Practice HESI A2 Chemistry TestStart Practicing
A Guide to the HESI A2 Chemistry Test: with Tips & Free Test Questions

A Guide to the HESI A2 Chemistry Test: with Tips & Free Test Questions

Updated November 22, 2023

By Tayler Finnegan
Tayler Finnegan

If you are set on a career in nursing, you must be prepared for many years of studying and several exams.

As well as personal qualities such as kindness, compassion, practicality, and organization, you will also need to meet academic requirements.

One of the most common routes into nursing is through a healthcare degree taken at college or university.

Some educational institutions in the United States administer a test to prospective nursing students.

The test is the Health Education Systems Incorporated Admissions A2 exam.

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about the HESI Admissions A2 exam.

There are eight subject test areas in the assessment, divided into the three main academic areas of language, math and science.

In this guide, we will focus on how you can succeed in the science section of chemistry.

Included are helpful test tips and HESI A2 Chemistry practice questions to help you become familiar with the assessment.

What Is the HESI A2 Test?

Health Education Systems Incorporated is an American company that provides examinations and study materials to help student nurses prepare to qualify as a healthcare professional.

As an entrance exam for nursing schools and health-related university courses, the HESI A2 Test is an important test for prospective nurses.

It is designed to assess whether candidates have the capabilities required to succeed in a nursing degree and go on to work in the health sector.

This standardized test is respected, having been used in education for more than 20 years.

You may also hear the test referred to as HESI A2, HESI Evolve, Evolve Reach HESI or Evolve Reach Admission Assessment.

One of the two main assessments delivered by Health Education Systems Incorporated (HESI) is the HESI Admissions A2 exam.

It is taken when applying to a nursing university program, while the HESI Exit Exam is taken just before candidates prepare to graduate.

While not all colleges and universities use the HESI exams, they are becoming more common, and so it is likely that your healthcare course entrance assessment will be the HESI A2.

To register for the test, candidates must create an Evolve account on the Elsevier website.

You will receive instructions from your college admissions department, along with a code to sign up for an exam sitting.

The test fee varies between institutions, so be sure to check this with your college or university.

You can take the HESI exam more than once, but only once every 60 days and no more than three times in a 12-month period.

Due to this, you should aim to take the test early in the testing window so you will have plenty of time before admissions if you need to retake the assessment.

Practice for the HESI A2 Chemistry Exam with TestPrep-Online

What Questions Are on the HESI Exam?

While nursing schools can choose which subject areas they assess applicants on, the test generally consists of the three academic areas of language, math and science.

The language section includes questions on grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension and general knowledge.

The math questions are on basic math skills such as decimals, fractions, ratios and proportions.

The third section of science encompasses the modules of biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology.

The science module of chemistry is the focus of this guide.

The topics in this test include the metric measurement system, temperature scales, atomic structure and the periodic table, chemical equations, reaction rates, solutions and concentrations and biochemistry.

As well as academic tests, the HESI exam requires candidates to take a personal assessment.

These are designed to evaluate students’ critical thinking skills as well as their learning and personality styles.

Consisting of 326 questions across nine sections, the HESI A2 exam takes four hours to complete.

As the exam covers so much content, understanding the question topics and test format is crucial.

The nine exam sections typically include the following number of questions:

  1. Reading – 47 questions
  2. Comprehension – 47 questions
  3. Vocabulary – 50 questions
  4. Grammar – 50 questions
  5. Math – 50 questions
  6. Biology – 25 questions
  7. Anatomy and Physiology – 25 questions
  8. Physics – 25 questions
  9. Chemistry – 30 questions

To find out more about HESI scores, visit our dedicated article.

HESI A2 Chemistry Study Guide

With 30 HESI A2 Chemistry questions, this portion of the exam is one of the shortest. Nevertheless, it can still be a difficult test to pass as it encompasses many topics.

Understanding the test format will put you in a good position for success, so ensure you familiarise yourself with the subjects you will be tested on.

Revising all of the chemistry test topics will help you achieve a good score, but there may still be questions that you get stuck on.

Fortunately, the chemistry test questions are multiple-choice, so you should always choose an answer as there will be a chance it is correct.

It is important not to spend too much time overthinking answers, as you will need to complete the test within 25 minutes.

The test topics on the chemistry test are:

Scientific Notation

A way of writing very large or very small numbers. Numbers that are too big or too small to write in decimal form are expressed by scientific notation.

