How I passed the EXIT HESI first try 2 weeks out...

Before I studied for my EXIT Hesi I scoured the internet for resources and luckily there were tons of articles and practice questions to help. I want to just add my 2 cents so I can help someone and relieve some anxiety related to taking this exam. Nursing Students HESI Article


How I passed the EXIT HESI first try 2 weeks out...

So a little bit of background as to why I studied two weeks before which I DO NOT recommend! But if you are in the same situation as me, there is hope! My nursing program switched from a traditional program to a concept based approach and the course of everything was different. So being the first cohort to go through this we often times did not realize the structure of things and we could not ask advice from previous semesters and the professors were just as lost as we were. So essentially I confused the dates to take the Exit HESI, we had the option of taking it in May but we could also wait until August. However I have a very competitive nature and it would have bugged me to know others had passed it in May while I anxiously waited all Summer to take it in August. So I didn't HAVE TO prepare in the short amount of time I did but we have 3 chances so I took a leap of faith and wanted to see if I could do it.

How I studied...

So before I took the Exit HESI we had finals, papers, and were finishing clinicals. I was not juggling my time properly and I was saying goodbye to friends graduating so I put off really studying until about 2 weeks out (10 days to be exact). It was very stressful but if you are in a crunch it is time to buckle down and study smart. ?

Know yours basics:

The information compiled on that study guide is something I committed to memory. I would read a new section every other day and quiz myself and made sure I knew it. It is important to know Maslow's Hierachy, ABCs, and Prioritization. I know it seems basic, but seriously learn how to use these methods. Exit HESI questions are very different and although it may be asking about a certain disease process or medication if you do not know how to apply these concepts then you may get it wrong.

Before we start watch HESI A2 Study Tips video...

Practice Questions:

I would suggest buying a program that has questions. This makes it easier to keep track of how many you have done and some programs are tailored to change the questions/help you. Also they have good rationale. I cannot suggest one type because most are pretty good, you just need to commit to doing the questions. I used these:

PassPoint for NCLEX-RN:

(my school had a discount code for this program, contact your SON director and I am pretty sure you can get the discount code if a large amount of that nursing program is going to purchase the program) This is by far the best study tool I could have ever asked for. My school used this for people who had not passed their EXIT HESI after a couple of attempts and realized it was really good so recommended we all purchase it. This adapts the questions to target your weak points. I did around 3,500 questions on this and after about 2,500 questions I consistently answered things correct that I may have known nothing about! It really makes you think and the rationale is very good.

HESI Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination 4e:

This book is short and sweet! I DID NOT have time to read through it obviously...however I read every single HESI Hint. I'm sure this would have been a great read but I just did not have the time. The hints are amazing and I read somewhere else this book does come with a bank of questions you can access through your computer. However I did not feel like using another question bank.

My Best Grade:

This is a very popular program and I used it for a little awhile before I accessed PassPoint. These questions do not adapt to your weak points, they are the same however there is a plethora of questions in every subject you can imagine. These questions are WAY harder than those on the Exit HESI. I appreciated how this program made you think and it had great realistic dosage calculation exams.

So in the time span of about 10 days I did about 4,000 questions (Passpoint and MYBESTGRADE). I heard of previous nursing students doing about a couple thousand so I knew I needed to sit my butt down and practice. Yes, practice questions are very good for learning material but with every single questions whether I was right or wrong, I analyzed the rationale and tried to rework the way I was answering things. I really had to change my way of thinking and this is hard for a lot of people to do. It was very hard to do hundreds of questions a day and study material I wasn't strong in. However I embraced that this is something I have to do and I am only expanding my mind. You are not only studying for the Exit HESI but you are gaining critical thinking skills! So please do not dread studying. You will be tired and cranky but remember this is because we haven't managed our time properly, sad laugh ensues...

Finals Study Tips...

✔️ Do not stress if you do not think you studied enough each day, try your best. Do not beat yourself up. You do not need to be a downer on yourself, smile if you finally figure out a concept. ? That is just one more step to passing this thing! I would even treat yourself to nice dinner if you hit your goal amount of questions for the day or something. I still incorporated exercise and sitting down to eat away from the computer.

✔️ I am easily distracted so in an effort to help myself I told all of my friends that I was studying and I really needed to not be contacted during those 10ish days. I put my phone away during each study session and I let myself check FB, IG, Snapchat in the morning and at night before I went to bed. It's funny that this is something I have to write in study tips...but I was seriously checking my social media WAY too much.

