How to Study For The HESI

Learn how to study for the HESI with some of the best proven methods to get a top score. There are many different ways to study for the HESI. Review some tips and methods to study for the HESI below.

1. Draw up a Plan and Stick to It

Open up your calendar and start planning ahead for this important exam. Make sure you are allowing enough time to study before your exam date.

Here are some common study timeframes and how intense they are:

  • 1-Month: Very intense. You will need to dedicate time each day to study and prepare.
  • 3-Months: Perfect timeframe. We recommend 3-months when preparing for this exam. It isn’t too long of a timeframe, but allows you to study at a steady pace.
  • 6-Months: Good timeframe for those who are busy. This is a good timeframe for individuals who may be working or still in school. It allows you some time to take off from studying if needed.

Our HESI A2 exam prep follows a detailed outline that helps students group their study sessions together. This process creates an efficient study schedule that saves users tons of time.

2. Take a HESI Practice Test

Before you start studying, you’ll need to know the areas where you are weakest. The best way to determine this is by taking free HESI practice exams. Prioritize your studies based on the practice test results so that you study more in the areas where you scored lowest.

One of the biggest mistakes that students make is they spend too much time studying subjects where they are strong and don’t focus on their weak points. Don’t let yourself fall into this trap. Our practice exams will help you focus on the areas you need to study the most.

One of the most important aspects of practice tests is answer explanations. All of our practice tests and questions include answer explanations to help you figure out why an answer was right or wrong.

Are You Ready?

Take our diagnostic exam to see if you are ready for the HESI. This exam will diagnose problem areas and help you study for the HESI more efficiently. 100% free.

3. Set the Right Expectations

Another important part of learning how to study for the HESI A2 exam is to set the right study expectations. This test is designed to assess study areas that you should have learned already. Do not panic – once you start reviewing the concepts, you should start to remember them.

You need to consult with your nursing program to see what scores you need to gain admission. Every program is different. Typically, schools require a 75% or higher.

If you know the score you need, you can work towards achieving that score. For example, lets say you need a 80% to get into a certain program. You can do the following to work towards that:

  • Take a diagnostic exam to get a baseline
  • Start studying problem areas
  • Take another full-length exam to see if you improved
  • If you are still not at 80%, keep studying.
  • Keep repeating this process until you achieve the coveted 80%.

Our HESI A2 study guide is designed to teach concepts with the assumption that the user has never learned it before. Students can follow our content outlines and study guides step-by-step and learn every concept that will be tested on the HESI exam.

4. Never Cram

Almost every college student in the world has crammed for a test at one point or another. Yes, it’s possible to pass a test but you’ll score lower. With the HESI A2 exam, your goal is to score as high as possible. That means you have to follow the most efficient approach.

The truth is that sacrificing sleep is a counterproductive approach to studying. In order to retain information, we have to sleep because that’s when new information is committed to long-term memory.

However, don’t take our word for it. This study shows that a solid night’s sleep boosts memory. So make sure you’re getting a solid 7-8 hours of sleep every night.   

5. Consider a HESI Prep Course

This option will require a purchase. Students should think of this purchase as an investment in their future. A prep course will help save you time by allowing you to jump right into your studies. You will not need to waste time collecting and gathering information to study.

A prep program will also help students save time studying by helping them figure out the concepts they need to focus on the most. Stop wasting time studying concepts you already know.

Our HESI A2 course starts at only $49 and students have access for 6 months. They contain 24 full-length practice tests, 1,500+ practice questions, in-depth study guides, flashcards, and more.

6. Use Flashcards

Flashcards are a great visual study tool that should not be underestimated. Flashcards are great for concepts that require memorization – like HESI vocab.

Our prep courses contain 200+ HESI flashcards to help you memorize important terms. Students can also make their own flashcards using tools like Quizzlet or Brainscape.

HESI Prep Courses vs. Self-Studying

The biggest advantage of using a HESI prep course is efficiency. It saves you the time of having to research each individual subject by providing all study materials in one convenient location. Therefore, you can spend less time prepping and more time studying.

This efficiency does come at a cost though. But, when you consider the benefits of using a prep course, you’ll find that they far outweigh the costs.

  • All study materials are specifically targeted to the HESI exam, so you will be able to start studying right away. With self-studying, you might have to stop to dig up information, thus cutting into your study time.
  • Prep study courses come with detailed practice tests that will show how you perform with each subject, so you can focus your study plan more efficiently.
  • They are generally quite affordable. For example, our HESI prep study course starts at only $49. This is substantially les than having to retake the HESI exam.
  • Our prep course can be used on mobile devices as well. This allows you to study more efficiently.

As you can see, efficiency seems to encompass all of the benefits. However, you can definitely self study if you choose. If you are taking that route, we recommend that you use our HESI A2 questions to get a baseline for where you stand.

Studying for the HESI A2 FAQs

Here are some of the most common questions that students ask about the HESI exam.

Students don’t pass or fail the HESI exam. Their score is an indicator of their efficiency on the exam but every school requires its own unique minimum score for admission.

Therefore, passing simply means that you get a score that meets the requirement of the school you want to attend.

Most schools require a minimum composite score of 75% and minimum individual exam scores of 70%. Just keep in mind these are references and scores will vary by school.

First of all, it’s important to note that some schools don’t even allow applicants to retake this exam while others only allow one retake. It is highly recommended you do everything in your power to get it right the first time!

There is also a waiting period that is set by the school. Even schools that allow multiple retakes will limit the amount of times the test can be taken per year.

When retaking the HESI exam, you’ll also have to pay the fee again. It can get quite expensive so learn how to study for the HESI so you can ace it the first time.

This also depends on the school. There are 8 different subject exams that can be administered:

  • Math
  • Reading
  • Vocab
  • Grammar
  • A&P
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Biology

Each school will have their own requirements with regards to the subjects they administer. The most common are math, reading, vocab, grammar, and A&P.

Testing times depend on the school offering the exam so you need to visit the website of the nursing school you’re applying to and look at their schedule. You can also message the school’s guidance counselor and ask them.

Whatever the case, it is highly recommended that you begin studying at least four weeks before the exam date.

You can begin your studies by taking one of our free HESI A2 practice exams.

Denise Lessow Headshot
Authored By: Denise Lessow

Denise has been helping students study for 25+ years.

Denise has a wealth of knowledge and has helped students reach scores in the top 10% across all subject areas for the HESI, TEAS, and NLN PAX exams.

Learn more about Denise Lessow.

Get Access to Our HESI Prep Course

Only $49 and 100% Pass Guarantee!