HESI A2 Pre-Admission Assessment for Nursing | GCTC

HESI A2 Pre-Admission Assessment for Nursing

What is the HESI A2 Examination?

The HESI Admission Assessment (A2) exam is a standardized and proctored entrance exam completed by Nursing program applicants.

What is the content of the exam? 

The HESI A2 consists of eight (8) exam areas, five (5) of which will be used to calculate the cumulative score.

The learner profile and critical thinking sections are necessary but will NOT contribute to your cumulative score results. The faculty will use this information to prepare for your first semester in Nursing and to aid in your success.

Reading Comprehension: Provides reading scenarios to measure reading comprehension, identifying the main idea, finding meaning of words in context, passage comprehension, making logical inferences, etc.
Allotted time: 60 minutes; 55 test questions

Vocabulary and General Knowledge: Contains vocabulary terms that are commonly used in both general English-speaking settings and in healthcare fields.
Allotted time: 50 minutes; 55 test questions

Basic Math Skills: Focuses on math skills needed for health care fields, including basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions, decimals, ratio and proportion, household measures, general math facts, etc.
Allotted time: 50 minutes; 55 test questions

Biology: Covers biology basics, water, biological molecules, metabolism, cells, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, etc.
Allotted time: 25 minutes; 30 test questions

Anatomy and Physiology: Provides coverage of general terminology and anatomical structures and systems.
Allotted time: 25 minutes; 30 test questions

Learning Style: Assesses preferred learning style.

Personality Profile: Assesses personality related to preferred learning style.

Assesses a brief snapshot of critical thinking abilities in situations encountered in healthcare settings, including problem-solving, biases and ethical dilemmas, argument analysis, and analysis of data.

What is the cost?

The cost of the HESI A2 Exam is $70 at Gateway’s Assessment Center and must be paid at the time of scheduling. When registering for the exam, be prepared with a debit/credit card. The fee is the same if you re-test on a section or all sections. Exam purchase is not refundable or transferrable to another test date.

Do I have to take HESI A2 if I have a degree already?

Students who have obtained a doctoral, master, bachelors, and/or a certificate are still required to take the HESI A2. All students applying to the Associate Degree Nursing Program through the traditional route are required to take the HESI, no exceptions.

How Can I Prepare?

HESI Admission Assessment Exam Review Study Guide (Elsevier, 5th Edition ISBN: 9780323582261) is available through the Gateway bookstore.  This study guide provides content review and sample test questions.

There are eBooks on the same topic (different titles) available on the Nursing Library Guide.

How do I register for the A2 @ Gateway?

Schedule Your Exam

Please select:

  1. Choose a Group: HESI
  2. Choose an Exam: HESI A2 Admissions with Critical Thinking ($70.00)
  3. Read and fill out the rest of the categories as necessary. You will be able to choose your test date/time here. Please be sure to read all items carefully.
  4. Add to cart when finished, and complete payment.

All candidates will need to have an Evolve account before testing.

Now that I am registered, where do I go? What do I need?

Where Do I Go?

Gateway’s Testing Center
Boone Campus
Center for Advanced Manufacturing
500 Technology Way
Florence, KY 41042

What Do I Need?

  • Arrive 15 minutes before appointment time
  • One form of valid, non-expired, government-issued identification (driver’s license, state identification, or passport).
  • Evolve account

How is the test scored, and what is the recommended score?

Performance on each of the five (5) tests (reading comprehension, vocabulary and general knowledge, math, biology, and anatomy & physiology) is reported as both an individual composite score and as a combined cumulative score. The cumulative score will be used for nursing admissions.

Each section must be passed with a 75% or higher to be competitive for admission to the ADN program. Below is an example of the HESI Exam formula for the application process.

Example of the HESI Exam Formula
Section Score
English Composite (both subtests) 80%
Science Composite (both subtests) 75%
Math 90%
TOTAL 245 / 3 = 81.7%

Add each section score and divide by 3 to determine average score and points on the application.

HESI Points Awarded based on Average
Average Points
100%–90% 3
89%–82% 2
81%–75% 1
Less than 75% 0

If you do not achieve the recommended score, you may still apply to the nursing program. However, no points will be awarded, and the committee will review all applications. Without the recommended score, your chances for admission are limited.

When will I receive my exam scores?

Exam scores are immediately available after completion of the exam. Your scores are also available on your HESI account with information for remediation. If you are unhappy with your score, please make sure you review the remediation provided from Elsevier before retesting.

Can I retest?

You may retake the HESI A2 after a 2-week waiting period, this will allow you time to complete remediation provided by Elsevier in your HESI account. You will retest with a different version (version 2) of the exam – no student will have the same exam items twice.

If you do not achieve the recommended score, you may still apply to the nursing program. However, no points will be awarded, and the committee will review all applications. Without the recommended score, your chances for admission are limited. You must wait until the next eligibility period to test. You can take the test for HESI A2 up to six times per year, which is two times per eligibility period.

Eligibility Periods:

  • January 15 to May 31
  • June 1 to August 15
  • August 16 to December 15

Note: These dates are not application deadline dates. There are no testing dates available from December 16 to January 15 – this is dependent also on the campus closure schedule.

You could repeat the exam if you scored under 75% on a required section, within the same eligibility period. If a student decides or wishes to improve their score with version 2 of the test, the highest score will be taken into consideration within the exam eligibility period. Students may not submit scores from two different eligibility periods.

How long are my HESI A2 exam scores valid?

Scores will be valid for 18 months from the time of exam completion.

How do I create my Evolve Account?

  1. Go to Evolve, and go to the "Catalog" home screen.
  2. Select "I am a student".
  3. Click "Sign In" in the upper right corner.
  4. Sign into your existing Evolve account, or select "Create New Account".
    • If creating a new account, set your account up with your KCTCS email address and associate your account with your institution in the “Institution” tab.
    • If signing into an existing account, please go to “Account” then “Account Settings” to update your email to your KCTCS email address and associate your account with your institution in the “Institution” tab.