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What Makes a Good HESI Exam Score: A Comprehensive Guide

Achieving a good score on the Health Systems, Inc. (HESI) Exam is crucial for aspiring nursing students. It plays a vital role in determining admission into nursing programs. But what exactly makes a good HESI Exam score?

Before we explore what it takes to succeed on the HESI Exam, it’s important to note that you must prepare adequately to get a passing score in any exam. Therefore, to get a good HESI exam score, consider taking practice questions at You can click here to get started free of charge.

Understanding HESI Exam Scoring

To comprehend what constitutes a good HESI Exam score, it’s essential to understand how the exam is scored. The HESI Exam consists of multiple subject exams, with schools typically requiring students to complete 3-5 sections out of 10. Each section is scored separately on a scale of 0 to 100, and schools set their own passing scores. While most schools require a minimum passing score of 75% for each section, specific requirements may vary.

Breaking Down HESI Exam Scores

In addition to individual section scores, students receive a composite score, the average of all the subtest scores. This composite score provides an overall evaluation of a student’s performance on the entire exam. To better understand the significance of HESI scores, reviewing the breakdown of score ranges is helpful. Here’s a table summarizing the typical score ranges and their corresponding interpretations for the HESI entrance exam:

Score RangeInterpretation
90% – 100%Excellent
80% – 89%Very Good
75% – 79%Satisfactory (varies by school)
70% – 74%Needs Improvement (varies by school)
Below 70%Requires Improvement (varies by school)

Aim for a score in the excellent or very good range to enhance your chances of admission to nursing schools.

Strategies for Achieving a Good HESI Exam Score

Preparing for the HESI Exam requires a well-planned strategy. Here are some practical tips to help you achieve a good score:

  • Create a Study Schedule: Develop a schedule that allocates sufficient time for each subject based on your strengths and the sections required by your target nursing schools.
  • Take Practice Tests: Familiarize yourself with the exam format by taking HESI A2 practice tests. This allows you to identify areas requiring improvement and helps build confidence.
  • Utilize Visual Study Aids: Flashcards are excellent visual study aids for vocabulary and definitions. It reinforces your understanding of key terms.
  • Pay Attention to Detail: HESI questions require you to read instructions and choose the best answer carefully. 
  • Invest in a HESI Prep Course: Enrolling in a HESI prep course provides access to valuable resources and structured guidance, reducing stress and optimizing your preparation.
  • Start with Easier Sections: Begin the exam with the sections you feel most confident in to build momentum and tackle more challenging sections with a clearer mindset.
  • Double-Check Your Answers: Use your allotted time to review and proofread your answers. Even a few additional correct responses can significantly impact your overall score.

HESI Exam Format

Understanding the format of the HESI Exam helps you prepare more effectively. Each section has a specific number of questions, and the time allocated for completion varies. Here’s a table summarizing the subjects included in the HESI A2 Exam:

HESI A2 Exam SectionNumber of Questions (Scored)Time Limit (minutes)
English Language55 (50)
– Reading Comprehension
– Vocabulary and General Knowledge
– Grammar
Math55 (50)
– Basic Math Skills
Science30 (25)
– Biology
– Chemistry
– Anatomy and Physiology
Personality Assessment (Unscored)

Please note that the time limit for the HESI A2 Exam is five hours and fifteen minutes. The specific time allocation for each section may vary. It’s essential to check the guidelines provided by your nursing school for precise information on the exam format and time constraints.

What Makes a Good HESI Exam Score: FAQs 

Can I retake the HESI Exam if my scores are not satisfactory?

Most nursing schools allow students to retake the HESI Exam if their scores do not meet the requirements. However, retake policies and limitations may vary among schools, so it’s important to consult with your target institutions for specific guidelines.

How soon do I receive my HESI Exam scores?

Students receive their scores immediately after completing the computer-based HESI Exam. However, a detailed score report, including individual section scores, is typically available within approximately seven days.

Are HESI Exam scores the sole factor for admission into nursing programs?

While HESI Exam scores are an essential component of the admissions process, nursing programs consider multiple factors such as GPA, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and interviews. Each school may have its own unique criteria for evaluating applicants.


Achieving a good HESI Exam score is vital to pursuing a nursing career. You can increase your chances of success by understanding the scoring system, developing effective preparation strategies, and utilizing available resources. Remember to create a study schedule, take practice tests, pay attention to detail, and consider investing in a HESI prep course. With diligent preparation and a focused mindset, you can achieve a good HESI Exam score and take a significant step toward your nursing aspirations.

Ready to ace the HESI Exam? Start preparing today to increase your chances of success. Explore Naxlex’s HESI prep courses, gather study materials, and develop a comprehensive study plan. To achieve a good HESI Exam score create your account here!

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