It is one thing to get into nursing school and another thing to actually graduate after accumulating thousands of dollars in student loans and possibly credit card bills. This exit exam may stop even the smartest students from graduating from nursing school and sometimes kicked out of nursing school entirely. So here are a few tips to help you out.

First before you get into nursing school, find out what the school requires for graduation. Not all schools requires you to pass the HESI to graduate, some have different scores to pass the HESI ranging from 750 to 900.

Secondly, if indeed you need to take the HESI then you really need to study for your class exams, this is the process of acquiring knowledge which can be applied to the HESI, don't try to take any short cuts ; you need the knowledge!

Third, start doing Nclex style questions as many of them as possible and read the rationales for all the answers both the right and wrong answers. I recommend the prentice hall nclex book. It's divided in such a way that you can focus on your weak points or whatever you want to brush up on. Use any book you are comfortable with though.

Next buy the HESI review book for Nclex. Read it cover to cover, read all the HESI hints in it. Believe it or not, you can find if not all then 95% of the anwers in your HESI exam in that book! Read it as many times as you can and start early.

This is probably the most important, if you can afford it, buy HESI style questions from evolve and find someone who paid for a HESI review at their school and beg them for the practice questions they got along with the other materials they were given. Ask every graduate nurse you know or come across. If you find it,do all the questions, read the review notes and flash cards. This will help you greatly!!! If your school does a HESI review from the HESI company that will be even better.

Know these areas very well to increase your chances of passing ; Delegation, Disaster management, Professional issues/management, Practice your math, Community health and Therapeutic communication in psych. The other stuff i.e med surg etc are still important but with these in the bag your chances of passing will probably be better.

Finally, do all the other stuff, eat well, go to bed early and use all the test taking strategies you learnt. Good luck and hope this helps.


  • Dont be anxious on exam day.

  • Be patient dont rush


  • Practice your math

  • Know delegation, psych communication, community health and disaster planning well especially RACE

  • Read your med surg and fundamentals very well

  • Buy the HESI nclex review book and read it.