I just got out of my HESI A2 exam with a 95% overall score. Test preparation
was the key to getting a good composite score, so I thought I'd share my test prep tips.
I took the following sections:
*Vocabulary & general knowledge
*Anatomy & Physiology
Best test prep for the MATH section:
the Elsevier HESI Admission Assesment Exam Review books--either the second or third edition. The two editions are nearly identical except that the third edition contains an algebra section and color drawings! Everything else is exactly the same.
This is the best math prep because the problems in the books mirror the problems on the test. Practice, practice, practice!
Complete all the practice problems after each section as well as the larger battery of math questions at the end of the book. Even if you think you know the basics, PRACTICE the problems because it's really easy to make a tiny mistake and submit the wrong answer. I scored 100% on the math section, and I believe that happened because I started studying about a month before my test date. I spent a little time (almost) every day with a couple of longer (1.5-2 hour) sessions thrown in on non-work days.
Best test prep for the A&P section:
again, the Elsevier HESI books--either second or third edition--along with Cliffs Notes A&P and flash card/test sets on Quizlet. It's been four years since I took A&P I and II, so I knew I'd have to brush up. I scored a 90% on this section because I took time to review A&P terminology/vocabulary. Again, I gave myself about a month to prepare, increasing my study time in the week before the test. The "just the basics" format of the Cliffs guide and the repetition of the Quizlet sets helped a lot.
I have seen several posts that complain about the Elsevier HESI books' A&P review. I actually found the books helpful because they gave me an idea of the types
of questions asked on the actual test. I've noticed some posters are surprised when the review questions don't show up verbatim on the test. That shouldn't be the expectation, but you should expect the review to acquaint you with relevant question types. It's hard to describe this without giving specific examples from my test, but hopefully you know what I mean.
Best review for reading comprehension/vocabulary/grammar:
Once again, the Elsevier HESI review books. I recommend completing all practice questions--those at the end of each section as well as the ones at the end of the book(s). Also, make mental note of the "HESI Hint" boxes in each section--for some reason I found a lot of this information really helpful on the actual test. Ultimately, I knew these sections would be the easiest ones for me, so I spent far less time studying for them and kind of consolidated my preparation.
Best review for personality test/learning styles:
Knowing best how you learn, and whether you're introverted or extroverted--no studying required! There are no right or wrong answers on these sections, so just respond honestly and don't stress.
General testing tips:
1) Thoroughly read the directions before answering a question. Each section contains several different question types with different instructions that you should understand before selecting an answer.
2) Use scratch paper for math problems to write out each step. Even though you don't get credit for showing your work, writing out each step prevents small errors and wrong answers! This method is also better than relying on "mental math" if you don't have to.
3) Complete your "challenging" section first, when you're most alert. I felt better about tackling the remainder of the test once my hardest section was out of the way.
I apologize for the epic length of this post, but I wanted to share my experience and emphasize that a little work beforehand pays off in the end. I don't recommend taking the HESI A2 cold because tiny mistakes can add up and cost you valuable points.
Good luck to everyone who's taking the HESI A2.