HESI, Health Education Systems, Inc., is a software-based testing company offering three versions of a test that indicates a candidate’s suitability for taking and passing nurse training, as well as the NCLEX-RN certification exam. The HESI A2 course is designed to prepare candidates for success during training and alert them to weaknesses in their progress toward a career as healthcare professionals.
The HESI A2 course offers a variety of study aids and provides online student support. The first HESI test is used by many accredited nursing programs as an entrance exam. The second HESI test is taken midway though training, usually in junior year. The final HESI test is taken as an exit exam when formal academic training is completed. At each stage, the HESI course is designed to help identify gaps in candidates’ knowledge and attitude, so they can take steps to address issues before they becomes an insurmountable stumbling block to reaching the ultimate goal of passing the NCLEX and becoming a registered nurse.
Each of the examinations covers five topics:
1. Anatomy and physiology, biology, and chemistry have 25 questions each.
2. Vocabulary and general knowledge has 50 questions.
3. Reading comprehension has 50 questions.
4. Grammar has 50 questions.
5. Basic math skills has 50 questions.
The first time the HESI test is taken, a sixth topic may be added. It covers such topics as learning style, decision-making skills, and personality traits.
The time allotted for the test is four hours, but the average time to complete the HESI test is two to three hours. That time frame will vary with each test-taker. The candidate needs to score 80% in order to pass. Most people take the initial test several times before they achieve a passing score, but they must wait 60 days between HESI tests. Each version of the test is different to ensure an accurate evaluation of the candidate’s aptitude.