What is the HESI Exam?

The HESI Admission Assessment Exam (previously called Reach Exam) consists of seven academic exams, as well as a personality profile that identifies the individual applicant’s learning style. Individual scores are provided for each exam, and the scores are combined to provide sub-scores in these areas:



  • Reading Comprehension (55 items*) – 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 and General Knowledge (55 items*) – Contains vocabulary terms that are commonly used in both general English speaking settings and in health care fields.
  • Grammar (55 items*) – contains basic grammar, including parts of speech, important terms and their uses, commonly occurring grammatical errors, etc.


  • Basic Math Skills (55 items*) – Focuses on math skills needed for healthcare fields, including basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions, decimals, ratio and proportion, household measures, general math facts, etc.


  • Biology (30 items**) – Covers biology basics, water, biological molecules, metabolism, cells, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, etc.
  • Chemistry (30 items**) – Contains exam items that cover matter, chemical equations and reactions, the periodic table, atomic structure, nuclear chemistry, chemical bonding, etc.
  • Anatomy and Physiology (30 items**) – Provides coverage of general terminology and anatomical structures and systems.


NOTE: There is not a Physics section on this exam, it is referenced in the study guide; however, that version is only used for Radiology programs.



  • Learning Style (14 items) – assesses preferred learning styles
  • Personality Profile (15 items) – assesses personality related to preferred learning style
  • Students receive study tips based on their learning style and personality profile.


*Includes 50 scoring and 5 pilot items

**Includes 25 scoring and 5 pilot items

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