HESI A2 Study Guide + Tips (With Links)

Nursing Students HESI


Hey Guys!

I've been scared of taking the HESI A2 exam ever since I decided to become a nurse! I took the test today and got these scores:

Math - 98%
Grammar - 80%
Vocabulary - 94%
Comprehension - 90%
I did not have to take A&P

I think one of the hardest part is to know where to start, and to gather your resources.

So I will provide a study guide at the end of the text ?

I also used this book:

I recommend you getting it because it's convenient to have all materials in one spot.


Maths: Don't be scared if you're not good at math! These are pretty basic. :yes: Focus on decimals to percentage conversions and vice versa. Also know how to find the value of X. A good amount of the question is in this format "20:x :: 2:5". Focus on conversions (Gallon, quart, pint, cup, ounces. Km, m, cm, mm). I did not encounter any temperature conversions and very few military time conversions, I would still study it just in case. There are also a lot of word problems so be familiar with those type of questions. There is a calculator on screen which you can use, but be careful with sticky keys. Always look at the calculator after you clicked a number to make sure it registered on the screen.

Grammar: English is my third language and it's self-taught through speaking. I had a 0% knowledge in grammar. I didn't even know the difference between a noun and a verb. If English is your first language, I'm happy for you! :D For this topic, focus heavily on subject-verb agreement. This means that if the subject is plural, so the verb shall be too. If the subject is singular, the verb shall be too. Some subjects are collective nouns but acts as a single entity (singular) (ex. Family, audience, committee, board, faculty, herd, flock). Pay special attention to those.

There are A LOT of "choose the incorrect sentence" type of questions. I know my score suffered because of these, because they all looked correct to me! :laugh::cheeky: I also encountered a lot of "Which of the following word in the sentence is incorrect?" type of questions. I would really practice on those. The rest are more basic because the correct answer will sound 'right'. For example, you have to fill in the blank and choose between him/he/himself.

Vocabulary: This was actually a 'Vocabulary AND GENERAL KNOWLEDGE" topic, which I completely overlooked as I only focused on memorizing words. I studied all the words in the book + some on quizlet (links in the study guide). Out of these, only 15-20% were in the test. However, they were indeed from the book so make sure you know those. I guess the general knowledge part really depended on your own general knowledge ☹ Sorry for the lack of tip. To encourage you, I still managed to get a 94% on it. Do your best, and know that nothing is better than that! :D

Comprehension: Don't be afraid of this part! I was afraid the text would be long and complicated, but it wasn't! In fact, one of the text was exactly this one, but with different questions:

The Water Cycle Questions 17 2 are about the following - ProProfs

That's also about the length of each reading text. It's pretty short ? Each text will have 4-5 questions. My tip is to VISUALIZE the text you read. Pretend you're watching TV and your inner reading voice is the TV host. One of the reading I got was about how the Golden Gate Bridge was built and how the people worked. Imagine it as a narrative, it'll be easier to answer the questions that way. Some questions were like "What does the word ___ mean in the second paragraph." For those, you can use surrounding words and sentences as clues. ? Make sure you know what the main ideas are, what the author wants to convey, and how the author feels about the topic he/she is writing about (mocking it, supporting it, unbiased, etc).

Critical thinking: This topic is not graded. The category gives you 4 scenarios, and you as a nurse will need to choose which patient to attend first according to the severity of the case. To me, they all sounded pretty severe. :nurse: But some were more obvious than others. For example, a guy with a broken leg can wait if there is another patient who is having a heart attack. There is quite a lot of reading (all the scenarios) and I had 30 questions. Know that you have to finish this section within your 4-hour time limit too. To give you an idea, It took me around 20 minutes to finish and I'm a medium-slow reader.

Personality type: Not graded. This section won't take you long at all. I believe there were about 15 short questions. For example, "In a party you tend to ____. A) Talk to strangers. B) Talk to those you know".

It took me around 5 minutes to complete.

