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HESI Practice Test

HESI Practice Test

In this post you’ll get access to a HESI practice test and learn why a timed HESI practice exam is important to your study plan to build stamina and endurance, reduce anxiety, and help identify your strengths and weakness. We’ll also cover how to use the HESI A2 practice test so you know when to take it, how to set up your environment and timing and how to learn from the results. Lastly we will review what you should do next after completing your free HESI test practice which includes making a study schedule focusing on your weak areas and using a few study methods to help you actually retain all the information you are learning. Check out everything you need to know about the test in our HESI exam ultimate guide review. Sound good? Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

Does the HESI test have you feeling down? It shouldn’t, the reason why is you are in the right place for the best HESI A2 practice test and online courses as well as guidance on how to pass the test. So, how the heck and I supposed to know all the material on the HESI?  Good question, fear not, we’re here to help you! 

Research shows one of the most effective learning techniques and test taking strategies is to use practice tests before taking the actual test. 

It’s worth pointing out that practice tests are good for practice but not so much learning, you won’t learn how to solve chemistry equations that you don’t know how to solve by taking the practice test, and you can’t work on finding the authors point of view without learning how to do that first.

What practice tests are good for is timing, stamina, and working under pressure. So just be sure to balance the learning of the material with practicing test questions. 

Once you have an idea of what your weak areas are you need to spend more study time on getting better at those topics, not just taking practice tests. 

We’ve been doing this long enough here at Smart Edition to know that not all practice tests on the internet are created equally and especially not free HESI practice exams, most free HESI A2 practice tests aren’t created specifically for the HESI, instead the questions are repurposed from a question bank to be roughly similar but in reality chances are it won’t be very close. 

Most free HESI practice tests are not timed either nor do they have the same question count for each topic, you’ll see 10 or 15 questions but not the actual amount for that section. To get you started you can take the free Smart Edition Academy HESI practice test.

HESI Practice Tests In Your Study Plan

There are a couple reasons why practice tests should be an essential part of your study plan. 

When you’re dealing with timed tests like the HESI A2 one of the biggest mental hurdles is becoming comfortable with the timing and the total duration of the test. 

In addition to that it’s one of the best ways to identify your strengths and weaknesses. 

  • Build stamina and endurance
  • Practice being timed
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses

Build Stamina and Endurance

The HESI is a long test at more than 5 hours depending on how many topics you have to take, so there are no two ways about it, you need the mental stamina and endurance to operate at peak performance from start to finish…or you won’t finish all the questions at all, time is your enemy on this one. 

I’ve seen it time and time again, students say their brain hurt after the test, they got to the last section and were out of gas, might as well have packed it up and gone home. Don’t be that student. 

This test is like running a marathon. Would you attempt to run a 26.2 mile marathon without training and building up your endurance and stamina? That’s a rhetorical question, of course you wouldn’t..duh. 

So this test is the same, you need to practice taking the individual sections in the allotted time. 

Just like training for that marathon, you can start with one section like English, then try doing 2 sections back to back, then 3 and then practice sitting for all 4 sections at one time. 

Doing the full test one time might not be enough, you’ll want to do this several times as you get closer to your test date to really build that endurance. 

This is why Smart Edition Academy HESI A2 online course includes 8 timed practice tests, you really will need this many tests to build your endurance.

Practice Being Timed

If you don’t have some type of anxiety about the test then congratulations, for the rest of us the HESI can be very stressful and create a lot of anxiety. 

One of the biggest drivers of anxiety is the fact that the test is timed. If you can become more comfortable working within the time constraints a lot of your anxiety will melt away. 

When you are taking the practice test you can start to get more comfortable with being “under the gun” and having that pressure on you. 

Here is how the timing breaks out for each subject area of the HESI test. 

  • Mathematics (50 questions, 50 minutes)

  • Reading Comprehension (47 questions, 60 minutes)

  • Vocabulary (50 questions, 50 minutes)

  • Grammar (50 questions, 50 minutes)

  • Biology (25 questions, 25 minutes)

  • Chemistry (25 questions, 25 minutes)

  • Anatomy & Physiology (25 questions, 25 minutes)

  • Physics (25 questions, 25 minutes)

You need to take notes, something like a journal as you are working through your first couple of timed tests. You want to identify and fix any issues related to time. 

You can also take note of questions that you have a hard time with and slow you down, questions that you take a long time to answer, these are the questions that will have you running out of time and left with unanswered and unscored questions. 

The scored report in the Smart Edition Academy HESI practice test will actually break down each question you answered and how long you took to answer each question as you can see below making it really easy to use actual data to help you fix the issues.

