4 Tips for Acing Your HESI Exam

nursing students studying for their HESI

The first two years of your journey to becoming a registered nurse are filled with challenging prerequisites and maybe even a couple of all-nighters, but before your hard work can pay off and you begin nursing school, you must be officially accepted into the program. Pre-nursing students at Grand Canyon University will take the Health Education Systems Incorporated (HESI) A2 entrance exam before they are accepted into the nursing program. Although this exam is a crucial part of your success story, it is nothing you can’t handle. Here are four helpful tips that will lead to not just passing the HESI exam, but also excelling at it!

Tip 1: Do Not Procrastinate

Two years sounds like a long time to prepare for the HESI exam, but it will come quicker than you think. According to the American Psychological Association, spacing out study sessions over a long period of time improves long-term memory. Rather than cramming two years of information into a couple of all-night study sessions a week before the exam, hit the books early. Study a little bit each week leading up to your HESI exam date. Not only will this improve your test score, but it will also help improve your grades in classes you’re currently enrolled in! Know your anatomy and physiology, reading, writing and arithmetic.

Tip 2: Talk to Those with Experience

Whether it’s your professor, current nurses or other students who have passed the HESI exam, talk to them! All of these individuals were at one point where you are right now, facing the same struggles and worries. The good news is that there are survivors, and they have succeeded and are now where you hope to be in the future! These people want to see you succeed, and they share the same passion as you and probably remember their own nerves as they prepared for the HESI exam. Allow these experienced individuals to counsel, advise and coach you while you prepare for your future!

Tip 3: Be Confident, Be Positive

Tests can bring out the anxiety in all of us, especially when it’s an exam you have been anticipating for two years. When it comes to test taking, students who perform better tend to cope with anxiety in more productive ways. In addition, relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, muscle tensing and relaxing exercises and visualization may help to boost your confidence before taking the HESI. Be confident in yourself and your abilities! Get a good night of sleep the night before the test, and eat a nutritious breakfast the morning of your exam. The HESI exam is a meaningful exam, so it is important to be prepared and take the exam under optimal circumstances.

Tip 4: Do Not Give Up

The whole point of the HESI exam is to prepare students for the nursing program and for future careers in the medical field. This exam is in place to help you, so take your time and truly learn the material. If you don’t pass the HESI the first time, that is okay. If you have to retake some classes or use more time to study, then do that! There is nothing stopping you from reaching your goals and achieving your dream. Don’t give up on yourself, and don’t let anything get in between you and your aspirations!

The College of Nursing and Health Care Professions has a tradition of preparing students to fill evolving healthcare roles as highly qualified professionals educated in direct care, management, health education and administrative disciplines. To learn more about GCU’s nursing programs, visit our website or contact us using the Request More Information button at the top of the page.

Written by Quin Jackson, a sophomore earning an advertising and public relations degree at GCU.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.