The HESI A2 test is used for nursing schools to screen applicants for admission into nursing programs. Also known as the Evolve Reach Admission Assessment, the HESI A2 is a multiple-choice test with five scored exam topics and one unscored personality assessment. Test-takers are allowed a maximum of five hours and fifteen minutes to complete the exam.
So, with that time limit are you wondering what is on the HESI A2 test? Here’s a breakdown of the HESI A2 examination subjects and what to know for each.
The English Language section has 55 test items (50 scored and 5 pilot/unscored). It’s broken down into three sub-sections: Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary and General Knowledge, and Grammar.
This sub-section provides reading scenarios in order to measure reading comprehension, identifying the main idea, finding the meaning of words in context, passage comprehension, making logical inferences, etc. There are a lot of thematic questions involved in the reading comprehension section of the HESI A2. You’ll read a passage and the exam will ask you (in a variety of ways) if you understand the point. There will usually be around eight questions per passage. Here are some examples of thematic questions:
- What is the author trying to imply with the last sentence in the third paragraph?
- What can be inferred from this passage?
- What is the author’s motivation for writing this passage?
- What does the underlined word in the second paragraph mean?
- What is the author trying to say in sentence seven?
Need some reading comprehension help? Check out this blog to ace this section on the HESI.
Vocabulary and General Knowledge
This sub-section contains vocabulary terms that are commonly used in both general English-speaking settings and in health care fields. You’ll pretty much be able to get through this section with context clues; however, if you’re not a natural vocabulary whiz, check out the most commonly asked vocabulary terms below.
|To voluntarily refrain from something.||abstain|
|A means to obtain entry or a means of approach||access|
|To hold fast or stick together||adhere|
|Undesired, possibly harmful||adverse|
|Appearance of observable emotion||affect|
|Occurring every year||annual|
|To place, put on, or spread something||apply|
|Able to be heard||audible|
|Present on two sides||bilateral|
|Hard protective device applied to protect a broken bone||cast|
|Come to an end||cease|
|Off setting or making up for something||compensatory|
|An undesired problem that is the result of some other even||complication|
|Do as directed||comply|
|Brief, to the point||concise|
|Degree of viscosity; how thick or think a fluid is||consistency|
|To draw together or become smaller||constrict|
|Shape or outline of a shape||contour|
|To draw together; reduce in size||contract|
|Reason why something is not advisable or why it should not be done||contraindication|
|A deficiency or lack of something||deficit|
|Downward measurement from a surface||depth|
|Tool or piece of equipment||device|
|The distance across the center of an object||diameter|
|To enlarge or expand||dilate|
|To make a liquid less concentrated||dilute|
|Enlarged or expanded from pressure||distended|
|To lift up or place in a higher position||elevate|
|Produced within the body||endogenous|
|To make worse or more severe||exacerbate|
|More than what is needed or usual||excess|
|Produced outside the body||exogenous|
|To increase in size or amount||expand|
|Located outside the body||external|
|Resulting in death||fatal|
|Extreme tiredness, exhaustion||fatigue|
|Limp, lacking tone||flaccid|
|Reddened or ruddy appearance||flushed|
|Sex of an individual (male or female)||gender|
|Maintenance of body fluid balance||hydration|
|Measures contributing to cleanliness & good health||hygiene|
|Diminished or lacking some usual quality or level||impaired|
|Likely to occur soon||impending|
|Reddened, swollen, warm & tender||inflamed|
|To swallow for digestion||ingest|
|To begin or put into place||initiate|
|So gradual as to not become apparent for a long time||insidious|
|In place, unharmed||intact|
|Located within the body||internal|
|Inserting/entering into a body part||invasive|
|Changing rapidly & often||labile|
|Present, but not active or visible||latent|
|Difficult to arouse||lethargic|
|An indication or sign of a condition||manifestation|
|Substance or ingredient that provides nourishment||nutrient|
|Closed or obstructed||occluded|
|Significantly important & dangerous||ominous|
|Given through or affecting the mouth||oral|
|Obvious, easily observed||overt|
