My study guide for HESI -passed on first try! - page 2

by sisph

I have done a lot of research on HESI through the internet and taught myself (through the HESI book, Saunders Questions, course reviews dealing specifically with critical thinking) how to answer questions and came up with this... Read More


  1. 0
    THANK YOU FOR THIS POST!!!!!

    I just took my HESI for the 2nd time today and was successful all thanks to you sisph! I've studied and knew my stuff last night and took HESI CD practice comprehensive test where I made an embarrassing 61 and got all depressed going to sleep. This morning I had 30 mins spared time and decided to search online on how to improve my grade, and stumbled on this post. I agree 100% with everything you've said.

    HESI is not hard if you study and have a GOOD test taking skills.
  2. 1
    sisph
    What book did you use to study for the HESI? Thanks in advance.
    RN-BS1972 likes this.
  3. 5
    I just took my HESI and I made a 1082 and I am so glad that it is over with. I can tell you that it is not the end of the world if you do not pass (the first time I made a 791 and you have to make a 900 at my school). What I did to prepare for this exam was I read the HESI book, I did the Reach test CD in the back of the book and made in the 60's only to find out that everyone scores poorly on those questions. (Those are some hard questions) I also answered HESI style questions through evolve. I think you can purchase them but this was offered through my school. They have questions on all the topics: Community, Pharmacology, Med Surg, Psych, Pedi, OB, and I think they may have had Management too. I also did the Evolve case studies. Now I will say this...those case studies had ALOT of information in them that I have seen on past exams so I found them to be helpful. Anyways....I feel like I have been typing for too long lol so if you need help just let me know.

    This test is duable.... If I passed ANYONE and I do mean ANYONE can do it.
    misridley, katrinad, ALLISONWAYSON, and 2 others like this.
  4. 0
    Damn, I wish they had this around when I took my HESI back in AUG. I passed on the first try and scored in the mid 900's. But there is many people at my school who did not pass it still on the 3rd try. Im not sure what happen to them. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask me.
  5. 0
    Thank you so much for sharing your insights. I totally agree with you. Since I am a new nursing student and not familar with the critical thinking or communication. Which HESI books or CDs do you recommend to use or do anyone who took the HESI before can recommend some good HESI or NCLEX practice books to me. Thank you so much. The forum is very helpful; I am glad I found it. Jen
    Last edit by yanderson1 on Jan 9, '10 : Reason: typo
  6. 5
    Wow, i haven't been on this site in forever and since its registered to an email I never use I've missed all these posts. My sincere apologies for that.

    A little update: I graduated in May 2009 and took and passed the NCLEX-RN on October of 2009. (took my sweet time). I later spent some time doing some more pre-reqs for my BSN. Currently I am looking for an RN job. The fact that I am a new RN looking for a job in an off season internship is a journey with a story all its own.

    I will eventually write some more study guides and tips just because I think its good to keep sharp with critical thinking skills and all that. The problem is that HESI often changes and no doubt has changed since the last time I took it. The reason for this is that the people at HESI tool their tests to match up with the NCLEX-RN which has already changed its format. By this I mean that the NCLEX will focus its subject areas (i.e. med admin, safety, communication, etc) in different amounts ( i.e. 10% med admin becomes 15% and safety becomes 12% from 20% or whatever).

    New types of questions will be asked and older types of questions will be dropped and many will stay the same. The thing that matters is that you need critical thinking skills and a solid foundation in your nursing skills, medicine knowledge, test taking skills and etc no matter what HESI and NCLEX can throw at you.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I have been asked by many what types of books I studied from. I have a lot. I mean ALOT. Saunders 2009, the HESI book given by the HESI company, Prentice Hall reviews and rationales, and even something called PracTest by HESI.

    PracTest by HESI is an online account that you USED to be able to buy that gives you internet access to a bunch (like over 500 something questions, I think) online quizzes. It was amazingly hard. They threw the most obscure questions with the most obscure symptoms, drugs and interventions with 4 answer choices that most people in their right mind wouldn't think of doing. Most of the answer choices sounded the same, the multiple multiples were insanity.

    Me and most of my friends that had access to it failed all the practice tests. Even with the book in front of us. And all of us doing the same questions at the same time. And there were like 5 of us. And this was like the seventh try on the same online quiz.

    You can still buy the software in some places (medical book stores, online in some places, etc) but you have to register the software and get a new key because most likely the old key you got in the package will not work. I had to call Evolve and get a new key. What is happening now is that HESI is bundling the software with the nursing school. If your school has an account with the HESI company that involves getting a key would have access to it. Otherwise...good luck. Some schools have it and most don't. The only reason I got through with it is that I grabbed the last copy at my local medical book store right as I saw the shop lady pulling all the copies off the shelves and registered it like 5 minutes later.

