What is on the HESI A2 Exam?

The HESI A2 exam is widely administered by academic programs in health-related fields, especially in nursing, as an entrance test. The average test-taker is a high school graduate who does not have any formal medical subject training yet. There are a total of ten component exams available for the HESI A2, including eight academic subjects, a Learning Style test, and a Personality Profile test, but most programs require only a subset of those exams.

The HESI Admission Assessment Exam consists of 275 elements relevant to seven subjects of the examination: Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary and General Knowledge, Grammar, Basic Math Skills, Genetics, Chemistry, Anatomy, and Physiology. There will also be a further 29 articles related to personality profiling. All 304 questions should be answered within the 5.25 hours allotted for taking the exam.

Content tests for HESI A2 are listed below:

  • Reading Comprehension: Questions on the reading test measure the capacity of a pupil to interpret passages relevant to health. There are 47 questions, and one hour for students to complete. Students need to learn the meanings of words, recognize main concepts, establish logical inferences, and learn the passages. 

  • Vocabulary and general knowledge: Students are given a range of vocabulary terms and are required to establish meanings. A lot of the words in the vocabulary are related to wellness. 50 Minutes are given to the students to answer 50 questions.

  • Grammar: Students must show their understanding of the basic concepts of grammar. Students have to show their comprehension of speech pieces, common grammar errors, and essential grammatical concepts. The HESI grammar test is 50 questions, and 50 minutes for students to complete. 

  • Math: The HESI math questions test the understanding of basic mathematical concepts that a candidate has. Usually, the math skills tested have some connection to situations linked to safety. The following math skills are required to be firmly grasped by the students: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, proportions, ratios, and decimals. Questions on roman numbers, dosage measurements, household steps, and conversions will also be placed. The test is 50 minutes long and is made up of 50 questions.

  • Physics: The physics exam would include basic principles in physics such as: rotation, friction, gravity, strength, average speed, Newton's Laws of Motion, projectile motion, light, optics, and acceleration. 50 minutes are given to test takers to answer 25 questions. The physics test is typically only required as a pre-requisite course for Nursing programs that require physics.

  • Biology: The biology questions concentrate on the subjects of general biology including fundamental biology, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, metabolism, biological molecules, and cells. The HESI Biology Exam comprises 25 questions and is given 25 minutes for students to complete. Not all Nursing programs need a biology exam. 

  • Anatomy and Physiology: The study of anatomy and physiology is also referred to as the A&P review. The A&P test tests the understanding a student has of basic principles of anatomy and physiology such as anatomical processes, structures, and general terminology. 25 Minutes are given to students to answer 25 questions. Not all Nursing schools need the A&P test. 

  • Chemistry: Students are tested with knowledge of the basic concepts of chemistry. The students are explicitly questioned on: the periodic table, chemical equations, atomic structure, chemical bonding, nuclear chemistry, and chemical reactions. The test is 25 minutes long and is made up of 25 questions. Nursing schools, which require chemistry as a pre-requisite, typically only require the chemistry test. 

The HESI A2 exam, while similar to the TEAS VI, is a unique test with its own unique challenges. Many nursing schools will require test scores from at least one, if not both, so it is best to be prepared for either by using The Adkins Academy TEAS & HESI Review Course.

The HESI exam will test you on concepts such as grammar, vocabulary, anatomy & physiology, reading and math, and how they apply to the medical field. In order to position you best for success, The Adkins Academy features a variety of really challenging, high-yield HESI A2 test questions written by Dr. Adkins himself.

These questions are meant to simulate the questions you will be encountering on the HESI test. They are designed to not only teach you the material but for you to also get comfortable with the types of questions asked and the critical thinking required for success. During our classes, we will review these questions one-by-one, explaining key HESI test concepts, and the thinking needed to arrive at the correct answer.

Our Live Online HESI A2 Test Prep Classes are not lectures, but rather live interactive sessions with Dr. Adkins. This method allows for a full understanding of what is needed to be successful on the exam, rather than simply memorizing information. The HESI A2 exam expects you to apply your knowledge.


