas.
How Many Questions are in the HESI Exam?
Each of the different sections on the HESI exam consists of a different number of questions, which means that you may need to study harder for some sections of the exam than you do for others.
Keep in mind that each school has the ability to adjust the number of questions on the HESI exam, and different versions of the exam may vary slightly. You will want to be prepared for a slightly different number of items, though the numbers should not vary widely.
Vocabulary – 50 questions
Grammar – 50 questions
Math Skills – 50 questions
Biology – 25 questions
Chemistry – 25 questions
Anatomy & Physiology – 25 questions
General Profile & Learning Style – 30 questions
Critical Thinking – 30
Because the general profile & learning style section is based on individual factors and primarily focuses on your personality and learning, this is a section that you do not need to study for. The vocabulary, grammar, and math skills sections have the largest number of questions, but as these are more basic sections, they may not require as much study.
The science sections and critical thinking section will require the most study for most individuals as these are more specialized and look more deeply into the field of nursing. These will require you to have a better understanding of the topic area and will likewise require additional time to prepare.
How Do You Pass the HESI?
If you’re looking at how to pass the HESI entrance exam, you want to look at things like what your school requires, what you already know, and how to study properly for this exam. There are several factors that you will need to continue to evaluate to make sure you get a good score.
1. Take a practice test. One of the first things that you need to do is take a practice test before you begin studying for the HESI. This will give you a better idea of what you need to study and where you need to focus on. Taking additional practice tests to help you gauge your progress along the way as well as to practice the timing you require will also help you be ready on test day.
2. Know what your school requires. You need to know the test score that your school is looking for in each of the different sections of this exam. In general, a 75% to 80% score will give you an excellent opportunity to get into the school of your choice. Make sure this is what your school is looking for, however, and prepare to achieve that score.
3. Review the material. You need to know what’s actually on the exam, and then you need to review that material. You may feel comfortable or confident in some areas, but that doesn’t mean you should completely ignore them. You should still go over some of these subjects to better prepare for the exam itself.
4. Read the questions carefully. This exam is designed to require thinking. Even the sections that aren’t about critical thinking will still require you to think long and hard and to read carefully. Make sure you do so because there will always be only one correct answer. If you aren’t careful, you may not be able to find it.
5. Know what you need to do. You may not actually have to take all of the different sections of the HESI exam. Some schools only require certain areas, so make sure you talk to the school or schools you are considering so you can be fully prepared for the ones you’ll need to work on, and you can skip over the others.
6. Start with the easy sections. You are not required to take the exam sections in any particular order. You are only required to take all of them (or all of the ones your school requires). You get to choose the ranking so start with the ones that are easiest for you and work your way up to the harder ones.
7. Double-check your answers. Before you finish your exam, make sure that you are checking each of the different sections. You want to make sure that you check each answer because you could make a mistake in selection that affects your score. Because the exam is online, it is easy to select the wrong answer or mistype something that could mean a big mistake.
Is the HESI Harder than the TEAS?
Overall, the HESI is more challenging than the TEAS because it covers a great deal more information. This exam is far more in-depth than what you will get with the TEAS, and that means you need to make sure you study a little harder for it as well.
Keep in mind that the HESI exam is going to test you in more detailed areas and provides questions in focused areas. You may not need to take all of the sections, however, depending on the requirements of the school that you will be attending.
Also, remember that much of this exam is going to be focused on the basics of reading comprehension and basic mathematics. These are areas that you should be able to work on and remember relatively easily.
Wrapping Things Up: Is the HESI Exam Hard?
When it comes to taking the HESI exam, you should make sure to spend some time studying. It will be a challenging exam, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as you might think. In fact, this exam contains a lot of information that is general knowledge or that you should already have a good understanding of.
If you’re just coming out of high school or any other medical program or position, you should have an easier time studying and preparing for this exam. If you’ve been out of high school or any additional schooling for a while, you may need a refresher course on some of the information that you will be tested on.