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HESI Admission Assessment Prep Guide

This guide collects resources about the HESI Admission Assessment as well as study and review materials.

About this Guide

image of exam and penWelcome to the HESI Admission Assessment (A2) resource and review guide for Western Technical College students! This guide collects a variety of resources and strategies to help you prepare for your upcoming exam. Use the tabs on the left to navigate through the guide.

This prep guide was created collaboratively by a group of Western Technical College Learner Support and Transition instructors, Assessment Center staff, and Advisors. 

This guide is maintained by Student Learning Librarian, Ellen Range. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to get in touch with her using the contact information on this page.

What is the HESI?

The HESI Admission Assessment Exam measures students' knowledge of various academic subjects including mathematics, reading comprehension, vocabulary, and anatomy and physiology. There is also a section which assesses students' preferred learning style.

Beginning in 2022, this is now the preferred exam for admission to the Nursing – Associate Degree and Practical Nursing programs at Western Technical College. 

Where and when can I take the HESI?

Students can find information about test dates on Western's Assessment Center website.

How is the HESI Admission Assessment structured?

The HESI Admission Assessment offers more subjects, but Western requires the following exam sections: 

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Vocabulary and General Knowledge
  • Mathematics
  • Learning Style

HESI Admission Assessment Section Contents (as required and administered by Western Technical College)

Section Number of Questions Time Available Description
Anatomy and Physiology 30 questions (5 pilot, 25 scored) 25 minutes Questions on general terminology as well as anatomical structures and systems
Reading Comprehension 55 questions (5 pilot, 50 scored) 60 minutes Reading scenarios provided with questions to measure comprehension, identification of main idea, meaning of words in context, and logical inferences
Vocabulary and General Knowledge 55 questions (5 pilot, 50 scored) 50 minutes Assessment of vocabulary terms commonly used in general English-speaking settings and in health care fields
Basic Math Skills 55 questions (5 pilot, 50 scored) 50 minutes Questions assess math skills needed in health care, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions, decimals, ratio, proportion, and measurement.
Learning Style 14 questions 15 minutes Assesses test taker's preferred learning style


Other testing logistics:

  • The HESI A2 is a computer-based exam.
  • You can register to take the exam at Western by calling the Assessment Center (608-785-9566).
  • Most questions are multiple choice but there are also some short answer questions.
  • Students will be given scratch paper and pencils which they may use during the exam. 
  • A calculator is displayed on the monitor that students may use during the exam.

Are there review materials I can buy or borrow?

YES! There are a lot of different prep books and packages available to buy or borrow.

Here are a few resources that we use and recommend to students:

Who can help me prepare for the HESI?

This guide offers a starting point to help you get familiar with the test structure, access practice tests, and guide your preparations.

But, there are also many Western staff people that can help you prepare for the HESI Admission Assessment:

  • In particular, your Advisor can be a great source of information and advice as you plan. Reach out to your Advisor if you're not sure when or how to register for the HESI, if you've been unsuccessful taking the exam in the past, or if you want to discuss your academic plan or future goals.
  • If you have questions about test dates, other testing logistics or are ready to register for the exam, connect with Western's Assessment Center.
  • Reach out to the Learning Commons team and ask about getting connected with support for HESI Admission Assessment preparation. There is a whole team of instructors who can help you prepare! They can help you make a personalized study plan, build your test-taking or content skills, access review materials, and help you brush up on content that will be covered on the exam.
  • Of course, your class instructors can also answer questions and offer words of wisdom.

Reach out. We want to help!

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