HESI A2 Exam Tips


Here are some of the most commonly asked vocabulary terms on the HESI A2 test.

Sudden: to refrain from something by one's choice

Abstain:  to refrain from something by one's choice

Access: a means to obtain entry or a means of approach

Accountable: responsible

Adhere: to hold fast or stick together

Adverse: Undesired, possibly harmful

Affect: Appearance of observable emotions

Annual: Happening once a year

Contract: To draw together or reduce in size

Deficit: A deficiency or lack of something

Deteriorating: Worsening

Dilute: To make a liquid less concentrated

Elevate: To place in a higher position

Diameter: The distance across the center of an object

Expand: To increase in size or amount

Fatal: resulting in death

Flushed: reddened or ruddy appearance

Hydration: Maintenance of body fluid balance

Impending: likely to occur soon

Ingest: to swallow for digestion

Intact: in place, unharmed, whole

Labile: changing rapidly and often volatile

Manifestation: an indication or sign of a condition

Ominous: significantly important or dangerous

Overt: Obvious or easily observed

Patent: open

Precaution: preventative measure

Preexisting: already exists

Prognosis: the anticipated or expected course or outcome

Restrict: to limit

Status: condition

Symmetric: being equal or the same size shape and position

Verbal: spoken, using words

Volume: the amount of space occupied by a fluid

Febrile: pertaining to fever

Untoward: unseemly or improper adverse, negative

Transdermal: administered through the skin -- as with a patch


HESI A2 Exam Anatomy and Physiology


These are topics covered on the HESI A2 Anatomy and Physiology portion:

  • Body Planes

    • Sagittal Plane

    • Coronal (Frontal) Plane

    • Transverse (Horizontal) Plane

  • Body Orientation and Terms of Direction

– Superior: Above

– Inferior: Below

– Anterior (Ventral): Towards or in front of the body

– Posterior (Dorsal): Behind, towards the backside of the body

– Medial: Closer to the midline of the body

– Lateral: Farther away from the midline of the body

– Proximal: Closer or toward the body trunk/chest/center of the body

– Distal: Farther and distancing away from the body trunk/chest/center of the body

– Superficial: Closer to the outer layer and surface of the body

– Deep: Away from the surface of the body

  • The Skeletal System

    • Osteogenic Cells

    • Osteoblasts

    • Osteocytes

    • The Haversian Canal

    • Types of Synovial Joints

    • Head, chest, arms, legs, feet

  • The Muscular System

– Epimysium

– Perimysium

– Endomysium

  • The Circulatory System

    • Epicardium

    • Myocardium

    • Endocardium

  •  Immune/Lymphatic System

    • T cells

    • B Cells

    • Thymus

    • Basophil

    • Eosinophil

    • Neutrophil

    • Plasma/Thrombocytes

  • The Endocrine System

  • The Nervous System

    • Parasympathetic nervous system

    • Sympathetic nervous system

  • Body Senses

  • The Reproductive System


HESI A2 Exam Grammar


The grammar portion of the HESI A2  Exam features around 40 questions that test your understanding and use of conventional grammar and syntax. Many questions are fill in the blank style where context clues can be extremely helpful. You will also be asked to identify incorrect elements in sentences. Basic knowledge of written English is essential for success on the HESI A2 exam.


HESI A2 Math


The math section of the HESI A2 exam is comprised of around 50 questions geared to test your quantitative abilities. This portion is divided into subsections covering the following topics:

  • Basic operations

  • Decimals/Fractions/Percentages

  • Proportions/Ratios/Rate

  • Military time

  • Algebra

The Adkins Academy HESI Test Prep Guarantee is fully committed to seeing you succeed on your HESI exam. We take this commitment seriously. As such, each student is allowed one free complete course retake if they do not score a 95 or better on their HESI exam the first time. As a general knowledge test, the HESI can also be treated as an excellent learning opportunity to show potential application areas they need to improve before embarking on their journey to nursing school.


Get into your nursing school program NOW. Call to reserve your spot