HESE vs NCLEX- opinions?

Students NCLEX


Passed the HESE exam. Rationales were quite different than those printed in many of the NCLEX review books (I've got five) and ones we'd gone over in classes. Many questions made me ponder whether prep studying did me much good. Had the feeling that you either know it or you don't type thing. Frustrating.

For those who've taken both, can I expect the NCLEX to be about the same, more difficult, easier, etc? Any additional prep advice?




115 Posts

Hi Phil! Although I have not taken the exit HESI yet (still a year away from graduation), we have to take a HESI or two every semester, about the subjects we are in (like this semester I will take a Psych HESI and a Med-Surg one). Then 4th semester we take the BIG HESI... Anyway, at our school you have to get an 89% on the HESI to graduate....our school has a 100% pass rate for the past 2 years on the NCLEX. Basically we are told if you pass the HESI, you will likely pass the NCLEX. Most of the students I have talked to since they graduated thought that the HESI was harder than the NCLEX. Don't know if that is true everywhere, just the case with our school. Anyways, congrats on passing your HESI and good luck!



97 Posts

Thanks, Lil

I also heard the HESI was harder. I think that's great you have the opportunity to test HESI as you go along instead of seeing it for the first time at the end as an exit exam. We started with a class of 54, are currently around 32 and about 8 people didn't pass the first time around. They'll get a chance again at the end of the month. We genuinely feel for them and are pulling for each one of them.

Our school requires an 85 to pass and we also have had 100% NCLEX passing rates for the past several years.

Wish you well in your program,


Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho.

I took the hesi, and have passed the NCLEX. Although there are other threads on the HESI,, from my experience i felt the HESI was much harder than the NCLEX. The questions were more narrow and the answers had a less range of correctness.

I felt the NCLEX you could fairly easily narrow down your answers to at least 2,, the HESI didnt seem to give that leway. IMHO

Study you review books at least every other day/evening before you test. Read the introductions and test taking tips in the front of the review books and use that information. That in itself will help with NCLEX. Good luck!


262 Posts

I took the HESI-RN and got a 93 on it. I thought it was much easier than NCLEX. I am sorry to go against everyone else's opinion, but truly, the NCLEX was not an easy test. I did pass the NCLEX, so that is all that counts.

HESI gives you a wide range of questions. It covers every aspect of nursing (peds, maternal, psych, med/surg, community, legal, etc.). But I felt the NCLEX kept asking similar questions over and over. I got 1 OB question on NCLEX, nothing on infants, but lots and lots on psych.

The HESI had a fixed number of 165 questions. NCLEX shuts off as early as 75 questions (which is how many I took), but it could have shut off at 265.

I hope this info helps.

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