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Stressing Out!


I am stressing out. I failed the HESI. I have another chance at it, but I did horrible. We have to hit the bench mark 900. I think that is a high mark to reach. I would appreciate it if any of you fellow nursing students would help me. I would like to know how you prepared for the HESI. I want to graduate, but if I don't pass HESI I don't graduate!!!


Specializes in ED. Has 10 years experience.

First of all...... BREATHE in, breathe out.... now repeat.

Did you get your results that show the areas you are weak on? On my first HESI I found that I was weak on psych stuff and something else I can't recall right this second.

I took my results to a GTA and asked her to help me form a plan to improve.

My good friend that I'm school with makes better class grades than I do but I do better on the HESI questions. The key for me is to cover the answers and read the question and reread it and try to answer it before I look at the answers. Once I look at the answers I make sure the answer I chose actually answers the root of the question.

for example, we had a question on our last med-surg test that was a prime example of how to read the question correctly....it was something like....

The patient comes to the clinic complaining of abdominal pain with some nausea and diarrhea. To best facilitate the physical assessment the nurse should.....

A. administer pain meds

B. offer sips of water to the patient

C. palpate the abdomen

D. place patient in knees bent, supine position

You can immediately toss A. First of all, the nurse can't just give meds that aren't ordered and you shouldn't give pain meds before the exam because they mask symptoms. B just isn't a good answer so you can toss that one too.

Now we look at C and D. Well, C is one way to perform an abdominal assessment right? But does it answer the ROOT of the question? The root of the question is "how does the nurse facilitate the assessment?" FACILITATE is the key word here. So look at D. "Place patient in knees bent, supine position." Do you see where I'm going with this?

C looks SO right because you would palpate the abdomen but it isn't asking you how to do the assessment, it is asking you how to facilitate palpating the abdomen. Make sense?

In my study/test group we argued that back and forth but I broke the question down and they saw what I was talking about. It is SO easy to be a little trigger happy and chose C w/o really seeing the whole picture. You have to make sure you are reading the question and understand exactly what it is asking.

If you have some good GTAs in your school I would call a few and see if he/she can offer you some tutoring sessions. It can be well worth the time and money. Saunders and Kaplan also have some great NCLEX study guides that help you learn how to read and answer questions like these.

good luck!!!


That was good test taking strategy advice. Thank you!!