i took the hesi exam on may 5th, and scored a 1029 (thank god). the only tips that i can offer as far as studying is to definitely read the hesi book, i also used saunders, (which to me is such a great book, its like hesi to the 5th power) and did tons of questions. (i'm kinda a question junkie, so i've probably done anywhere from 3000-5000)
the anxiety that came along with taking hesi was probably worse than the actual exam. at our school, we had to score an 870, so needless to say, the pressure was on, but just relax, read the questions carefully and pray! i'v also attached an email sent by one of my classmates with the strategies she used to pass hesi. good luck to all who still have to take it, i know it's stressful, but you can make it.
i just wanted to write to you all to share my experiences about this pass hesi exam.
just months before the hesi exam, i became very anxious about whether i would actually be able to score high enough to pass. last year, i had some major issues that took place in my life just days before the 2007 hesi exam... i ended up failing. as 2008 approached, i started thinking about the 2008 hesi exam. i had major anxiety, i mean anxiety that kept me up all night long starring at my living room ceiling. and at 3 and 4 a.m. in the morning, i would just have awesome energy (meaning an alarming amount) to get up and read the med-surg section of the hesi book. i became overly anxious because i could not remember anything about the way in which the questions were designed, so i decided to do my own research so i could have a higher chance of passing.
i briefly interviewed four truman college nursing graduates to find out what they did to ensure a passing score on the hesi exam; all of their responses literally verbatim:
"know the hesi book like the back of your hand, especially med-surg because if you can answer med-surg questions, you will most likely be able to answer the most of the critical thinking questions."
"the exam is based off of hesi strictly, you should know the book from front to back, focus on what is safe."
"there was a ton of med-surg, but there was a lot of peds too, just focus on hesi."
put down your other review books and save them for the nclex-rn staten examination, pick up your hesi book!
i also read this hand-out we all received in nusring 101/102. it talked about honor students who
kept failing the hesi exam. and it shared how the students often misread questions, and how they were so anxious before and during the exam. the conclusion stated that when taking the hesi exam, you are to choose the answer that is most therapeutic.
now, here is what i did. after speaking to those former truman nursing students who had all passed their hesi exam:
#1 i focused exclusively on the medical surgical content and advanced clincal concepts in the hesi book. yes, i did review peds, and gero but slightly read maternity.
#2 i kept doing the questions on the old hesi cd and the new reach cd of the new hesi book.
believe it or not, there were about 4-6 questions from the hesi cd on the hesi exam we had just taken. don't believe all that stuff about those questions being thrown out b/c they weren't. make sure you do the final exam questions and the med-surg questions, over and over again on the cd.
#3 after the hesi review, i focused on that stategy that is in that greeenish-colored hesi review book.
believe it or not, i used this strategy on every single question of the hesi exam. and when i did not use it, i got those particular questions wrong.
(be careful not to misread the question, this can cost you a pass or fail on the hesi)
key words (this one is huge b/c if you don't pay attention to it, you will get it wrong)
and i also added in some strategies i studied in the kaplan nclex-rn review book. these too, were extremely helpful!!!!!!!!!!!!!
we had a lot of questions that asked, which should the nurse do first, or which is the best intervention. these are priority questions, that requires a priority response, so use this method for those types of questions:
priority: first recognize that answers are both physical and psychosocial
eliminate psychosocial answers
for the left over answers, ask yourself, which of the last two makes sense
then focus on maintaing the airway
in hesi's questions you are always asked which intervention should you do, this is a safety issue, so here is the strategy:
safety: since all answers will be implementations
try to answer based on knowledge, if you can't
choose the answer that will cause the client the least amount of harm
management/delegation: clients who are stable can be given to lpn/lvn
clients who are least stable should be seen first and delgated to the rn. this means that one does not know the expected outcome of the client's condition, so this client sould be assigned to the rn.
one more last thing, on the morning of the hesi exam, i noticed that because we had to wait an extra hour and a half everyone had become annoyed and anxious. and as soon as the tested started, everyone jumped on their computers right away. next time, do not do that! when the hesi instructor prompts you to start, take that scratch sheet of paper next to your computer, and right down all of the strategies you will use; then take a few deep breaths, and start once you get rid of that first feeling of nervousness. and after about 75 questions, go to the bathroom, or take a two-minute break, then start up again answering questions. take your time!!!! and most of all listen to yourself read the stem. and know what the question is asking. this is all i did to pass.
i know for a fact that if i had not used these stragies i would have probably failed by so many questions.
i know you all are so anxious and bitter and probably angry because you missed by so many points, or even maybe by 100 points. but i have written this e-mail because i actually care about you. i want eveyone to pass. yes, maybe you did not ask for my help, but most of all we all have something in common. we have not come this far to fail. we have not all come this far to have to pay another $6,000 to take the curriculum again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the key is to get rid of your fear, and literally use a written strategy to answering the questions. use what they gave you in the hesi review book, and the above kaplan strageties i have given you in this e-mail. we all know the content!!!! it is just in the way you answer hesi's questions (in particular) . if i can do it, i know you all can. i only thought i would score just above an 870, but i scored a 928. i really do feel that it was b/c of the strageties i used. please write back when you have passed, so i can exhale. my heart goes out to all of you, and i wish you and your loved ones the very best.
don't give up! put on your suit of armour and dig deep!!!!! get your adrenaline pumping to win, leave nervousness outside your front doors. study the hesi book and scrutinize the questions on the hesi cd using the hesi study book together, this is what i did to pass and it worked, i know you all can do it!!!!!! we can all be registered nurses before the the summer is gone.