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How To Study For The Grammar Section Of The HESI Exam

In this post we’ll go over an outline of all the topics you will see on the HESI grammar section of the HESI exam as well as provide you with a free timed HESI A2 grammar practice test. This outline comes directly from the Smart Edition Academy HESI exam online course. You’ll also get an idea of how using a timed HESI grammar practice test can help you become more comfortable with the format of the test, the types of questions you will see, and help you become faster at answering the questions with the given time limit. Check out everything you need to know about the test in our HESI exam ultimate guide review.

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Start With a HESI Grammar Practice Test

So how do you study for the HESI grammar section of the HESI exam? We get this question all the time. You’re not the first person to ask and you’re not the first person to struggle with this section of the HESI A2 exam. 

Step 1: Before buying any test prep material or planning any late night study sessions is to take a free HESI A2 grammar practice test. 

Why? You want to take a HESI A2 grammar practice test first because you want to experience what taking the test is like and you want to take the entire test to receive a free diagnostic report. 

TIP: Take a HESI A2 grammar practice test when you’re ready and focused. Your initial practice test gauges what sections of the test you score high and low on as well as breaks down each section into sub-subjects. For example, when you take the HESI grammar practice test section, you’ll figure out how well you know about point of view or transition words. Be focused, be prepared to sit for a while, and eliminate distractions. 

hesi grammar practice test

Step 2:  evaluate your diagnostic report. Open the Notes App on your phone or a notebook and write down which sections you scored highest and lowest (Reading, Vocabulary, Grammar, Match, Chemistry, Etc).

Next, notate within each section, what subjects did you score the highest on and weakest. For example, in the diagnostic report below, subject verb agreement, pronouns, and verbs and verb tenses were the highest score. Adjectives and adverbs, direct objects and indirect objects, and nouns were identified as “weak areas”.

hesi a2 grammar practice test

Step 3:

The third step is to create an effective plan or study schedule that involves you spending anywhere between 1-3 hours a week studying a particular subject. We have an in-depth video ALL about how to create a HESI study schedule that includes a free template with all the topics, how long you need to study for, dos and don’ts for studying (spoiler alert, long study sessions are bad!). Watch the video here

Step 4: The next step is to invest in study resources that align with your learning style. For example, if you like to highlight and scribble notes a HESI Study Guide Book may work well for you. If you’re a visual learner (videos, color graphics, etc)  and like lots of HESI A2 grammar practice tests, a HESI online course may be better for you. <—— new stuff same as below

Find Good HESI Test Prep Resources Based On Your Learning Style

If you like to study within a group, you might like our free group tutoring sessions and Facebook study group.

If you like to study by listening or watching videos, you’ll love the 100+ videos in our 50+ lessons inside of our HESI Online Course

If you like to take practice tests and study from the answer explanations, you’ll love our 1,300+ practice questions and 8 timed practice tests in the HESI Online Course.

Step 5: The final step is to study according to your study schedule and make sure you’re including tons of active recall and practice techniques. This basically means that as you’re studying you’re giving yourself active practice such as closing the study materials and writing down what you learned or taking a few HESI practice test problems from a test bank. You want to spend 2-3 weeks actively studying before you retake a HESI A2 grammar practice test. After retaking your HESI A2 grammar practice test, you can compare your scores from your first attempt to see how much your score has increased. Keep doing this until you’re scoring at the level you’re striving for. 

HESI Grammar Practice Test and Review

As you prepare for the HESI, it’s important to understand how the test is structured and what is on the test. The HESI exam is broken down into different sections and each educational program varies in what sections they require students to take. 

For example, while a physics section of the HESI exists, most schools do not require that section to be taken. 

The HESI exam includes testing sections on reading, vocabulary, grammar, bath, biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, and physics. 

The HESI grammar section includes 55 questions on the basics of the English language, parts of speech, and knowledge of the English language. This includes being able to define and recognize various parts of speech, clauses, sentences, modifiers, and more. 

There are 10 types of questions you can expect on the HESI grammar section which are:

  1. Which sentence is grammatically correct?
  2. Which sentence is grammatically incorrect?
  3. Which sentence should replace the following incorrect sentence?
  4. Which sentence uses punctuation correctly? 
  5. Identify if a sentence is complete or incomplete. 
  6. Identify the word or phrase that makes the sentence grammatically correct.
  7. Identify the word or phrase that is used incorrectly in the sentence. 
  8. Identifying various parts of speech and how they are being used in the sentence. 
  9. Fill in the blank the best word to complete the sentence.
  10. Identify the sentence that uses homographs or homophones correctly or incorrectly. 

HESI Grammar Study Tips

The very first thing you need to do before you start to study or buy a bunch of books is to take a free HESI grammar practice test.  Click here for a free HESI A2 grammar practice test. 

hesi grammar practice test

You want to take a realistic HESI A2 grammar practice test first because you’ll be able to experience the exam yourself and you’ll be able to see a diagnostic report of your strengths and weaknesses in each subject. 

