So the testing period for the Spring of 2009 session ended yesterday but you can start testing for fall in like January. Unfortunately they do not give you ANY information on what the HESI is, what it covers, or what to study. So to save everyone from the reactions many students had yesterday I thought I would share my experience:
The entrance HESI at San Jac South in Houston covered: Reading comprehension, math, grammar, and critical thinking. Some campuses do not test, others have MUCH harder versions including biology and the like. Common sense would say if they do not provide study preparations, it's probably just going to cover the basics I mentioned.
The math was for the most part 'basic' but if you have graduated more than 3 or 4 years ago you MUST study. There are decimals and fractions (you get a calculator so many of the questions are easy), but there are also conversions like oz to pints or gallons. Know those! Know length conversions also, kilometers...military time...roman numerals..PROPORTIONS (cross mulitply, very easy if you know how to solve). It is basic math, but if you don't remember how to add, subtract, multiply, or divide fractions this will kill you. You have to turn mixed fractions to improper and THEN solve those types of q's and turn them back. You get the point... (I got a 96)
Reading comprehension is very simple. You read very small articles and answer several questions based on it. The questions do a lot of 'inferring' though so it can get tricky. Most of the questions are straight forward and there's not much you can do to prepare for this. ( I got a 89- and was surprised to see it was that low)
Grammar- just know basic grammar. Know your tenses and proper spelling and you're set. (96)
Critical thinking- Patient scenerios in which you choose what you as a nurse should do first, or which patient needs attention most, or what to tell the patient. This is very subjective and tough. This is not included in your grade though! There are no study guides. KNOW YOUR CONVERSIONS, KNOW YOUR FRACTIONS,KNOW YOUR RATIOS.
As for the point system-- their program works on grades=points. 90-100 is 15 points 80-89 is 10 points and 75-79 is 5. You fail if below that. You get additional points (1-2) for things like incoming grades on prereqs., being a current cna, and possibly on gpa. There might be other little ones. Your HESI is VERY important and you may only take it ONE TIME an application period so DO WELL. Read the paperwork they provide to make sure you're even eligible to start the program before signing up for the hesi or you are out money. You need shots, prereqs...many things that you can't just get overnight. For this year there are no minimal amount of points to get it- they just have enough spots that they can fill.
Let it be known that I am no in affiliation with the program nor is this information meant to be used as official. They really do change the program a little almost every year and you should always consult with the school. I am just a prospective student trying to help others make it to their dreams of being a nurse. I hope I am allowed to do this and if not I'm sorry and please do not take legal action against me