Learning style: Not graded. This one is also short, around 15. If you think too hard it will take you longer to finish. An example is, "You learn best by____. A) Watching B) Doing C) Reading".


  • Know your speed and time yourself during practice exercise. Manage your time. Aim for 45-50 minutes for each subject. The 4-hour time frame runs collectively and it doesn't restrict you per-subject if that makes sense. Sometimes people run out of time. If you're on the slower side, know which subjects take you longest so you can improve your speed on those.
  • That being said, don't freak out about the time limit! Math took me more than an hour, but vocab took me way less time. They cancelled each other out with time to spare. Know that some subjects will take you longer, some faster, and that it's totally okay ?
  • Know what order you will take the exam! It's like interval training, give your brain hard work, then let it rest. Then start over again. Make sure to finish the graded subjects first. Worse comes to worst, if you're almost out of time you can 'click whatever' on the ungraded ones. Here was my strategized order:

1. Math: This takes a lot of brain power, do it when your brain Is still fresh.

2. Grammar: You're already 'in the zone' and focused when you get to this part.

3. Vocab: Your brain is getting tired! Rest it with vocabs since it has less reading. It focuses more on your memorization and understanding skills.

4. Comprehension: Motivate yourself knowing it's the 'final boss' and you're almost there.

5. Personality style: Fast, fun, easy, quick. A good rest for the brain.

6. Learning style: Fast, fun, easy, quick. A good rest for the brain.

7. Critical thinking: The real final boss. Your brain had its rest, time to finish this!

  • How to memorize all those complex medical vocabularies? Make stories out of them!
  • For example: Superfluous means unnecessary. The word "superfluous" sounds like super-flaunts. Someone super-flaunts his wealth, which is unnecessary. Thus, superfluous = unnecessary.
  • Overt means to be easily observed.
    "Overt" looks like the word "over", as in over the log. Imagine you're jumping over a log in the forest and can now observe a tiny fox that was hiding underneath it. Overt = easily observed.
  • Precipitous means Abrupt / suddenly
    Imagine a test-tube with precipitation, it bubbles and shakes abruptly and suddenly.
  • Lethargic = difficult to arouse
    Picture a person allergic to leather. She is 'leather-allergic'. When you put leather close to her, she doesn't like it and doesn't feel like wanting to do anything.
    So the lethargic person = difficult to arouse and feeling lazy.


2 Years before I even took the test, I started gathering materials. That way I didn't have to scramble and look for materials to practice on, instead everything would already be there. I again recommend the Admission Assessment Exam Review by Elsevier. There is not a big difference between the 3rd and 4th edition, any is fine. You can look into different websites for the best prices:

hesi admission assessment - Google Search

Here is the link to my study guide:

HESI A2 Preparation List - Google Sheets

You can go to your own google account to make a new google sheet. You can click here to select everything and then copy it to your sheet.

Notice that there are different tabs at the bottom. To create a new tab click here.

You can change background box colors. I use this to stay organize. All the materials yet to cover stays red. I recommend turning the completed links and exercises to green.

If you can't copy-paste images, here is how to add them to your sheet.

I will also attach an excel version in case that works better for you ?

I hope you like the guide and I hope it's useful for you. This is a more concise version than the one I made for myself. I studied unnecessary stuff that didn't come out, I left it out for you :saint:

Good luck future nurses! :happy:

"Do your best and let God do the rest!"

Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!

Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!

You're welcome :) All the best to you!

were you allowed to use the calculator for even basic math problems of 20.5+12.8? or 2/3 + 1/8? for example

were you allowed to use the calculator for even basic math problems of 20.5+12.8? or 2/3 + 1/8? for example

Hi, sorry for the late response.

It's a super basic calculator, but yes 20.5+12.8 will work.

For 2/3 + 1/8 I would convert them to decimals first individually before adding them together.

You want to play it safe and prevent any unnecessary errors :)

Good luck!

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