Just finished taking HESI A2! My experience might help you...
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: Math, Reading comprehension, Vocabulary & general knowledge, , Anatomy & Physiology, Learning styles, and Personality test.
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 cold because tiny mistakes can add up and cost you valuable points.
Good luck to everyone who's taking the HESI A2.
JennieLast edit by Joe V on Feb 7, '17
About jena5111, ADN, RN
Joined: Jul '10; Posts: 156; Likes: 487
Registered nurse from TX, US
3 year(s) of experience in Cardiac/Telemetry, Operating RoomAug 5, '12This was VERY helpful! I don't take my exam until December, but I really want to be prepared to ace this exam.
The tips are appreciated!
ThanksAug 6, '12Hey! Thanks for much for the tips. I'm taking the test in two weeks with the exact portions you took. I've been studying for the past 2 months just going over the sections but now I really need to buckle down. What kind of questions were asked on the A&P section? Did you find a certain body system most asked about?Aug 7, '12The A&P questions were really all over the map!
If you take a look at the Elsevier/Evolve study guide mentioned in my original post, you'll get an idea of the types of questions answered and the level of knowledge the questions require. The body systems rundown given in that section is a useful review of basic info that could appear on your upcoming HESI test. The actual HESI test questions reminded me more of A&P trivia than an attempt to gauge in-depth conceptual knowledge.
In general (since we are not allowed to post specific test questions on AllNurses), I would say to review:
*Relationship between the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland
*Names and origin of tropic hormones
*Anatomy of the heart
*Liver and kidney functions
*Parts of the integumentary system (dermal/epidermal layers)
*Organelles of the cell
*Major tissue types
I also studied from the following Quizlet set and it was really helpful:
HESI A2 Entrance - A&P flashcards | Quizlet
I alternated between the flash card mode and the test mode.
Much luck to everyone taking the HESI A2--you can do it
JennieAug 8, '12Thank you Jennie! This is very helpful since I did the worst on the A & P section the last time I took the HESI!Aug 15, '12Thanks for the breakdown. I take mine Sept 13 and as soon as summer school is over I will begin studying.Aug 16, '12Thanks for the information...I passed my HESI today and I'm thrilled! I used the information above to study ( A & P)....
I'm so glad it's over....Aug 18, '12How was the A&P portion? Did you just study the quizlet and topics that she had mentioned or did you expand on that a lot more? I take mine on Tuesday and I am so nervous! Also, how in depth were the questions?Aug 21, '12Thank you so so much!!! I just ordered the A2 guide and was worried that it wouldn't be enough! I take mine in October and was really freaking out! Thanks for calming my nervesAug 21, '12The questions on the A & P were so random...it asked all sorts of questions...I believe some were on the different systems...What system is responsible for carrying nutrients? Something like that....I received a 70% and the school I'm attending doesn't use the score ( I can take my pre-requs as part of the program).
Honestly I found this test to be EASY..I studied for two weeks ( about an hour to two hours a day). I received a score of over 90% on all subjects ( math, reading, vocab, grammer, and critical thinking). If your math is rusty ( mine was as I haven't been in high school in over 15 years) I also bought a GED Math book. Let me tell you that was by far the best book ever-lots of examples.
I was also going to take the TEAS V and this book doesn't give clear examples on math which the GED book helped.Aug 21, '12You will be fine...the A & P portion had random questions...just study the systems ( what does what)...Mitosis vs Meosis...
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