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Information for students preparing to take the nursing admission test, HESI Admission Assessment™ (A²)

Please read this document before taking the nursing admission test. This document will explain how to register for the test as well as help you to determine how best you should prepare for the exam. This exam will determine (along with other factors as stated in the GRCC catalog) your eligibility to be placed on the waiting list for the Nursing Program (RN and LPN).

How do I sign up for the nursing admission test?

Register for your exam online at There is a $50 HESI testing fee. Registration for the HESI test is restricted to GRCC students. The Academic Testing Center is located on the 3rd floor Student Center, Room 325.

What is covered on the nursing admission test (A2 )?

The A2 covers six different areas: math, reading comprehension, vocabulary and general knowledge, grammar, learning styles and a personality profile. There are approximately 55 questions in each section. The total time to complete this test is approximately 4 hours.

Math focuses on the math skills needed for the calculation of drugs and other solutions. Topics covered can include:

  • Addition.
  • Subtraction.
  • Multiplication.
  • Division.
  • Fractions.
  • Decimals.
  • Ratio and Proportion.
  • Household Measures.
  • General Math Facts (Roman Numerals, Military Time, etc.).

Reading Comprehension involves reading scenarios that are health related.

Vocabulary and General Knowledge contains basic vocabulary that is often used in health care fields, but is not necessarily medical terminology.

Grammar contains basic grammar, including parts of speech, important terms and their uses in grammar, commonly occurring grammatical errors, etc.

Learning Styles examines your preferred ways of learning (not graded).

Personality Profile examines personality related to preferred learning style (not graded).

How do I prepare for the exam?

There are several ways to prepare to take the A2 . GRCC students who took the college placement exam (Accuplacer) and were placed into one or more Academic Foundation classes Fall 2021 2 (EN097, RD097/RD098, MA098) should complete these courses with a grade of C or higher before attempting the A2 .

If you did not take the placement test or did not need to take any Academic Foundation Program classes, you should consider purchasing the study guide, HESI Admission Assessment Study Guide available in the GRCC Bookstore or online.

There is also a copy available for review in the Heath Lab (this copy is to be kept in the Health Lab only, it may not be removed or checked out).

The GRCC Library also has A2 test prep e-books (available online to GRCC students) and print books on reserve in the GRCC Library (for use in the library only, they may not be removed or checked out). For e-book links and a current list of reserve books from the library, see the HESI Admission Assessment (A2) Exam EBooks Subject Guide

Free practice videos and test questions are available.

What is the passing score?

Only the Math, Reading Comprehension, Grammar, Vocabulary and General Knowledge subtests are scored. The passing score on each subtest is 75. The results of the Learning Style and Personality Style subtests are for your benefit to help you understand your learning and personality style and are not considered in the passing score. Scores are valid for 8 years.

Can I retake the exam?

You may retake each subtest. You will be required to pay the full fee ($50.00) each time regardless of taking one subtest or all four scored subtests.

You must wait at least 60 days before retaking a test (you may retake the exam one time in a 12-month period). This provides you an opportunity to review and improve your skills before attempting the test again. Depending on your score, you may need to take one or more Academic Foundation Program courses to strengthen your skills so that you may achieve a passing score. You will receive more information on recommendations after you take this test.

Anything else I should know?

If you have severe test anxiety you might benefit from speaking to a counselor in the Counseling and Career Development Center (3 rd floor Student Center,  (616) 234-4130 to schedule an appointment) in advance of taking this test.

If you need to take any Academic Foundation Program classes (EN097, RD097/098, and/or MA098), do so prior to taking this test. The skills you learn in these classes will help you to do better on this exam.

At the conclusion of the test you will be given your scores and an information sheet that will help you to interpret your scores, who to contact for more information and your next steps.