​The Testing Center closed until further notice. No tests can be scheduled at this time. If you would like to be contacted when scheduling is opened, please complete this form.

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 at 9:00am and 1:00pm & Wednesday at 9:00am. 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.


The fee for the HESI test is $50. 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 or online using 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, 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, 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
  • Can I prepare for the test?
  • Southwest Tech has HESI Study Guides available in the bookstore for purchase. A limited number are available for checkout in the ATL (Auto Tutorial Lab, 3rd Floor of the Health Science Center).
    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?
  • The fee is now $50
  • Do I need to bring anything for testing?
  • A valid photo I.D. is required 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

    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.

  • 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 Disability Services Specialist, Building 100, Room 108, 608.822.2631, TTY/TDD 608.822.2072, or email .