How to Prepare for the HESI Admission Assessment (A2)

Chamberlain College of Nursing requires that all applicants for pre-licensure nursing programs complete the HESI Admission Assessment (A2) prior to admission.  The HESI A2 consists of seven academic exams and a personality profile that identifies the applicant’s learning style.

A passing score for the HESI A2 is 75%.  Applicants are given two attempts to take the exam and Chamberlain College of Nursing will look at the applicant’s higher score in each of the exams. If you decide to submit an application for admission to Chamberlain, there is no additional fee for the A2 Assessment. Upon submitting your application, Chamberlain recommends that you complete the A2 within 3-5 days.

There are several ways in which you can prepare for the assessment.  A study booklet, Admission Assessment Exam Review (Elsevier Health Services), can be purchased at each Chamberlain campus or ordered. Another technique that you may find beneficial to prepare for the HESI Admission Assessment is to take HESI practice tests online.  Some websites that offer HESI test practice are:, and

When preparing for the HESI A2, it’s a good idea to keep in mind why students study for exams to begin with.  Some motivations for studying may include to improve one’s test scores, to build confidence and to reduce overall test-taking anxiety.  It’s important to go into the exam with a positive attitude!

That being said, here are some additional recommendations that I have found, through working with applicants like you, best prepare you to take the HESI A2 Assessment. Make sure to get a full night’s rest the night before your assessment.  Cramming for the HESI A2 or pulling an “all-nighter” will do little to improve your score, and may do more to hinder your success.  A good alternative to cramming the night before the test may be to arrive to campus early and have a 30-minute “power-study” session to refresh your brain right before the test.  Keep in mind that the A2 assesses your understanding of subject areas you have studied throughout your education, so the information should not be new material for you. While you certainly want to put efforts in to prepare, approaching it from this perspective should put your mind at ease.

You will be allowed up to 5 hours and 15 minutes to complete the A2, so it’s also important to eat a good breakfast the day of your assessment. While taking the assessment, remember to manage your time in a way that best works for you.  Some  find that answering the easiest questions first and saving the more difficult problems for last works best for them, while others find it best to tackle the hardest questions first while you are most alert.

Overall, remember not to stress – use your best relaxation techniques to reduce test anxiety, avoid stressful situations prior to taking the assessment and get your blood flowing prior to testing.  A good way to do this is by listening to your favorite music on the way to Chamberlain!

Read more frequently asked questions about the HESI Admission Assessment (A2) Exam

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