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How to Prepare for the HESI Exam for LPNs

by Lisa Magloff, Demand Media
    The HESI exam is given to nursing students to evaluate their progress on the course.

    The HESI exam is given to nursing students to evaluate their progress on the course.

    The Health Education Systems (HESI) exams are standardized tests used in many nursing schools to evaluate students' competency, progress and achievement. There are many types of HESI exams, including entrance exams, specialty subject exams and exit exams. For licensed practice nurse (LPN) courses, a HESI exam may be given three times--on entering the program, mid-way through the course and as a final exam or preparation for the national licensing exam. The LPN HESI entrance exam includes questions on anatomy, biology, grammar, reading comprehension and basic math. Mid-course and final LPN HESI exams focus more on specific nursing skills and knowledge.

    Items you will need

    • Study materials
    • Practice tests
    • Flashcards
    Step 1

    Set aside a regular period of time every day for studying. Do not wait until the week before the exam to begin; leave yourself plenty of time to prepare and review all of your study materials.

    Step 2

    Take a practice test at the beginning of your studying. This will help you discover what sections you are weak in, so you can concentrate on studying those areas. Continue taking regular practice tests as you study. You can find free HESI practice tests online at

    Step 3

    Use a study guide. There are many online study guides available that can help you to prepare for the HESI exam. Using a study guide can help you organize your studying, and ensure you have covered all the topics.

    Step 4

    Use study materials designed for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to prepare for the final HESI exam. The final HESI exam is designed to prepare you for the NCLEX exam and contains many of the same types of questions.

    Step 5

    Prepare flashcards to help you study. Make or purchase flashcards containing information you will need for the HESI. Flashcards can be especially helpful for reviewing medical terminology, normal laboratory and test values that you will need to know for the mid-course and final HESI exams.

    Step 6

    Understand the rules of management and Maslow's hierarchy of needs when approaching questions on the HESI final exam. Look for words in the question that establish priority, such as initial and first. Answer questions by first assessing the situation given in the question, then implementing a care plan. Keep patient safety in mind at all times.

    Step 7

    Organize a study group that includes people studying for the NCLEX. These people have already taken the HESI and can speak from experience. Studying with other people can also provide support and encouragement.

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    About the Author

    Since graduating with a degree in biology, Lisa Magloff has worked in many countries. Accordingly, she specializes in writing about science and travel and has written for publications as diverse as the "Snowmass Sun" and "Caterer Middle East." With numerous published books and newspaper and magazine articles to her credit, Magloff has an eclectic knowledge of everything from cooking to nuclear reactor maintenance.

    Photo Credits

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