HESI A2 practice test

You might find issues with math equations like not knowing the correct order of operations, creating an equation from a word problem quickly, or you might get tripped up on long reading passages which are a key type of question on the test that you need to become better at answering faster. 

Repetition is key to becoming faster in each test section, completing practice tests over and over again will help you achieve this.

How To Use Your HESI A2 Practice Test

When To Take a HESI Practice Exam

There is some strategy involved for when to use practice tests to study for the HESI exam. 

You’ll want to spread your practice tests out a little and use them at just the right times to first create a baseline for yourself, and then to measure your progress and improvement as you continue to study.

The first thing you should do when you begin to prepare for the HESI exam is to take a diagnostic practice test. 

By diagnostic we mean your first practice test, it just means that you are taking it before studying to try and diagnose just like a doctor would for a patient, what are your pain points, what are your weakest topics, where are you struggling the most? 

Once you diagnose yourself and find the issues, you can start to fix those issues. It gives you a baseline for knowing where you’re starting from and how well you would do on the test if you had to take it today. 

After taking time to review your weak areas you can begin to think about retaking a practice test. 

Try to space out your practice tests to maybe once per week depending on how much time you have, but you don’t want to take 2-3 practice tests within a 2-3 day period. 

For this reason you will ideally have a practice test bank like the one that is included in the Smart Edition Academy HESI online course

The practice test bank is a set of 20-30 questions just on one specific topic like the cardiovascular system. 

For instance, you can drill down on just that topic and work through those practice questions without having to sit through a whole science section timed practice test. 

With each practice test attempt you should start to see a higher score and start to see those specific weak areas improve. 

Continue this process until you have worked through your weak areas and are getting higher scores. 

Your practice test scores can also help you determine when you might want to schedule your test if you have not done so already. 

After several practice tests you should start to feel comfortable that you are ready for the test. 

It’s generally recommended to avoid taking practice tests very close to your test date, you might consider not taking a test the last 2-3 days before your test.

Environment and Timing

As we’ve said taking a HESI practice exam is about simulating the real test and it’s also important to simulate the actual test environment you will be in on test day. 

You want to be at a table or desk and sitting in a chair just like you would for the test. 

It’s tempting to have music playing or the tv in the background and do it from your bed or a coffee shop or the places you usually study. 

You might be comfortable with the normal chaos in your house, but try to simulate that quiet environment you will experience on your test day. 

Dress like you would dress on test day, eat the same breakfast as test day, and if your test is already scheduled for a day and time, take the practice test on the same day and the same time as what you’re scheduled for. 

You get the idea, you want to sort of have a routine for that test day and you want to simulate that routine each time you take the test. 

Your goal here is to control yourself and everything in your environment to be as close to the real test experience as possible. 

Learn From The Results: Find Weakness

Your practice test is an opportunity for you to learn and identify several things. 

We already talked about taking notes on where you got tripped up in relation to the time constraints, but you also want to learn about your strengths and weaknesses so you can pinpoint the areas that if improved will raise your score the fastest.

Any good practice test will provide you with a scored report, the report below is from the Smart Edition Academy HESI A2 practice test. 

You can see that within the HESI math subject practice test, each question is tagged for the topic it covers, you can see the areas that need improvement which are your weaknesses and this information is invaluable to you.

HESI Practice test scored report

What To Do Next

Once you have taken your free HESI practice exam you are ready to start studying those weak areas. 

You should look for some high quality study resources from reputable companies and get to work. Smart Edition Academy has you covered with our HESI online courses and HESI practice test packs.

Make a Study Schedule

Having a good study schedule is really important to doing well on the test and improving your scores. 

There is a science to creating study schedules, the video above takes a deep dive into creating an effective study schedule. 

The most effective study strategies are two methods, the first is active recall and the second is spaced repetition which are explained in detail in the video above.

With active recall you want to make sure after you study the material, that you go back and actively use your brain to recall the information you just learned. 

You can do this by writing notes in your own words with the course or book closed so you force yourself to remember everything, then see what you missed. 

Doing some HESI practice questions immediately after studying or using flashcards are good options as well. 

Spaced repetition means that you should be spreading out when you study a specific weak area, so instead of just studying the topic one time, you want to study it on Monday, again on Wednesday, then the following Wednesday and do that repetition over a few weeks, this helps you to retain the information more. 


Once you have studied your weak areas more and feel like you have improved by using things like a question bank then you are ready to retake a free HESI practice test and you should start to see your scores improve. 

After retesting you should be able to further refine your strengths and weaknesses and continue this process until you are getting the required scores you need for your program. 


Hopefully if you’ve read this whole post you have a really good idea of how to use practice tests to improve your test scores. Once you have the practice test scores you need you can go ahead and register for the HESI.

How have you been using practice tests so far and will you change the way you have been using them after reading this?