After you’ve identified those strengths and weaknesses, you can get study resources that align with your learning style. We go over how to do this step by step in this video, click here to watch. 


HESI Grammar Practice Test Scored Report

Other HESI Study Tips Include:

Surround yourself with like-minded people who are motivated and on a similar path as you. The best ways to do that are: 

➡️  Join our free HESI Study Group by clicking here. There are thousands of students studying for the HESI at the same time as you. We do free group tutoring, share notes, & more. 

➡️  Secondly, you can start to follow particular hashtags on social media including TikTok or Instagram including #prenursinglife #prenursingstudent #prenursingmajor 

Another useful tip is to incorporate studying into your everyday life. For example, following HESI related content on social media because you check your social media every day. Another example could be to incorporate listening to HESI study videos like this one on your way to work or while on your lunch break, even if it’s for 10 minutes a day. 

Build shorter study sessions into your study schedule. We have a whole rundown of how to create a HESI study schedule, how to plan your study sessions, and more HESI study tips, you can watch that video here

It’s important to look forward to studying, otherwise, you won’t do it. Not only do we recommend using study materials you’ll actually like, but also study during times you know you can’t move around. For example, commit to studying every day between a 60-90 minute window between two things say before a workout class or between soccer practice and starting your next shift. By scheduling shorter periods between “can’t move” activities, you’re more likely to actually do it. 

Get resources you can use anytime anywhere. Sometimes things change and you can find spare time throughout the day. Creating a watch list on Youtube, invest in a mobile friend online course (like this one), or leave yourself a notebook, notes in an app, or voice memos about concepts you’ve been studying. For example, read yourself 2-3 pages worth of notes and relisten to them when you have a break of 5-10 minutes.

Spelling, Capitalization, & Punctuation

Part of the HESI grammar practice test section will test your understanding and knowledge of conventions of standard English which includes spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. 

For the spelling section, it’s important to know: 

  1. Vowels and Consonants
  2. Suffixes and Plurals 
  3. Homophones and Homographs.

You’ll be expected to be able to identify commonly misspelled words. In addition, you’ll be presented with questions that include homophones and homographs and you’ll have to identify if the word is being used and/or spelled correctly based on the sentence. For example, you should know the difference between:

  1. Too and To
  2. Their, They’re, and There 
  3. Bare and Bear 
  4. Break and Brake 

For the capitalization section, it’s important to know: 

  • When to and when not to capitalize properly when using months, days, holidays, professional titles, events, proper nouns, and more. 

For these types of questions, you’ll be asked to identify correct and incorrect capitalization. For example, you may be asked to select which of the following is correctly capitalized:

  1. George w. Bush
  2. Our meeting is on friday, August 4th. 
  3. Disney World is in Orlando, Florida. 
  4. Her name is sarah, 

For the punctuation, it’s important to know:

  • Periods (.) 
  • Question Marks (?) 
  • Exclamation Points (!) 
  • Commas (,) 
  • Semicolons (;) 
  • Colons (:) 
  • Apostrophes (’) 
  • Hyphens (-) 
  • Quotation Marks (“) 

For each of the punctuation marks, you should know how to use it correctly and incorrectly. Moreover, you should know the meaning and connection between words that each punctuation mark is for. For example, you should know a period is used to end a sentence or an idea in written text. Every sentence should end with a period or another punctuation mark such as an exclamation point or question mark.


A large portion of the HESI grammar section reviews parts of speech. Starting with nouns, HESI test takers should know what a noun is. Next, students should know the function of a noun in a sentence and how it relates to a subject or subject. In addition, students should know the difference between plural and singular nouns.

Students should also know the difference between a common noun and a proper noun. Lastly, students should know the difference between concrete and abstract nouns. Students will be expected to read a sentence and be able to identify the subject, object, or what type of noun is being used. 

Below is an example of a HESI practice question on nouns. For more practice test questions like this, take the full free practice test by clicking here.

hesi grammar nouns practice question


In addition to knowing all about the various types of nouns, you’ll also be expected to have a solid understanding of what pronouns are and the various roles of pronouns. Pronouns can be used in place of a noun. Pronouns can also either be used as a subject, object, or possessive. 

We’ve included a chart from our lesson on pronouns to provide you with examples of pronouns and their various roles. 

hesi grammar practice test

Adjectives and Adverbs

HESI test-takers will also be tested on their knowledge and comprehension of adjectives and adverbs. As a refresher, an adjective describes or tells us more about a noun or a pronoun. On the other hand, an adverb describes or tells us more about a verb, another adjective, or another adverb. 

Furthermore, students could be asked to identify how many adjectives or adverbs are in a sentence, identify a part of speech for an underlined word, or selecting the correct word to complete a sentence. 

