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How To Study For The HESI Vocabulary Section Of The HESI Exam

In this post we’ll go over an outline of all the topics you will see on the HESI A2 vocabulary section of the HESI exam as well as provide you with a free timed HESI vocabulary 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 A2 vocabulary 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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How To Study For The HESI Vocabulary Practice Test

Studying for the HESI A2 vocabulary exam can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know where to start. We’ve outlined the best ways to study and how to get started studying for the HESI exam.  

  • The first thing you do before you make a flashcard, start panicking or buy a bunch of study books, take a free HESI vocabulary practice test like this one that includes a diagnostic report of each subject within each section of the test.

TIP: Take a 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 vocabulary practice test section, you’ll figure out how well you know about context clues and multiple meaning words.

Be focused, be prepared to sit for a while, and eliminate distraction

hesi vocabulary practice test

Notate the strengths and your weaknesses for each section of the test and develop a study schedule.

We walk you through how to create a HESI study schedule and a study plan with a template by clicking

hesi a2 vocabulary practice test

After developing a study schedule and plan, it’s time to invest in HESI study resources. 

TIP: It’s important for your success in studying to invest in resources that align with your learning style. For example, if you like to highlight inside of pages, a written study guide would work.

On the other hand, if you’re a visual or auditory learner, an online course with color graphics or videos will be much better suited to you.

This is important because if you don’t like your study material, you’re probably not going to study. 😭😭😭 

Study in small timed segments. It’s better to study 5x a week for (2) 20-minute sessions than an 8-hour long study session.

It’s best to study your sessions up against other scheduled non-negotiable items. 

For example, schedule your study sessions right before your workout class, the hour before soccer practice with the family, or study with your morning coffee by setting your alarm for an hour earlier before you have to start getting ready for work.

If you know that’s your only time in the day you have free, you’ll use it wisely. 

Keep taking practice tests every few weeks to measure how you’re improving in the areas you’ve been studying. 

Find your tribe! There are thousands of students actively studying for the HESI *right now*, you can join our free study group to join in the discussions.

If you ask a question in there, you’ll have people from all over the country sharing their perspective and giving advice. It’s totally free to join, click here.

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 practice test.

After retaking your 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.

Common Questions About Studying for the HESI Exam

“Should I study one subject at a time or study a few sections at a time?” 

It’s okay to skip around if you have a plan, meaning you know everything you need to study and you have a schedule of when you’ll study each topic.

It’s also okay to skip around as long as you spend time revisiting each topic you have studied a few times before your test. 

“What are some of the best resources to study for the HESI?” 

We made a top 10 list of best HESI study resources, check out the video below.

“What are some small ways to incorporate studying into my day?”

Some of our students who have scored 90% and higher say their secret was listening to the videos in the online course in their car or while at work which allowed them to multitask. 

Other ideas are to start following pre-nursing channels on Youtube and look at the #prenursingstudent hashtags on TikTok or Instagram.

By seeing more nursing content on your feed, you’ll always be motivated and reminded of your goals and journey. 

You can follow us on TikTok: @Smart_Edition_Academy 

You can follow us on Instagram: @smarteditionacademy

Root Words, Prefixes, and Suffixes

As we mentioned above, you can’t memorize an infinite list of words.

However, you can buckle down on studying root words, prefixes, and suffixes.

Below you’ll have some of the most common root words, prefixes, and suffixes as well as some example HESI A2 vocabulary practice test questions on these topics. 

Remember❗ You can figure out a word’s meaning by looking closely at its different word parts (root, prefixes, and suffixes).

Chart of Common Root Words and Examples:

hesi vocabulary root words

Chart of Common Prefixes and Examples: 

hesi a2 vocabulary prefix

Examples of Common Suffixes and Examples: 

hesi a2 vocabulary suffix

Vocabulary HESI Practice Test Questions:

hesi vocabulary
hesi a2 vocabulary

Context Clues and Multiple Meaning Words 🔍

You can identify that a particular word in a sentence is by using the parts of the word or by utilizing context clues.

The HESI exam will test you on your ability to determine unfamiliar words, how to properly identify multiple meaning words, and how to use words properly in context. 

 Vocabulary HESI Practice Test Questions:

hesi vocabulary practice test
hesi a2 vocabulary practice test


While the HESI A2 vocabulary section of the test contains a lot of material and very long passages, 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 HESI free practice test and HESI online course in order to get the most out of your study time

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