HESI Admission Assessment (A2) Exam

Applicants to a pre-licensure nursing program (BSN, ABSN or ELMSN) need to take the HESI Admission Assessment Exam, also known as the HESI A2. Scores must be available by the time you submit your application.

The HESI A2 tests applicants on three main academic areas—English Language, Math, and Science—and two personal assessment areas. Each academic area has one or more exams that students must complete to be able to gauge a prospective students’ academic readiness.

In particular, Samuel Merritt University requires the following exams in the areas of English Language, Math, Science and Learner Profile:

English Language
Each exam includes 55 questions and lasts between 50-60 minutes.

  • Reading Comprehension: provides reading scenarios in order to measure reading comprehension, identifying the main idea, finding meaning of words in context, passage comprehension, making logical inferences, etc.
  • Vocabulary and General Knowledge: contains vocabulary terms that are commonly used in both general English-speaking settings and in health care fields.
  • Grammar: contains basic grammar, including parts of speech, important terms and their uses, commonly occurring grammatical errors, etc.

Math
Includes 55 questions and lasts 50 minutes.

  • Basic Math Skills: focuses on math skills needed for health care fields, including basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions, decimals, ratio and proportion, household measures, general math facts, etc.

Science
Includes 30 questions and lasts 25 minutes.

  • Anatomy & Physiology: provides coverage of general terminology and anatomical structures and systems.

Learner Profile
Each exam includes 14 or 15 questions and lasts 15 minutes.

  • Learning Style: assesses preferred learning style.
  • Personality Profile: assesses personality related to preferred learning style.

Additional Sections

There are two additional sections of the HESI Admission Assessment (Biology and Chemistry) that are not required by Samuel Merritt University. If you are taking the exam for a college/university that requires these sections, you can present those scores to us, but we will only consider the scores for the sections of the exam that we require as outlined above. 

Preparing for the HESI A2

HESI offers an Admission Assessment Exam Review study guide at a 25 percent discount to students. Learn more about the HESI A2 study guide and enter promo code 92595 to receive the discount. Please note that the study guide will cover sections of the exam that are not required by Samuel Merritt University. 

How to Register for the HESI Admission Assessment Exam (HESI A2)

The HESI A2 is a product of Elsevier and requires an Evolve student account. Please click the link below to create an account and register for HESI Student Access.

Step 1 - Creating an Evolve account:

  1. Go to: https://evolve.elsevier.com/cs/product/9781455728916?role=student

  2. Click on “Register for this now”

  3. Click on “Redeem/Checkout”

  4. Provide your contact information, email address, and create a password.

    1. Select Not Affiliated with a School

    2. Click “Submit”

  5. Accept the Registered User Agreement and click “Submit”

Note: If you already have an Elsevier Evolve Account, log into your account, and add HESI Student Access (https://evolve.elsevier.com/cs/product/9781455728916?role=student)

The HESI A2 Exam can be administered in the following methods:

  • Prometric Testing Centers – exam is administered in a testing center.
  • Examity – exam is administered remotely.

The exam content is the same for both options.

Step 2 - Please follow the instructions in the appropriate section below.

Prometric (testing center) – Registration Instructions

  • SMU Department ID required for Prometric Registration: 201772

Examity (remote testing) – Registration instructions

  • HESI Payment ID for Examity First Time HESI A2 Testers: 13628
  • HESI Payment ID for Examity Second Time HESI A2 Testers: 13629

Step 3 – Prior to your testing appointment please check your system compatibility

Questions about creating an Evolve Account and adding Student Access? Contact Elsevier Support at 1-800-222-9570

Questions about scheduling your appointment? Contact Examity at 1-855-392-6489, option 1. 

Scores

Successful applicants will have achieved a score of 80 percent or higher on each of the above exams in the areas of English Language, Math and Science. The Learner Profile exams will be used to understand more about your learning style and personality and there is no minimum score.

You will be able to access your score report within 48-72 hours of taking the exam (if not sooner) on your Evolve account. You must upload a copy of this score report to your NursingCAS application, which means that scores must be available by the application deadline. Plan your test dates accordingly as scores from test dates after the application deadline will not be accepted. There is no requirement to wait a certain period of time between exams on the part of Samuel Merritt University. However, it does take time to receive a test date so plan ahead. 

Applicants must submit official scores directly to Samuel Merritt University. If you have registered for and taken the HESI using the Samuel Merritt University Department ID, we will have access to your official scores, and you do not need to do anything else. If you registered through another school or did not ask your scores to be sent to Samuel Merritt University, you will need to request a HESI Transcript be sent to the Office of Admission via email, mail, or fax. Please click here to learn more about requesting a HESI Transcript. Our contact information for the request is:

 

Samuel Merritt University
ATTN: Office of Admission
3100 Telegraph Ave, Suite 1000
Oakland, CA 94609
admission@samuelmerritt.edu
Fax: 510-457-2622

Accommodations

Students requiring accommodations should follow the instructions below for the preferred testing option. Please allow 6 weeks for your accommodation to be processed.

Prometric Testing Center (Distance Testing) – Accommodation Registration Instructions

Examity (Remote Proctor) – Accommodation Registration Instructions

 

FAQs

Click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the HESI.

What is the HESI A2?
The HESI Admission Assessment (HESI A2) is an admission exam required of all applicants to pre-licensure nursing programs (BSN, ABSN and ELMSN). The exam tests your knowledge of the English language, math and science—academic skills that are critical for success in a nursing program.

Does Samuel Merritt University accept the TEAS?
No, we will accept the HESI A2 only.

When do I need to have my HESI A2 score?
You must have scores available to submit with your application. In other words, scores must be available by the application deadline. Applications submitted without HESI A2 scores will be considered incomplete.