|A characteristic or constant factor||parameter|
|Beginning suddenly or abruptly||paroxysmal|
|Producing a strong effect||potent|
|Capable of occurring or likely to occur||potential|
|To make more susceptible or more likely to occur||predispose|
|First or most significant||primary|
|Of great importance||priority|
|The anticipated or expected course or outcome||prognosis|
|The underlying reason||rationale|
|To occur again||recur|
|To hold or keep||retain|
|Stringent, exact, complete||strict|
|To take in addition to or to complete||supplement|
|To stop or subdue||suppress|
|Being equal or the same size, shape and relative position||symmetric|
|An indication of a problem||symptom|
|Adverse or negative||untoward|
|To excrete, expel urine||urinate|
|Spoken, using words||verbal|
|Excrete, expel urine||void|
|Amount of space occupied by a fluid||volume|
This sub-section contains basic grammar, including parts of speech, important terms and their uses, commonly occurring grammatical errors, etc. The test focuses a lot on questions like “Fill in the blank of the following sentence to make it most grammatically correct.” There are also questions that list multiple sentences and ask “Which of the following is incorrect?” This means that you need to know basic vocabulary and grammar rules; however, you should be able to use context clues to answer most questions accurately.
The Math section has 55 test items (50 scored and 5 pilot/unscored) and has only one section: Basic Math Skills.
Basic Math Skills
This sub-section focuses on math skills needed for health care fields, including basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions, decimals, ratio and proportion, household measures, general math facts, etc. Fortunately, you will be able to use a computer calculator on the HESI A2 test. You should know conversions, fractions, decimals, and word problems.
- Fractions: You will need to understand fractions. This includes how to add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators and mixed numbers. If you can reduce fractions and find the common denominator, you will be fine with the HESI A2 fraction questions.
- Word Questions: There are several word questions that are pretty basic with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
- Proportions: You must be able to find the value of X from a proportion and be able to make a proportion to find a percent. (Example: 47% of the class is female and the total number of students is 54. How many students are male?)
- Conversions: There are basic conversions like liters to milliliters, ounces to cups, gallons to cups, kilograms to pounds, milliliters to ounces, etc.
- Roman Numerals: Brush up on roman numerals (basic). There will be a few questions asking you to identify a roman numeral as a number. Below is a handy roman numerals table to learn from.
For more HESI A2 math help, check out our blog for 6 key topics to Pass the HESI A2 math section.
The Science section has 30 test items (25 scored and 5 pilot/unscored). It’s broken down into three sub-sections: Biology, Chemistry, and Anatomy and Physiology.
The biology sub-section covers biology basics, water, biological molecules, metabolism, cells, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, etc. Here’s some more information on the HESI A2 biology section.
The chemistry sub-section contains test items that cover matter, chemical equations and reactions, the periodic table, atomic structure, nuclear chemistry, chemical bonding, etc. Here’s some more information on the HESI A2 chemistry section.
Anatomy and Physiology
The most difficult section of the HESI A2 is A&P. This sub-section provides coverage of general terminology and anatomical structures and systems.
- Basic heart anatomy: Atriums and layers of the heart.
- Circulatory system: Major arteries and veins.
- Endocrine system: What glands secrete what hormones. What specific hormones do. How specific glands are regulated.
- Joints: Know the basic joints of the body.
- Muscles: There are a few basic muscle anatomy questions that may ask where a specific muscle is located.
- Skeletal system: Know what bone is where and the four basic types of bones. Know what specific types of bone marrow do.
- Nervous system: Know the sections of the brain and the cranial nerves. Understand the ear and eye anatomy. Know each organ in the nervous system and what they do.
- Cell organelles: Know the organelles of the cell and what they do.
Here’s a complete breakdown of the HESI A2 Anatomy and Physiology subjects. Looking for some A&P practice questions? Check out 10 sample questions here.