HESI vs TEAS : What’s the difference?


Similar to the ACT vs SAT debate, the question of HESI vs TEAS is not simply a matter of preference. If you’re interested in nursing school, you’ve probably heard of these exams. If you haven’t heard of them, you probably will soon. The HESI and TEAS are nursing school entrance exams. Depending on which schools you apply for, you may need to be prepared to pass one or both of these exams in order to gain admission.

Before you decide which exam to prioritize for your test prep efforts, try to find out what exams are required by the schools you are applying to. This could make your decision much easier if you are questioning HESI vs TEAS. Since the goals of the exams are basically the same- to test whether or not you have the basic competence to succeed in nursing school- there is some overlap in what these exams cover, but they have different focuses and numbers of questions.

The main difference with considering HESI vs TEAS is the number of sections. The TEAS 6 has four sections as opposed to the HESI A2 with 10 sections. The actual subjects covered are essentially the same with the HESI having more focused, specific categories.

Another difference when thinking of HESI vs TEAS is the length of the test. The HESI A2 exam allows 4 hours for completion whereas the TEAS exam is limited to 209 minutes. This is not a huge difference, but it could be a factor for some. It is also interesting to point out that each section of the TEAS is timed, whereas the HESI is limited to 4 hours overall. If you are the type of person who likes to bounce back and forth between sections, the HESI may be better suited to your style.

The TEAS 6 sections include

  • Reading – 53 questions, 64 minutes
  • Math – 36 questions, 54 minutes
  • Science – 53 questions, 63 minutes
  • English – 28 questions, 28 minutes

The HESI A2 sections include:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Math
  • Biology 
  • Chemistry
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Personal Profile
  • Learning Style
  • Critical Thinking

Neither exam has a hard “pass/fail” score. Instead, the results give the student a numerical score. This can then be interpreted by the teaching institution according to their standards. For students with test anxiety, it may be helpful for them to know this so they can minimize the “fear of failure”.

No matter which exams you need to take, check out the test prep resources here at Adkins Academy. We will help you do your very best with our comprehensive programs.

Are you still thinking about HESI vs TEAS? Take our practice tests!


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