    Now, is it worth it? I would say it helped, just like any other study guide would. If all I had was this PracTest would I pass? No. Definitely not. You need to have a solid foundation with good critical thinking skills to pass. The PracTest is not some holy grail that will let you pass. I would have taken the HESI book given to me by the company over the PracTest if I had to choose. The PracTest is just hard online quizzes and their rationales. No other type of information is given. The thing about it is the rationales kinda suck. They didn't make any sense and they didn't really help me. Now, everyone is different but from my view it didn't help me as much as I would have liked.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So now we get to the question of what type of book you should study from. When you're at borders or barnes and noble or whatever, go look through some. What I always look for is a lot of questions with GOOD RATIONALES and TEST TAKING STRATEGY! Take a few minutes and answer some of the questions. If you got them right did the book say why its right and why the other answer choices are wrong? Did the book offer you tips on how to take the question correctly? I like these kinda books.

    The second thing I look it as does it have a CD with practice questions? Here's the thing. You have no way of knowing in advance if its good or not. My ultimate CD program would let you choose how many questions, the option to look at the rationales right away or at the end, a way to track what kind of questions you're good and bad at etc....but anyway most don't. But better a CD than no CD.

    The third thing I look at is cost. Do you really have 90 bucks to spare? No, of course not. You're a nursing student. You don't even get enough sleep let alone have money to go to something that doesn't involve caffeine or sugar. Its no crime to write down the ISBN number and author and see if you can't find it online for cheaper.

    Here's just just a brief list of the books i studied from in no particular order:

    -Med Surg Success- Kathryn Cadenhead Colgrove, Judy Callicoatt: 978-0-8036-1576-2 (www.fadavis.com)
    -> I highly recommend this and all the other ones (its a series, i think there's one in pharm, fundamentals, etc)
    -Prentice Hall -> any of the ones in the series
    -Saunders -> pretty much the gold standard
    -HESI book
    -HESI PracTest

    Now here's the thing. I had a lot of other books and CDs. Where did I get them? From the textbooks that I had used in class. Don't underestimate how much help those CDs can give you. I probably used those as much as I used the other ones that I shelled out good money for.

    Most importantly you need the time to review them and understand your own train of thought to figure out how best to improve upon your own test taking and critical thinking skills. If you're going to buy the books buy them during break and start on them. Keep up with the questions everyday but remember QUALITY OF QUESTIONS over QUANTITY OF QUESTIONS! And of course remember that you're skills at testing can't help you if you don't have the basic knowledge foundation about what you are studying.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When it came time to take my NCLEX I wondered very much if I should shell out another 500 bucks to take the Prentice Hall or Princeton Review or some other review course. I had passed HESI and been out of school for a few months. I passed the NCLEX on the first try but I didn't take any review course. My ATT was running out and I thought I could review better on my own than in a class. After about a month of studying I finally took it. Studying for NCLEX and that experience is another post on its own. My advice is to take the course if you want.

    Anyway, i hope this provides a basic review of what I studied from. Hope it helps.

    I hope this provides the adequate background about what I studied from. I need to go work on my resume.
    DIV-99, tlazo, afranklin, and 2 others like this.
  7. 1
    Quote from sisph
    Wow, i haven't been on this site in forever and since its registered to an email I never use I've missed all these posts. My sincere apologies for that.

    A little update: I graduated in May 2009 and took and passed the NCLEX-RN on October of 2009. (took my sweet time). I later spent some time doing some more pre-reqs for my BSN. Currently I am looking for an RN job. The fact that I am a new RN looking for a job in an off season internship is a journey with a story all its own.

    I will eventually write some more study guides and tips just because I think its good to keep sharp with critical thinking skills and all that. The problem is that HESI often changes and no doubt has changed since the last time I took it. The reason for this is that the people at HESI tool their tests to match up with the NCLEX-RN which has already changed its format. By this I mean that the NCLEX will focus its subject areas (i.e. med admin, safety, communication, etc) in different amounts ( i.e. 10% med admin becomes 15% and safety becomes 12% from 20% or whatever).

    New types of questions will be asked and older types of questions will be dropped and many will stay the same. The thing that matters is that you need critical thinking skills and a solid foundation in your nursing skills, medicine knowledge, test taking skills and etc no matter what HESI and NCLEX can throw at you.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I have been asked by many what types of books I studied from. I have a lot. I mean ALOT. Saunders 2009, the HESI book given by the HESI company, Prentice Hall reviews and rationales, and even something called PracTest by HESI.

    PracTest by HESI is an online account that you USED to be able to buy that gives you internet access to a bunch (like over 500 something questions, I think) online quizzes. It was amazingly hard. They threw the most obscure questions with the most obscure symptoms, drugs and interventions with 4 answer choices that most people in their right mind wouldn't think of doing. Most of the answer choices sounded the same, the multiple multiples were insanity.