Conjunctions and Prepositions

There are 5 important things to know to correctly answer the questions on the grammar section of the HESI about conjunctions and prepositions. 

  1. Conjunctions are what connect words, clauses, or phrases in a sentence. For instance, the words and, so, and but, are all conjunctions that connect two ideas together. 
  2. There are three types of conjunctions: coordinating, subordinating, and correlative. 
  3. Prepositions show the correlation between two nearby words. An example of a proposition would be the word for or with. 
  4. Preposition phrases include the preposition and the object of the preposition. 
  5. A clause is an expression that has a verb and a subject. Clauses can either be independent or dependent. 

Verbs and Verb Tenses

The last topics to know for the parts of speech grammar-related questions on the HESI exam are verbs and verb tenses. Students will be tested on their knowledge of the various verb sentences, what is a verb, the various forms of verbs, and more. We’ve identified what you need to know and have an understanding of prior to taking the exam. 

Checklist For What To Know About Verbs and Verb Tenses:

✔️  Know what a verb is and what verb tenses are.

✔️ Be able to identify the three forms of verbs in a sentence or answer selection. 

✔️ Know what helping verbs are and how they are used in a phrase. 

✔️ Know when to use perfect or progression tenses and how they can be used together. 

✔️ Know the difference between regular and irregular verbs.

Subject and Verb Agreements

Students can also expect to be tested on their knowledge of the English language which includes question topics such as subject and verb agreements, types of sentences, types of clauses, modifiers, and direct and indirect objects. 

The most important things to know and understand with the subject and verb agreement-oriented questions include a few “rules of grammar”. These three rules include: 

  1. All sentences require a subject and a verb. Know the difference between a subject and a verb and how they relate to one another in a sentence. 
  2. The predicate is the portion of the sentence with the verb. 
  3. Subject and verb must agree in person and number. If you have one subject, it needs one corresponding agreeing verb. 

Below is an example of a subject and verb agreement HESI practice test: 

HESI A2 Grammar Subject Verb agreement practice question

Types of Sentences

There are four important things to remember and know how to identify and apply in a question for the HESI grammar section about types of sentences. 

  1. A sentence with a clause (with a single subject and predicate) is considered a simple sentence. 
  2. When a sentence is made up of two independent clauses with a coordinating conjunction, that’s considered a compound sentence. 
  3. Complex sentences have subordinating conjunction, independent clause, and one or more dependent clauses. 
  4. Lastly, it’s important to know what parallel structure is. Parallel structure refers to repeated grammatical form within a sentence. 

Below is an example of a HESI practice test question on types of sentences: 

grammar hesi a2 types of sentences

Types of Clauses

HESI test-takers will be tested on their understanding of the various types of clauses. Students will be expected to be able to correctly identify independent and dependent clauses within a phrase or in the answer selections. 

Important things to know for these types of questions would be:

  1. Know what an independent, dependent, coordinate, and subordinate clause is. 
  2. Know when a sentence includes either a complete thought or a connected thought. 
  3. Know the common words that indicate there is an independent clause such as however or also. 
  4. Know how independent clauses can be connected together. 
  5. Lastly, be sure to know the common words that signify the dependent or subordinate clause in sentences.

Below are two sample HESI practice test questions on types of clauses: 

hesi practice question
hesi grammar practice test types of clauses


On the grammar section of the HESI exam, you should expect to come across modifiers. A modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that adds detail by describing another word in a sentence. Common examples of modifiers include adverbs, adjectives, and prepositional phrases. It’s important to note when to use modifiers to keep sentences clear and meaningful. 

Here are a few helpful rules to remember when being tested on modifiers:

  1. Modifiers should be close to the words they modify. 
  2. In order to modify the subject of a sentence, the modifier should be in the beginning of the sentence. 
  3. The modifier has to apply to a word in the same sentence.

Below are two examples of modifiers in action in sentences: 

hesi grammar practice tests modifiers

Direct Objects and Indirect Objects

Finally, the last subject you can expect to see questions on the HESI exam is direct and indirect objects. Questions will involve identifying either the direct object or indirect object in the written context. In addition, test-takers will be expected to be able to identify verbs and their correlation to the objects. 

Below are the three key things to remember about direct and indirect objects: 

🔑 A direct object directly receives the action of the verb.

🔑 An indirect object indirectly receives the action of the verb.

🔑 An indirect object comes between the verb and the direct object.

Look at these examples:

    • Kim threw the ball. The ball is the direct object. Ask yourself: What did she throw?
  • Kim threw Tommy the ball. Tommy is the indirect object. Ask yourself: Who did she throw it to?

Here is an example of a HESI practice test question about direct and indirect objects: 

hesi a2 grammar practice test direct and indirect objects


While the HESI grammar section of the test contains a lot of difficult material to master, if you are able to put in the study time with good study materials you should be able to dominate this section. 

Take advantage of our free HESI grammar practice test and HESI online course in order to get the most out of your study time.

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