Well if you are reading this than I am sure you are just as anxious, nervous and unprepared for the HESI as I was when I started reading other threads on this HESI Entrance topic. I thought I would take the time to write about my experience with the exam and the preparation for the exam which I took today. I think I literally read every single thread anyone on this site has written in regards to HESI so I was able to get a little insight and use their recommendations to better prepare myself...so I figured I'd pay it forward.
I was VERY nervous about the HESI, because you hear from so many people that it was SO hard and they studied for months and months and did not do well. I was freaked out! I am by no means a brain, in fact, I really struggled through my pre-reqs(A&P, Chem, Micro) and had to put in SO many hours of extra time to grasp a concept...while others were breezing through tests and getting A's on everything, I was just trying to understand and retain how the heck the heart circulates blood or what the darn Mitochondria does. Craziness! So forewarning, I am not a brain, I am just determined to become a nurse and that drive is really what has helped me stay focused and prepare for the HESI, which I pretty much thought I would have to retake! I also work 2 jobs and go to school, so time is not always on my side!...BUTTT where there's a will, there's a way.
My school requires you to test on 9 sections of the HESI: Reading, Grammar, Vocab, Math, Chemistry, Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, Learning Styles and Personality Traits.
The last 2 are not factored into your score. 4 hours is given. You can take the exam in any order, no changing answers once you go on to next question.
In order to even apply to the program we must score 75% or above.
I purchased to HESI Evolve Book Edition 3 that everyone I am sure has mentioned and a sprial notebook..thats it! The review book is okay, it is basically an outline. I used my A&P Lab book that I had from previous class and the Intro to Chemistry Book that I also used in class(has a Flamingo on cover). I kept all my A&P Notes and Worksheets I had done in class, as well as Chemistry Worksheets and past tests. This was SO helpful because I was able to refresh test questions my professors asked, so I figured a lot of the HESI questions would be based like these...and they were! I printed a calendar offline and mapped out the days and what I wanted to study..for Example..I wrote on Monday "Math", Tuesday "A&P", Wednesday-Friday "Biology". It gave me a visual way to keep myself on track and not get overwhelmed with the information. I did not always stick to the days because sometimes I was not able to finish from the previous day or I was to exhausted to study...so I made adjustments, but at least I had an idea of what I needed to accomplish. The most helpful tool of all was, believe it or not....YOUTUBE!! This saved me and I am so thankful I watched videos to help me understand!! I am a visual and hands on learner, I can not just read it and remember!..I wish! What I would do is say okay today is Thursday, I am going to take today and tommorow and focus on Biology. So I would open the HESI Guide to Biology and take the "subject matter", read what the book says, then youtube the crap out of it! It helps SO much, because you can see it happen, hear someone say it and be able to rewind and review...amen for youtube! This man is AMAZING for nearly all the subjects on HESI..especially Biology...I love him! It's geared to HS students but Bio is Bio no matter how old you are.
I did this for all Science parts of the HESI...took the subject area, read the little the book had to say, then watched youtube to understand it all. Watch several videos per topic! It helps to piece it all together! For me, I wish I had studied Chemistry a bit more..I felt unprepared for it, but that was just my fault because its not a subject I quite understand..so, I wasnt surprised when I bombed it!
Chemistry really focused mostly on knowing what charges the protons, neutron, electrons have. Not to much on periodic table, mostly on bonds...and I was surprisedI didnt have many conversions..thank god! I received a 68%.
Biology- Consisted mostly of the cell structure..know what the different organells do!..lots of questions about this. Photosynthesis, Osmosis, Diffussion, Glycolsis were all covered. Watch the channel on the link above..he covers it all! I did well in Biology, although Ive never taken a Biology class..ever! Very similar to A&P! Received a 80%.
A&P- I studied this subject the most! It was the one I tested the worst it! Crazy. I think I overstudied this and worried to much about little things and knowing every little artery and vein, bone structure and skin layers and blood components...its not like that! The HESI asked broad questions...such as where is the heart located? What part of the brain control movement? How many bones are in the skeletal system? Do not go crazy studying this..its basic and if you paid attention in class then you will be fine with this! I think I had a brain fart during this because I got like a 60%!
Math...dun dun dun! I thought I was going to fail misserably...it wasn't bad..it was basic! I'd say I had about 10 questions on ratios..superrrr easy! All you do is cross multiply. Then I had several fractions, multiplication, division and addition. Everything else was simply plugging into the calculator what it asked..don't stress about this either! All you need to know is basic fractions and how to set up ratios. Received a 76%.
When it came to the English portion of the test which was Reading, Grammar and Vocabulary, I did not study these. Honestly, you can not teach someone to read correctly or how to find a question in a passage. It is learned in grade school and as long as you speak english and were taught how to read and use proper speech then you will totally be fine! I did well..I got high 90's. When it came to vocab, I did not study all those silly words in the HESI book..its pointless. Read the sentence and you will just get a feeling of how the word is used...all the choices were clear and obvious for the most part. Grammar was basic, maybe brush up on what verbs, nouns and pronouns are..a couple of questions were based around those.
One of the Reading questions was "What is the title of the Article?"...helloooo read the title at the top! Easy-peasy!
I started with the Reading because I did not want to get burnt out early and be tired when it came to reading the passages...so I did that then Grammar, Vocab and Math. By the time I was finished with those I had an hour and 30 mins left to do A&P, Chem and Bio. I had time and had about 20 mins to spare...these subjects went quickly because its you know it or you dont. Take your time where you need to...start with what you are comfortable with, so you can get it done and move on.
Overall I am just happy I passed and it is over with! I know I did not do amazing and I was not one of those people that gets the highest score as usual, but I am so thankful I took the time to prepare with what I could and stayed positive that I could do it! Positive thinking!
I hope this helps a bit, I know it is lengthly but I know what it's like to want to know everything you can and take others' experiences. I wish you all the very best of luck on the HESI, you will do SO well!!!
Cheers to future Nurses!