    Me and most of my friends that had access to it failed all the practice tests. Even with the book in front of us. And all of us doing the same questions at the same time. And there were like 5 of us. And this was like the seventh try on the same online quiz.

    You can still buy the software in some places (medical book stores, online in some places, etc) but you have to register the software and get a new key because most likely the old key you got in the package will not work. I had to call Evolve and get a new key. What is happening now is that HESI is bundling the software with the nursing school. If your school has an account with the HESI company that involves getting a key would have access to it. Otherwise...good luck. Some schools have it and most don't. The only reason I got through with it is that I grabbed the last copy at my local medical book store right as I saw the shop lady pulling all the copies off the shelves and registered it like 5 minutes later.

    Now, is it worth it? I would say it helped, just like any other study guide would. If all I had was this PracTest would I pass? No. Definitely not. You need to have a solid foundation with good critical thinking skills to pass. The PracTest is not some holy grail that will let you pass. I would have taken the HESI book given to me by the company over the PracTest if I had to choose. The PracTest is just hard online quizzes and their rationales. No other type of information is given. The thing about it is the rationales kinda suck. They didn't make any sense and they didn't really help me. Now, everyone is different but from my view it didn't help me as much as I would have liked.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So now we get to the question of what type of book you should study from. When you're at borders or barnes and noble or whatever, go look through some. What I always look for is a lot of questions with GOOD RATIONALES and TEST TAKING STRATEGY! Take a few minutes and answer some of the questions. If you got them right did the book say why its right and why the other answer choices are wrong? Did the book offer you tips on how to take the question correctly? I like these kinda books.

    The second thing I look it as does it have a CD with practice questions? Here's the thing. You have no way of knowing in advance if its good or not. My ultimate CD program would let you choose how many questions, the option to look at the rationales right away or at the end, a way to track what kind of questions you're good and bad at etc....but anyway most don't. But better a CD than no CD.

    The third thing I look at is cost. Do you really have 90 bucks to spare? No, of course not. You're a nursing student. You don't even get enough sleep let alone have money to go to something that doesn't involve caffeine or sugar. Its no crime to write down the ISBN number and author and see if you can't find it online for cheaper.

    Here's just just a brief list of the books i studied from in no particular order:

    -Med Surg Success- Kathryn Cadenhead Colgrove, Judy Callicoatt: 978-0-8036-1576-2 (www.fadavis.com)
    -> I highly recommend this and all the other ones (its a series, i think there's one in pharm, fundamentals, etc)
    -Prentice Hall -> any of the ones in the series
    -Saunders -> pretty much the gold standard
    -HESI book
    -HESI PracTest

    Now here's the thing. I had a lot of other books and CDs. Where did I get them? From the textbooks that I had used in class. Don't underestimate how much help those CDs can give you. I probably used those as much as I used the other ones that I shelled out good money for.

    Most importantly you need the time to review them and understand your own train of thought to figure out how best to improve upon your own test taking and critical thinking skills. If you're going to buy the books buy them during break and start on them. Keep up with the questions everyday but remember QUALITY OF QUESTIONS over QUANTITY OF QUESTIONS! And of course remember that you're skills at testing can't help you if you don't have the basic knowledge foundation about what you are studying.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When it came time to take my NCLEX I wondered very much if I should shell out another 500 bucks to take the Prentice Hall or Princeton Review or some other review course. I had passed HESI and been out of school for a few months. I passed the NCLEX on the first try but I didn't take any review course. My ATT was running out and I thought I could review better on my own than in a class. After about a month of studying I finally took it. Studying for NCLEX and that experience is another post on its own. My advice is to take the course if you want.

    Anyway, i hope this provides a basic review of what I studied from. Hope it helps.

    I hope this provides the adequate background about what I studied from. I need to go work on my resume.

    hi again, thanks for reply and i hope you would reply again i actually got the book and hesi practest but i cannot access it even i have access code..i called the hesi customer service and they said i can only access it if i have instructors code but i dont have since i am a foreign graduate..can you please send me your instructors code..i really in need to pass the nclex coz it is my 3rd time to take it...hope you can help me...
    Homemaker4now likes this.
  8. 1
    HESI need to make a code available for International nurses that buy their books and resources. Please do not post instructor codes on here, instructors may not like their codes handed out without prior permission
    HM2VikingRN likes this.
  9. 0
    Sisph

    Thank you again for your helpful recommendation on the HESI books. I will check them in the bookstores. I wish you good luck at your job hunting. Jen
  10. 0
    Thanks for the info. I need all the help I can get. Do you know how prioritize nursing diagnosis on the Hesi. I keep picking the most life threatening diagnosis but apparently that is not the right way. Any other helpful Hesi hints can be sent this way


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