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.

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.

How Can I prepare for the test?

There are a couple of options to purchase the HESI A2 Study Guide.

  • Southwest Tech Bookstore has HESI Study Guides available for purchase for a price of $44.00 plus tax. Book Buy Back is available for the book when you are done. Contact the Bookstore at 608-822-2460 or e-mail bookstore@swtc.edu to order a copy.
  • There is also an option for renting the e-book. The cost is $10.50 plus tax for a 30-day rental (longer options are also available).
  • There are also free practice tests at the HESI A2 Test site.

Scheduling an Appointment

There are 2 options for scheduling a HESI Test.

  1. The test can be taken online. You will need to have access to a laptop with a camera and a mic (Chromebooks and tablets cannot be used). You will also need stable internet and a quiet area to take the test.

    The cost is $60 to take the test online and is paid when you register for a test time. To request an online HESI test, Please complete the online form. Once your information is received, instructions for completing the test online will be sent to you.

  2. On campus testing will be available on 4 days during the fall semester. They are:

    • October 6 – 9:00 and 1:00
    • October 21 – 9:00 and 1:00
    • November 5 – 9:00 and 1:00
    • November 13 – 9:00 and 1:00

    The cost to take the test on campus is $50 and is paid when you register.

    To reserve a spot, Register through Appointment-Plus.

If you are unable to make your scheduled appointment:

  • For Online testing – Log onto your ProctorU account and change your appointment.
  • For on campus testing – 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.

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.
  • How long does the testing take?
  • The time limit for HESI is 4 hours, but most students finish in 2 to 3 hours. For online testing, an additional hour is needed to set up accounts before scheduling a test time.
  • Is there a charge for testing?
  • Yes, it is $60 for online testing and $50 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.
  • 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 .