The HESI A2 examination is often taken three times: as an entrance examination to an accredited nursing program, midway through the academic program, usually in junior year, and as an exit examination at the conclusion of training in preparation for taking the NCLEX certification examination. The HESI A2 examination has five sections:
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 A2 examination 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 A2 examination is two to three hours. That time frame will vary with each test-taker. Candidates need to score 80% in order to pass. Most people take the initial examination several times before they achieve a passing score, and they must wait 60 days between HESI A2 examinations. Each version of the examination is different to ensure an accurate evaluation of candidates’ aptitude.
Education experts in the particular evaluation areas develop and write questions for HESI A2 examination content. A panel of educators evaluates questions and answers for clarity, readability, and consistency. The HESI A2 examination content and type of questions used are evaluated frequently. Both must prove to be effective in imparting the required information and assessing the candidate’s suitability for the particular healthcare program for which the test was designed.