The HESI A2 Exam: What Do You Need to Know about Math?

The HESI A2 Exam: What Do You Need to Know about Math?

Math is an important part of nursing. Nursing schools need to know how good you are at math to ensure you will be successful in their programs. Nurses make decisions based on math calculations on a daily basis, and these decisions have serious implications for a patient’s health. Some examples are converting measurements between English and metric systems, calculating drug dosages, and measuring intravenous (IV) flow rates.

What Math Subjects Are Covered?

The math section contains about 50 questions and has a suggested time limit of 50 minutes. There is an overall time limit for the test but not for each individual section. These topics are included:

  • Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with whole numbers
  • Computation with fractions and decimals
  • Fractions, decimals, and percentages
  • Ratios and proportions
  • Money
  • Measurement conversions
  • Roman numerals
  • Military time

What Kinds of Questions Will I See?

The test is given online. Some items are not in multiple-choice format, and some may require a calculator. If a calculator is needed, it is provided on the screen. However, the buttons on these calculators may not register correctly and you should be able to estimate your answer as a check. The items will vary between straight calculations and simple word problems that may require a few steps.

What’s the Best Way to Prepare?

Notice that the recommended time for each question is about 1 minute. This means that you should have memorized multiplication tables and other math facts, measurement conversions, and all basic knowledge. There are no reference tables given on the screen. Look at a HESI practice test to see the types of questions, identify your strengths and weaknesses, study, and practice. Develop your estimation skills so that you can eliminate choices. Once you feel confident in your knowledge, push yourself to complete items faster until you feel comfortable working quickly through each problem.

Start slowly and be thorough in your review. Use Union Test Prep’s material to help identify areas in which you need more practice. Start reviewing early, work steadily toward your goal, and you will be successful. Best of luck to you—you can do it!

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