Students who have met all program petition requirements and have submitted a complete petition form during the designated petition window will be invited to take the Health Education Systems, Inc. (HESI) A2 Exam to earn admission to Dental Hygienist, Nursing, Radiography, Surgical Technologist, and Veterinary Technician programs.

HESI provides potential students with the opportunity to demonstrate college-level achievement through a series of related exams. The HESI A2 will show whether or not a student is academically prepared for the rigor and content of NTC’s Dental Hygienist, Nursing, Radiography, Surgical Technologist, or Veterinary Technician programs. This test will additionally allow staff to determine which students are most academically prepared to start in core program classes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Programs Require HESI Testing?

  • Dental Hygienist
  • Nursing
  • Radiography
  • Surgical Technologist
  • Veterinary Technician

How Often is HESI Offered?

HESI testing dates can be found on the competitive admissions pages for the associated programs. Nursing and Veterinary Technician offer petition/HESI twice each year. The other programs (Dental Hygienist, Radiography, and Surgical Technologist) offer petition/HESI once each year.

Do I Need to Register?

After the petition window has closed, you will be prompted (via email) to purchase your test code and register for the exam.

How Much Does it Cost?

$55.00 (plus tax). Price is subject to change and although not common, an additional fee may be required if virtual testing is offered.

How Long is the Exam?

Students have historically averaged about three hours. Students are allowed four hours to complete all four sections.

What is the Exam Format?

It is given on a computer.

What Subjects Will I Be Tested On?

Math, Reading, Chemistry and Anatomy/Physiology.

What Content is Covered in Each Subject?

There are a total of 147 questions, including:

Math: 50 Questions

The assessment indicates a student’s basic math skills at the eighth to tenth grade levels and focuses on math skills needed for health care fields:

  • basic addition, subtraction, multiplication
  • fractions, decimals, ratios and proportion
  • household measures and general math facts related to calculating drug dosages and solutions.

Reading: 47 Questions

The assessment indicates basic reading comprehension skills at the eighth to tenth grade levels and provides health related reading scenarios in order to measure reading comprehension:

  • identifying the main idea
  • finding meaning of words in context
  • passage comprehension
  • making logical inferences

Chemistry: 25 Questions

The assessment indicates basic knowledge of chemistry at a lower division college level and contains test questions covering:

  • matter
  • chemical equations and reactions
  • the periodic table
  • atomic structure
  • nuclear chemistry
  • chemical bonding

A&P: 25 Questions

The assessment indicates basic knowledge of anatomy and physiology at a lower division college level and provides coverage of:

  • general terminology
  • anatomical structures
  • anatomical systems

May I Use a Calculator or Scratch Paper?

A basic (non-scientific) calculator is embedded in the exam and available to students for use when appropriate. Scratch paper will be provided by the test proctor and must be turned in after testing is complete. Calculators, translators, dictionaries, cell phones, etc. are not allowed.

How Can I Prepare For the Exam?

To prepare for the exam you can review materials from your related courses at NTC. An optional study guide is available for purchase through the NTC Campus Store for approximately $48. Additional resources may be available by using a basic web search for HESI A2 preparation materials.

In addition, NTC offers an Introduction to HESI course that familiarizes students with the format and types of questions you can expect on the exam.

What Happens After I’ve Taken the HESI?

Within three to four weeks of testing, NTC Admissions will contact you by mail with your acceptance status. Whether accepted or needing to re-petition, you will have the opportunity to improve your skills in subject areas where you scored low.

When and How Do I Find Out My Score?

You will be able to view your score immediately upon completing the HESI exam and can log in at any time afterwards to view it.

What Does My Score Mean?

For Nursing and Veterinary Technician, we will rank all testers in order from highest to lowest score. The students with the highest scores are offered acceptance into the program. There is no minimum score required for Veterinary Technician. For Nursing, a minimum cumulative score of 75% is required to be considered for program acceptance. From year to year, the range of accepted scores changes based on the number and academic skills of those testing.

For the Dental Hygienist, Radiography and Surgical Technologist programs, additional points may be added to your score if you complete recommended courses that are communicated to you based on your program.

Petition Score Calculation

HESI Composite Score + Optional Course Score + Optional Degree Score = Final Petition Score

If I’m Not Accepted, Do I Need to Retest?

During each petition window you will need to re-petition for your program. You may opt to use your initial HESI test scores; however, it is in your best interest to remediate your skills, retest and likely score higher on the exam, offering you the best opportunity for acceptance.