Can I take the HESI A2 after the application deadline and provide my scores when they are available? If I retake the HESI A2, can I update my scores?
No. The scores that you submit with your application are the scores we will use to consider you for admission. If you are unhappy with your scores and fear that they might cause you to be denied admission, we recommend that you prepare to retake the exam and submit a new application.

How many times can I take the HESI A2?
We strongly recommend that you take the HESI A2 no more than two times. You may only take the HESI twice using the SMU department ID.

Do HESI scores expire?
HESI scores do not expire at SMU. 

How much time must pass between attempts?
Samuel Merritt University does not put restrictions on time between testing, but please give yourself enough time to study and prepare for your next attempt.

What subjects does Samuel Merritt University require?
There are three main sections to the HESI (English Language, Math and Science), each with one or more subsections. Samuel Merritt University requires scores in the following sections:   

English Language
Reading Comprehension
Vocabulary and General Knowledge
Grammar

Math
Basic Math Skills

Science
Anatomy & Physiology

Samuel Merritt University also requires two, short learner profile exams, which are not used in the evaluation of your application: Learning Style & Personality Profile.

Please note that there are additional sections on the HESI A2 that may be required for other schools to which you are applying. You can provide HESI A2 scores that include these additional sections so long as the sections that are required by Samuel Merritt University are included in those scores, including the two Learner Profiles.

​What are passing scores on the HESI A2?
While there are not passing scores, successful applicants will generally have a score of 80 percent or higher on each of the individual subsections as well as the overall composite score. The Learner Profile exams will be used to understand more about your learning style and personality and there is no minimum score.

How soon are the HESI A2 scores available?
You will be able to access your score report within 24 hours of taking the exam on your Evolve account. You must upload a copy of this score report to your NursingCAS application, which means that scores must be available by the application deadline.

How do I submit HESI scores using SMU's ID?
First, manually enter the scores in the designated areas of your NursingCAS application. Secondly, upload a copy of your score report in the Program Materials-Documents tab. If you have registered for and taken the HESI using the Samuel Merritt University Department ID, we will have access to your official scores, and you do not need to do anything else.

How do I submit HESI scores if I registered through another school's ID?
First, manually enter the scores in the designated areas of your NursingCAS application. Secondly, upload a copy of your score report in the Program Materials-Documents tab. If you registered through another school, you must have a HESI Transcript sent to the Office of Admission via email or mail. Please click here to learn more about requesting a HESI Transcript. Our contact information for the request is:

Samuel Merritt University
ATTN: Office of Admission
3100 Telegraph Ave, Suite 1000
Oakland, CA 94609
admission@samuelmerritt.edu

How do I register for the HESI A2?
The HESI A2 is administered by Elsevier. The first step is to create an Elsevier Evolve Account. After you have created your account you will have the option to register for  your exam and have it proctored through Prometric (Testing site option) or Examity (Remote option).

I’m being asked to provide a Samuel Merritt University Department ID. What is the SMU ID number?
The SMU ID number is:  201772. Note that Examity also requires that you enter a separate Payment ID number when registering. This information is described and listed in the Examity Registration Instructions above.

Which version do I sign up for: RN Admission Assessment Version 1 or 2?
Please choose Version 1 unless you have already taken the first exam. If you have already taken the exam, please sign up for version 2.

Are study materials available for the HESI A2?
Yes. Learn more about the HESI A2 study guide and enter promo code 92595 to receive a discount. 

I’m having difficulties registering for the HESI A2, what do I do?
Questions about creating an Evolve Account, adding Student Access, or Prometric? Contact Elsevier Support at 1-800-222-9570.
Questions about scheduling your Examity remote appointment? Contact Examity at 1-855-392-6489, option 1.

How do students request special accommodations for HESI exams given through Examity?
Remote Proctor Students who are scheduling a testing appointment, through Examity, who require exam accommodations due to a disability-related need (such as extra time, reader, screen magnification, etc.) will need to submit their accommodation requests and supporting disability documentation directly to Elsevier for review. Complete this "ADA Remote Proctoring Accommodation Request" form and then submit the completed form and supporting disability documentation through Elsevier's accommodation request portal (called "Hightail"). Do not schedule your testing appointment until you have received a response from the Elsevier Special Accommodations Team. A response to an accommodation request is given within six (6) weeks.

How do students request special accommodations for exams at Prometric?
Distance Testing Students scheduling a testing appointment at a Prometric Testing Center who require exam accommodations due to a disability-related need (such as extra time, reader, screen magnification, etc.) will need to submit their accommodation requests and supporting disability documentation directly to Elsevier for review. In the Evolve Portal, click on "Student Access" for the HESI assessment. Under the "Distance Testing" menu, select "Accommodation Request". Complete the "Request for Distance Testing Accommodation" form and then submit the completed form and supporting disability documentation through Elsevier's accommodation request portal (called "Hightail"). Do not schedule your testing appointment until you have received a response from the Elsevier Special Accommodations Team. A response to an accommodation request is given within six (6) weeks.

How do I pay for my HESI Exam and Schedule my Testing Appointment?
Follow the Registration Instructions for Prometric or Examity to pay for and schedule your HESI A2.

 

I have taken the HESI A2 more than once.  What scores do I use?
Please enter your highest score for each subsection of the HESI A2.  Please upload a copy of all your HESI A2 score reports with your NursingCAS application.

How much does the HESI cost?
SMU does not set costs, but you can expect the cost to be around $85 - $125, depending on the proctoring service you select. Fee waiver requests should also be directed to Elsevier.

How does the HESI differ from the TEAS?
The HESI and TEAS are similar exams offered by different companies. Although no single exam is perfect, the faculty at Samuel Merritt University feel that mastery of the content offered on the HESI A2, viewed in context of the entirety of your application, is a better predictor of success.