A simple example is: 800 written as 8 x 102.

The reason for this is:

800 = 8 x 100 and 100 = 102. Therefore 800 = 8 x 102. Both 800 and 8 x 102 have the same value; they are just shown in different ways.

The Metric System

A measurement system that uses the following units:


  • Millimetres
  • Centimetres
  • Metres
  • Kilometres


  • Grams
  • Kilograms


  • Millilitres
  • Litres

Temperature Scales: The Measurement of Temperature Using the Scales of Fahrenheit, Celsius and Kelvin

The freezing and boiling points of each scale are:


  • Freezing: 32˚F
  • Boiling: 212 ˚C


  • Freezing: 0˚C
  • Boiling: 100 ˚C


  • Freezing: 273.15 K
  • Boiling: 373.15 K

Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table

What atoms are made from: protons, neutrons and electrons.

The elements on the periodic table: the 118 elements on the table were created by Russian scientist Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869. Most of the elements on the table are metals.

Chemical Equations

Symbolic representations of what happens in chemical reactions.

Reaction Rates

The speed at which a chemical reaction proceeds. For a reaction to happen, reactant particles must collide with each other and must have enough energy to react.


A state of balance between opposing forces.

An equilibrium position can be changed by altering the reaction conditions, such as pressure, concentration and temperature.


Reactions in which the conversion of reactants to products and the conversion of products to reactants occur simultaneously.

Solutions and Concentrations

Mixtures containing small components are called solutes.

To calculate the concentration of a solution, you need to know the following information:

  • The mass of the dissolved solute in grams (g)
  • The volume of solution in cubic decimetres (dm3)

Chemical Reactions

The creation of new chemicals. During a reaction, the atoms rearrange but do not change in number.

Chemical reactions can be identified by a large temperature change, the appearance of bubbles, or a change in color.


The calculation of products and reactants in a chemical reaction. It is an important concept as it enables us to determine how much substance is needed or present.

Oxidation and Reduction

The gain and loss of electrons from a substance.

The oxidizing agent is the chemical that causes oxidization by providing oxygen, while the reducing agent causes the other chemical to be reduced by removing oxygen.

Acids and Bases

Acids and bases refer to the pH scale that displays how acidic or alkaline substances are. Acids have a pH of less than seven, while alkalis have a pH of more than seven.

Water and neutral solutions have a pH of exactly seven.

Nuclear Chemistry

The study of the breakup of unstable nuclei. This reaction results in the emission of radiation and energy.

The three types of radiation are alpha, beta and gamma.


Biochemistry describes the use of molecular methods to explain biological processes.

This topic can be divided into the three fields of structural biology, enzymology and metabolism.

Hesi A2 Chemistry: Guide/Tips/Free Tests
Hesi A2 Chemistry: Guide/Tips/Free Tests

If you want 12-month access to all the practice resources for this test, our partner offers a Family Membership.

Family Membership gives you access to all the TestPrep-Online resources for the next 12 months. You will also get two separate accounts, which can be very helpful if you have two children preparing for their tests.

Get a Family Membership with 12-Month Access

Example HESI Practice Test Chemistry Questions

One of the best ways to prepare for the HESI A2 chemistry section is to practice answering sample questions.

Try these HESI chemistry practice test multiple-choice questions.

Example Question

What is the metric prefix meaning 'one billionth'?

a) Micro
b) Pico
c) Nano
d) Centi

Example Question

What are isotopes?

a) Elements that have the same atomic number yet different atomic mass numbers
b) Elements with the same number of protons but a different number of neutrons
c) Elements that have a different number of protons to electrons
d) Options a) and b) are both correct

Example Question

The pH scale varies from 0 to 14, where 0 is more ________ and 14 is more _______.

a) neutral, acidic
b) acidic, basic
c) basic, acidic
d) acidic, neutral

HESI Chemistry Practice Exam Tips

The best way to prepare for success in the HESI A2 chemistry section is to do plenty of studying in the lead-up to the test.

Remember that you will also have to answer HESI A2 test questions on the other scientific modules of biology and anatomy and physiology, as well as language and math.

This constitutes a lot of content, and trying to study it all in-depth will leave you overwhelmed and exhausted.

To help you gain a good understanding of all test topics, try creating a list of the most important facts for each subject.

In addition to absorbing a wealth of scientific information, taking a HESI A2 chemistry practice test can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses: which topics are you comfortable with and which need some more revision?

Focusing on your weaknesses can help improve your overall knowledge.

