HESI A2 with Critical Thinking


Before taking this test I searched everywhere to try and find out what the critical thinking section would be like. I really couldn't find anything useful in easing my unease about that part of the test, so I thought I might post something to help others who take the HESI with the CT section.

The information I received with my CT scores follows:

This exam is a four-choice, multiple-choice test. All answers are correct. However, each choice reflects a different degree of critical thinking skills.

Scores range from 0-1000. The higher your score is, the better your ability to think critically within the discipline of nursing.

In addition to a total score on this exam you will receive scores on five sub-categories of critical thinking:

Problem Solving: These questions refer to the process of inquiry in which the nurse seeks multiple facts to remove obstacles or resolve patient care problems.

Biases and Ethical Dilemmas: These questions address ethical, legal, and moral issues, as well as biases nurses may have about patients and others.

Argument Analysis: These questions refer to situations in which the nurse seeks to resolve conflicts or disagreements by considering multiple points of view.

Analysis of Data: These questions address the need to interpret patient data correctly, and decide if further nursing action is required.

It says five sub-categories, but it only details four. Prioritization of patient care is not listed, but I think the title is very descriptive. Someone on another post suggested a practical nursing book, but I didn't have a chance to find one and study it. I scored 870 overall on the CT section. Can a nurse accept muffins as a thank you? I know that I myself would want to say thank you with baked goods, but I don't know if that's something that should be done. I also am not certain to what extent an off duty nurse should diagnose a stranger. It's obvious from my scores that I needed more knowledge regarding Analysis of Data and Argument Analysis.

(1) Analysis of Data 821

(2) Argument Analysis 800

(3) Prioritization of Care 916

(4) Problem Solving 868

(5) Resolution Biases/Ethical Dilemma 916

Good luck!


39 Posts

Thank you for this! I take mine tomorrow and I am super nervous about everything but especially the CT part! I have been searching high and low to find something about that portion! So thank you very much!


13 Posts

Hi. Thanks for posting this :)How many questions is the critical thinking section only? I read that's it is 25 questions... Was that true when you took it?If every choice is correct, do you get partial points for answers that would have been the "next best answer"? (hope that makes sense)I'm studying out of the Fundamentals book... For those who studied out of that book, are there sections I should focus on more?Do I need to know lab ranges?Thank you in advance...


94 Posts

I completed the hesi not sure where the critical score is i saw I made an 800 but now showing on my paper profile page is this separate . I dont see it listed only the personality ect which was listed last please help and ty :)


38 Posts

wow that was on my test too. i said direct to pharamacy about the diagnosing and share the muffins with the rest of the staff lol but im not sure. i received an 840 on that section


11 Posts

did u use any books to study for the critical thinking section katrinad and jshanice11


38 Posts

did u use any books to study for the critical thinking section katrinad and jshanice11

no i didn't use any books. the questions they ask you have to basically think if you was in that situation as a nurse and choose the best solution or action to take. it was kind of easy if you know the guidelines and do's and dont's of being a nurse.


25 Posts

I will be taking the Hesi exam next week. I just a had a quick question of any of y'all happen to know. Since all answers are correct and places you in a category of CT does this help or affect your final score? Thank you


6 Posts

Wow, I just took the CT exam, and I'm surprised that the questions (5 years after the original post) seem almost the same. I took the "muffins" (a box of chocolates on my exam) from a patients son, and shared them with the staff because it was a nice gesture, and to refuse seemed offensive. Regarding the question in the pharmacy (while off-duty), I chose to refuse to offer medical advice because I'm not a doctor. I also got the question about the patient defecating on themselves in the bed (chose to clean the patient first, and use towels underneath him until I could find clean sheets).

Honestly, there is no magical way to approach the questions. I just really tried to imagine myself in the situation, and decide what action I would take. For example, if I need to change bed linens for a patient, and the floor was out of linens, I would take them off of an unused bed. If I was in the middle of changing a dressing for a home health patient, and another patient called, I'd silence the call until I was done; however, if I was at dinner with friends, and I was on-call, I'd leave the table to take a call. If a patient just got a cast on their lower leg, and it became very painful, the first thing I'd check is their their toes to make sure there is adequate circulation. Really, all you need to do is think about what you'd do as a professional, and perhaps also think what you'd like a nurse to do for you if you were the patient. However, for the question about the guy who wanted to meet the nurse for coffee to discuss the physician, I chose to "explain professional boundries"--not everything the patient wants is acceptable :-). Overall, I scored 940, not the highest, but good enough. Good luck to all future HESI testers!


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4 Posts

anyone has any recommendation or source for critical thinking section?