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.

Scheduling an Appointment

Placement tests are generally given Monday & Wednesday at 9:00am and 1:00pm. Scheduling a test can be done by either calling the Testing Center at 608.822.2313 or registering online. Payment is required when scheduling an appointment.


Payments for placement tests are due when the appointment is made. If you are unable to make your scheduled appointment, please call the testing center as soon as possible. If students do not notify the testing center at least 30 minutes before their appointment, they will forfeit their testing fee. Payments can be made over the phone using a credit or debit card; online registration payments can be made with a credit or debit card.

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, lockers 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, and Physical Therapist Assistant programs must take the HESI.
  • 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 (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)
  • Can I prepare for the test?
  • Southwest Tech has HESI Study Guides available in the bookstore.
    There are also Free practice tests at the HESI A2 Test site.
  • 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?
  • Program Reading Comprehension Grammar Vocabulary & General Knowledge Math Skills Chemistry
    Nursing-Associate Degree 75% 75% 75% - -
    Physical Therapist Assistant 75% 75% 75% - -
    Medical Laboratory Technician 75% 75% 75% 75% 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 .