HESI is a computerized exam given to students going into the Nursing – Associate Degree, Medical Lab Technician, Physical Therapist Assistant, Surgical Technician, or Radiography programs to determine academic readiness.

What Is Covered On The Test?

The following subtests make up the HESI test for Southwest Tech. There are 55 questions in each test.

  • 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 & General Knowledge – Contains vocabulary terminology that is used commonly in both general English speaking and in the health care fields.
  • Grammar – Contains basic grammar, including parts of speech, important terms and their uses in grammar, commonly occurring grammatical errors, etc.

Scheduling an Appointment

For the fall semester, testing will be on the following dates. Test times will be at 9:00 and 1:00.

  • Wednesday, April 24th
  • Monday, May 6th
  • Monday, May 20th
  • Wednesday, June 12th
  • Monday, June 24th

The cost to take the test on campus is $55 and is paid when you register.

To reserve a spot, Register through DaySmart Appointments.

General Rules

  • A valid photo I.D. is required for testing.
  • Food and drinks are not allowed in the testing center.
  • Personal belongings are not allowed in testing rooms, locked bags are available.

HESI Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I have to take the HESI?
  • Students applying for admission to Southwest Tech's Nursing (Associate Degree), Medical Laboratory Technician, Physical Therapist Assistant, and Surgical Technician programs must take the HESI.

  • How can I prepare?
  • There are several free options to help you study for the test.

    The Southwest Tech Bookstore has books available for purchase. Please note: The book contains information on all of the HESI tests but Southwest Tech only tests Reading, Grammar, and Vocabulary.

    Ordering the HESI Study Guide

    Go to the Southwest Tech Online bookstore at swtc.ecampus.com.

    Physical Copy

    1. Select the dropdown Textbooks Menu
    2. Select Buy
    3. A Shop Course Materials will open up
    4. Select a campus Term
      • Current Spring/Summer/Fall Term
    5. Select a Department
      • Scroll to the bottom of the window and select 99999
    6. Select a course
      • 103
    7. Select a section
      • 9999
    8. Select the GET YOUR BOOKS button
    9. Enter the Qty as 1 and proceed to the checkout
    10. If you have never purchased from out bookstore you will need to set up an account.

    Digital Copy

    1. Follow the link below to order a digital copy of the textbook
    2. Admission Assessment Exam Review E-Book 5th Edition | RedShelf
    3. You will almost immediately receive an email from RedShelf (Digital Content Provider)
    4. You will need to set up an account at RedShelf
    5. Register RedShelf
      • Once logged in to your RedShelf account
      • Locate the code number that RedShelf sent you to access the eBook and enter that information in the Redeem your RedShelf Access Code. It is located just under the dark grey bar that says MyShelf in the center of the screen.
      • You can now start reading.
    6. For additional information on the functionality of the eBook, please see the links below.
      • eReader and Features Overview – RedShelf Solve
      • eReader Personal Display Options – RedShelf Solve
      • Assistive Technologies – RedShelf Solve
  • When will I find out what my test scores are?
  • Students will receive their HESI results and a copy of their score report immediately upon the completion of testing.

  • What are the required scores for the HESI?
  • Nursing

    Students must have a score of 75% in all three areas of the HESI (Reading, Grammar, and Vocabulary) to go directly into the Nursing program. Students that do not meet the 75% requirement in all three areas, but have at least a 70% in one area of the HESI will be accepted into pre-core Nursing. Students that score below a 70% in all areas of the HESI will be required to retest.

    • 75% and above (all areas) – Accepted directly in Nursing
    • 74-70% (at least one area) – Accepted to pre-core Nursing
    • Below 70% (all areas) – required to retest, not accepted

    Physical Therapist Assistant

    Students must have a score of 75% in all three areas of the HESI (Reading, Grammar, and Vocabulary) to submit a petition for the PTA program.

    Medical Laboratory Technician

    Students who do not meet the minimum HESI requirements of a 75% in all areas (Reading, Grammar, and Vocabulary) may be conditionally accepted to the program and should meet with the program Advisor to discuss their options.

    Surgical Technician

    Students need to have a minimum score of 65% in all areas (Reading, Grammar, and Vocabulary).


    Students need a minimum of 75% in all areas (Reading, Grammar, and Vocabulary).

  • How long does the testing take?
  • The time limit for HESI is 4 hours, but most students finish in 2 to 3 hours.
  • Is there a charge for testing?
  • $55 for on campus testing. Payment is due when the appointment is made.
  • Do I need to bring anything for testing?
  • A valid photo I.D. is required for testing.
  • Can I retest on the HESI?
  • Students can retest once per calendar year, not within 30 days of the original test.
  • What if I need accommodations for testing?
  • Students with disabilities, who need accommodations, should contact Disability Services, Knox Learning Cetner, Room 314, 608.822.2631, TTY/TDD 608.822.2072, or email .