Which Science Test is Harder: TEAS or HESI?

Many nursing schools and programs require students to take and pass a specific exam to be eligible for the program. Two of the most popular exams that are administered are the TEAS test and the HESI exam. Read on for more information on each of these exams from The Adkins Academy Inc and to find out which one may be more difficult to take than the other one.

What is the HESI A2 Exam?

HESI A2 stands for Health Education Systems, Inc, and it is a test not only for students entering into a nursing program but also for students who are embarking on an education in medical, surgical, or other healthcare-related fields. This exam will test the ability of potential students who want to apply to professional allied health schools and programs since it can comprehensively assess the level of competence and knowledge when it comes to the medical field of each potential student and will allow for a baseline to chart the growth of the education level and knowledge of each student that enters a certain program. But certainly recognize that most healthcare schools are very competitive and receive hundreds of applicants every year. So you should definitely be striving to get your HESI score into the 90s. The national average for the HESI A2 is in the 60s. To be competitive for most schools you want your score to be MUCH, MUCH higher.

What is the ATI TEAS Test?

The ATI TEAS Test is also referred to as the Test of Essential Academic Skills, currently the TEAS VII or TEAS 7, and it was created to be able to measure a potential student’s skills in several areas, including mathematics, reading, science, and English and language usage. The TEAS test basically offers a college, university, or nursing school an additional standardized testing tool to be able to consider each potential student’s skill level for acceptance into a nursing-related educational program as well as other medical-related programs. Many schools, colleges, and universities require the ATI TEAS test for students who apply to attend a nursing program as well as a respiratory or occupational therapy program. Most public schools, which tend to be less expensive and more competitive than private schools, use the TEAS test. You should definitely take the TEAS VI exam if you want to get into schools like Texas Woman’s University or Sacramento State or University of Central Florida and many other high ranked and competitive programs around the country. The national average for the TEAS VII is 65. You should definitely be shooting for the high 80s to 90s to be competitive.

The Differences Between the HESI Exam and the TEAS Test

Many private schools and LPN or LVN programs tend to use the HESI A2 exam as their preferred entrance exam. Many students tend to do better on the HESI A2 than the TEAS test. The HESI is more segmented with 9 different sections but most schools that use the HESI do not require all sections. So with the HESI A2 students will usually be required to take the Biology, Chemistry, Math, Vocabulary, Reading, Grammar, and Anatomy & Physiology sections for nursing school. Physics may be added for ultrasound tech or radiology tech programs. The HESI exam has about 10 sections and can have even more if the program you applied to requires it. Some of those sections include basic math skills, chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology, learning style, grammar, a personality profile, reading comprehension, critical thinking skills, vocabulary, and general knowledge.


For the TEAS test, the questions and concepts are MUCH more integrated and application based with regard to the different disciplines. There are 4 main sections – Science, English, Reading, and Math – but definitely expect to use English heavily in every section if you plan on doing well. Additionally, the TEAS test is not asking for you to repeat what you’ve learned from flash cards but more so to apply your knowledge to real situations and clinical scenarios. Most competitive nursing schools will use the TEAS test to see if you can handle the complexities of nursing school.

Which is Harder: The TEAS Test or the HESI Exam?

When it comes down to it, the HESI exam just has more questions than the TEAS test. Because there are more questions, each one carries less weight than each of the questions on the TEAS test. This means that while the HESI exam seems harder since it is longer if a student misses a question, it is not going to hurt their overall score as much as it would on the TEAS test since there are fewer questions to be counted towards the final score. For this very reason, many people who have taken both exams feel that the TEAS test is actually the harder one.

When it comes down to it, difficulty is not going to matter if a nursing school, college, or university requires one of the two specific tests, you will have to take that exam whether you like it or not. If you do have a choice, though, experts recommend that you take that TEAS test since it is required by more ADN and BSN programs, especially the competitive schools around the US.

If you are looking at the costs of each exam, the is around $70 and 150 to take while the HESI is a more individualized exam so the test can cost anywhere between $40 and $100.

When it comes right down to the difficulty level, the two exams are very comparable in a variety of ways, but the TEAS VI exam is actually a little more difficult than the HESI A2 test since it requires you to have more specialized knowledge in several areas and you are required to apply your knowledge more.
For more detailed information and to be helped with either the TEAS VII or the HESI A2, contact Dr. Adkins – the BEST TEAS and HESI Tutor – directly at 301-960-4950 today. You’ll get real live access to questions, coaching sessions, strategies, and much more. Test your knowledge today for The Adkins Academy Free Mastery Quiz now.