✔️ Remember if you know something, you know it! I know I felt uneasy the whole process and would re-read stuff I already knew. Think of all the other stuff I could have studied if I would have realized what I knew.

A couple of things to remember the day of..(This is what worked for me, it may not be for everyone)

* Do not study the night before! Relax and review test taking strategies (I approached the EXIT HESI like a mind game)

* Eat properly, sleep right, and have a clear mind going in..mentally it is challenging to sit and stare at a screen for that long

* Bring an essential oil or calming lotion if you need it, if you get worked up about some challenging questions it may be hard to get your mind out of the gutter

* Take breaks if you need them and bring ear plugs if you are bothered by noise

* Try not to over-caffeinate, you do not need to be jittery! A little anxiety I think, is helpful to keep you on your toes but the key is to remain confident through the easy and hard questions.

What my EXIT HESI was like...

My Exit HESI was 160 questions, I took 3 hours and 46 seconds.

I scored a 970, not the highest but I was just happy to pass! Our school requires 900.

I am normally a very fast test taker, however I learned during my practice questions that I would constantly read over important clues or read the question wrong. And this is a mistake I did not want to make during the exam, so I took my time.

I was tired after about 80 questions, and I think this was because I had crammed so hard for this exam. Seriously if you have the time to study take it! I heard that studying 1-3 months before is a good range, this makes it a lot less stressful and I totally agree! My eyes hurt from the previous days but I continued on because I knew how important this was.

I did feel my anxiety creep up after I had encountered questions that I really did not know how to answer. But I picked to the best of my ability and kept telling myself it's okay I'm doing the best I can at this moment. So I would go back to ABCs, Maslow's, Prioritization and test taking strategies. I am telling you that this was a make or break it for me. I could have missed a lot more and scored less than 900 in a pinch.

A sad fact of the matter was that a lot of "content" I had studied I could not apply to these questions. I would suggest not reading content from a book. Please study smart and do practice questions. I did study HESI hints and learn that study guide because they were short and to the point. A lot of EXIT HESI is knowing how to answer the questions. This is how I feel and a lot of my classmates felt . Take my advice with a grain of salt, what I did may not work for everyone.

You should ALWAYS know your content to be a competent/knowledgeable nurse however in studying for this particular exam I just realized that practice questions are the way to go.

Hope this helps in some way!

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I took the exit hesi about a month before I graduated. It was extremely hard, imo. I did well, a 1100. But I was extremely shocked. I felt like I was making educated guesses on most of the questions. I studied with the hesi nclex book, for about a month beforehand. But I still felt like it was almost impossible to study for. However, you have posted some great tips!!!!

If you're graduating in December, you didn't take the same "rn exit" hesi I just took.

Hesi has customized exams available for each block of nursing school, and a standard "rn exit" hesi for block 4 that's standardized across the country (but has multiple test versions, so you don't get the same test if you re-take it).

I did take "exit" hesi's for block 2 & 3, bit they were customized to my school's specs & they were likely completely different than the one you took.

The problem I have with all the hesi's is that they aren't "adaptive" like the nclex is. The nclex won't let you even get to a "top level" question until you've answered several "lower level" questions correctly.

Example : on the rn exit hesi I just took, digging into my score, I (and the rest of my class, and possibly everyone in the country who took that version of the test) was given 3 psych questions. I got two of those questions right & my "score" in that area of psych was 1900. Lol. That could give you a falsely high score, because you wouldn't get a super-difficult psych question in the nclex, until you've answered a bunch of lower difficulty questions correctly first.

It's like playing "jeopardy" & skipping all the $100-$900 questions & only playing the $1000 questions. You might win big, but that doesn't mean you could have answered all the $100 questions. You might be really good at irrelevant, obscure factoids & not know the difference between compressed air & oxygen.

Congrats on passing & I don't want to minimize your win, just know that hesi isn't nclex

Thank you for sharing!

I just took the hesi exit exam. It was stressful to say the least. My strategies were to go with my gut on questions I was unsure of the answer. As a nurse, we use our instinct to make decisions. I tried to stress myself out and would remind myself this exam is a prep for the NCLEX. The NCLEX is an exam to test to see if you are minimally competent. I would repeatedly tell myself I CAN DO THIS!! With the powers of positive thinking, I scored a 1100. YOu just have to believe in yourself, because patients believe in your abilities as a nurse.

I take my HESI tomorrow and soooo nervous my  highest on Kaplan was a 77 and they said it mirrors it hopefully I pass it seems like a guessing game most of the time