When it comes to tackling chemistry questions, it is important to understand why the answer is what it is.

Learning the logic behind scientific questions will help you immensely in the exam: if you are unsure of an answer, you may be able to use your knowledge to eliminate some of the multiple-choice options.

Studying can become monotonous and boring, so be sure to keep it engaging and even exciting. You can make use of different revision sources to increase your knowledge.

Some great ways to study are through using a HESI Chemistry study guide, watching YouTube videos, playing games, and listening to podcasts.

Studying for the test is hard work, but your dedication will pay off when you take the first step toward your dream career.

Preparing For the HESI Chemistry Exam

One of the most important things to know about the test is where you will be taking it. The computer-based HESI A2 exam is administered through Prometric.

You may be invited to take the test on the college campus or off campus at an approved test center.

We recommend that you find out where you will be taking your test as early as possible to avoid any last-minute stresses.

Once you know where your test is based, ensure that you look up the college or center on a map if you are unfamiliar with the location.

You should take some time to plan in advance your travel arrangements, working out how you will get to your test.

You should also allow enough time for your journey so you can arrive calm and prepared.

By this point, you will have done all of the revision you can do, so your focus should be on using your vast knowledge to correctly answer as many questions as possible.

Equally as important as studying the chemistry exam test topics is looking after your well-being.

Rather than stressing about the test and feeling daunted by the number of questions you will need to answer, you should first focus on working out when you will study each subject.

Trying to learn everything there is to know about chemistry will only lead to burnout.

Creating a study schedule, with time slots dedicated to specific modules, can help you learn about the key aspects of the test.

While studying is key to understanding the test topics, you should also prioritize rest to help your brain consolidate all of the new information you are learning.

Ensure you take regular breaks from revision to rest your eyes and move your body.

It is also crucial that you get enough quality sleep, as late nights can cause spikes in the stress hormone cortisol—something that is not conducive to passing the HESI test with flying colors.

During the study period, as well as the exam, it is important that you remain focused and relaxed.

To stay calm, try practicing positive self-talk. It is easy to think negatively about yourself during this stressful time, but this can affect your ability to concentrate.

You should have confidence in your capabilities and trust that your hard work will pay off.

Staying cool and collected will help you to remember key facts and figures in the test.

The day before the test, try and take a break from studying.

Trying to cram in more information at the last minute is not a productive strategy and can leave you feeling frazzled.

As long as you have studied the test topics in advance, as well as taken practice tests, you should relax and have faith that you have all of the knowledge you need.

To help you perform at your best, ensure you have a good night’s sleep before the test. You should also ensure you stay well-nourished and hydrated, making time for a filling breakfast in the morning.

Frequently Asked Questions

There is a chemistry section on the HESI exam. Not all subjects are included in every HESI exam, so check the assessment content with the nursing school you are applying to.

The HESI A2 chemistry test includes questions on topics such as metric measurement system, equilibrium, temperature scales, atomic structure and the periodic table, chemical equations, scientific notation, reaction rates, solutions and concentrations, chemical equations, acids and bases and biochemistry.

To pass the HESI A2 chemistry section, ensure you create a revision plan and dedicate time to revising each topic.

Make sure you try the practice tests on TestPrep-Online!

The HESI A2 exam consists of 326 questions across nine sections and takes four hours to complete.

The HESI A2 chemistry section can be difficult as it includes a wide range of topics. However, it is entirely possible to achieve a good score with sufficient revision.

Make sure you try the practice tests on TestPrep-Online!

You can find many HESI A2 chemistry practice tests on TestPrep-Online.

The HESI A2 exam consists of 326 questions across nine sections.

You can study for the chemistry exam by revising each topic and taking practice tests to evaluate your knowledge.

One of the best ways to prepare for success in the HESI A2 chemistry section is by taking practice tests. They can help you identify the topics that need more attention.

You can find a full guide for the HESI A2 chemistry test online.

Final Thoughts

The HESI test can be a daunting prospect, but it is a necessary step in the journey to a nursing career. The best way to approach the test is to understand its purpose and format.

As we have explained in this guide, it is crucial to revise the test sections of language, math, and science.

Using your knowledge to answer HESI Chemistry practice questions is a brilliant way to prepare for the test, as it will highlight the areas that you excel at and the topics that need some more revision.

Read This Next

You might also be interested in these other Psychometric Success articles:

Or explore the Aptitude Tests / Test Types sections.