HESI (Health Education Systems, Inc)

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

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, and Physical Therapist Assistant programs must take the HESI, except for students that have earned a Bachelor's Degree.
  • What does the test cover?
  • The following subtests make up the HESI 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. ~ 47 questions
    • Vocabulary & General Knowledge – Contains vocabulary terminology that is used commonly in both general English speaking and in the health care fields. ~ 50 questions
    • Grammar – Contains basic grammar, including parts of speech, important terms and their uses in grammar, commonly occurring grammatical errors, etc. ~ 50 questions
    • 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. ~ 50 questions (Nursing-Associate Degree and Medical Lab Tech students only)
    • Chemistry – Contains test items that cover matter, chemical equations and reactions, the periodic table, atomic structure, nuclear chemistry, chemical bonding, etc. ~ 25 questions (Medical Lab Technician students only)
    • Anatomy & Physiology - Measures a student's understanding of anatomical structures, systems and general terminology. ~ 25 Questions (Nursing-Associate Degree and Physical Therapist Assistant students only)
  • Can I prepare for the test?
  • Southwest Tech has HESI Study Guides available in the bookstore.
  • 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?
  • HESI is $40 for the full test and $40 for a retest on any portion(s).
  • Do I need to bring anything for testing?
  • A valid photo I.D. is required for testing. Pencils, scratch paper, and calculators are furnished for testing.
  • 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-Associate Degree Requirements:
    Reading Comprehension 75%
    Grammar 75%
    Vocabulary & General Knowledge 75%
    Math Skills 75%
    Anatomy & Physiology 50%
    Physical Therapist Assistant Requirements:
    Reading Comprehension 75%
    Grammar 75%
    Vocabulary & General Knowledge 75%
    Anatomy & Physiology 50%
    Medical Laboratory Technician Requirements:
    Reading Comprehension 75%
    Grammar 75%
    Vocabulary & General Knowledge 75%
    Math Skills 75%
    Chemistry 50%
  • 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 the office of the Support Services Specialist, Building 100, Room 108, 608.822.2631, TTY/TDD 608.822.2072, or .