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Guide to the HESI A2 Vocabulary Test: Tips & Free Test Questions

Guide to the HESI A2 Vocabulary Test: Tips & Free Test Questions

Updated November 22, 2023

By Keira Waddell
Keira Waddell

HESI A2 Vocabulary List

  • Abate – To decrease or lessen in intensity
  • Analgesic – A medication that relieves pain
  • Benign – Not harmful; gentle or kind in disposition
  • Chronic – Lasting for a long time or recurring frequently
  • Distended – Enlarged or expanded from pressure
  • Exacerbate – To make a problem, situation, or condition worse
  • Excrete – To eliminate waste or substances from the body
  • Febrile – Feverish
  • Impaired – Diminished or weakened in function or quality
  • Labile – Changing rapidly and often
  • Laceration – A cut, tear
  • Prognosis – The anticipated or expected course or outcome

What Is The HESI A2 Vocabulary Test?

The HESI A2 Vocabulary Test is part of the assessment process for getting into a nursing program or nursing school in the US.

The test focuses on verbal ability, etymology and specialized nursing and healthcare terminology.

This article will provide a comprehensive guide on how to prepare for the HESI A2 vocabulary test.

It will explain the topics covered, how many questions there are, will provide valuable tips, study materials and offer free HESI A2 vocab practice test questions to help you succeed.

Prepare for the HESI A2 Test with TestPrep-Online

What Is the HESI Exam?

The Health Education Systems Including Admission Assessment (HESI A2) exam is a standardized test used by nursing schools to assess the knowledge and skills of prospective students.

It is designed to evaluate a candidate’s academic aptitude in various areas, including math, reading comprehension, grammar, anatomy and physiology and vocabulary.

The HESI A2 exam is developed and administered by Elsevier, a trusted provider of educational resources for healthcare professionals.

Its purpose is to ensure that nursing school applicants possess the necessary competencies to succeed in their studies and future careers.

The exam is typically taken prior to admission into a nursing program.

The HESI A2 assessment is made up of eight main sections, but most schools will only use five or six sections.

The sections are as follows:

  • Vocabulary
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Grammar
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Anatomy and Physiology

Each section consists of a number of questions that are assigned scores, along with an additional five questions that are not scored. These extra questions serve as pilot questions for evaluation in future tests.

For the Vocabulary, Mathematics, Reading Comprehension and Grammar sections, there are 50 questions that receive scores and five unmarked questions.

You will normally have a 50-minute time limit for these sections.

In the Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology and Physics sections, there are 25 questions that receive scores, accompanied by five questions that are not marked.

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

You will be given 25 minutes to complete these sections.

The HESI A2 assessment typically takes place off campus, requiring you to visit a test center to complete it, where you’ll be provided all the equipment necessary to complete the test.

HESI Vocabulary Study Guide

To perform well in the HESI A2 vocabulary section, it is crucial to have a solid study plan.

Here is some important information and essential tips to help you prepare effectively:

How Many Questions Are on the HESI A2 Vocabulary Test?

The HESI A2 Vocabulary Test comprises 55 questions in total. As with the other sections of the HESI A2 Test, the Vocabulary section includes five questions that will not count toward your score but are used only for research for future tests.

The school will set its own time limit for each section of the HESI A2, so make sure to request this information so you can prepare appropriately.

However, a 50-minute time limit is standard for the vocabulary section.

Test Format and Topics

The HESI A2 Vocabulary Test consists of multiple-choice questions that assess your understanding of medical and healthcare-related words.

The Vocabulary Test assesses your vocabulary breadth and your ability to comprehend unfamiliar words. This involves deducing the meaning of unfamiliar words through context clues or word elements.

A strong vocabulary is essential, given the diverse reading materials in nursing school.

The test covers both common words used in daily life and more complex terms uncommonly used.

It’s important to note that the Vocabulary section also includes medical terminology, where understanding word roots, prefixes and suffixes can often clarify the meaning of medical terms, even if encountered for the first time.

It focuses on various topics, including:

  • Etymology
  • Verbal ability
  • Nursing-specific words
  • Health-care-specific words

Familiarize yourself with these topics and practice the common vocabulary for the HESI entrance exam to ensure comprehensive preparation.

To enhance your understanding of the medical field, immerse yourself in extensive and regular reading.

Explore textbooks, journals, reports and articles related to medicine. This will expose you not only to medical terminology but also to its practical usage.

Devote time to studying both the terms themselves and their application.

In the medical field, it's crucial not only to comprehend word meanings but also to utilize them appropriately in sentences effectively.

Additionally, pay attention to context and proper placement of terms.

Study Schedule

Creating a realistic study schedule is key to efficiently covering the different vocabulary topics. Allocate dedicated time each day to focus on vocabulary study.

It’s a good idea to break down the topics into manageable chunks and create a timeline to ensure you cover everything before the exam.

Consistency is essential, so make sure to stick to your schedule.

Study Materials

Utilize a variety of study materials to enhance your vocabulary skills. Start by reviewing your class notes and textbooks related to medical and healthcare terminology.

Additionally, consider using study guides and flashcards specifically designed for the HESI A2 exam.

These resources can help reinforce your understanding and retention of important vocabulary words.

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

Study Techniques

Engage in active learning techniques to make the learning process more effective.

Some good techniques are:

  • Using flashcards to memorize definitions and practice recalling words and their meanings.
  • Incorporate new words into your daily conversations and writing.
  • Reading medical literature and participating in word games or quizzes can also improve your vocabulary skills.
  • Grouping words with the same root or obvious connections for efficient review.
  • Reviewing new vocabulary immediately after encountering it to maintain freshness in memory.
  • Maintaining a vocabulary notebook (or app) with words, definitions, and word derivations and review it regularly.
  • Accessing online resources or apps for HESI A2 Vocabulary Practice Tests.
HESI A2 Vocabulary: Guide, Tips and Free Test Questions
HESI A2 Vocabulary: Guide, Tips and Free Test Questions

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.

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HESI A2 Vocabulary List & Practice Questions

To familiarize yourself with common medical and healthcare words, we have compiled a short list of frequently tested vocabulary for HESI entrance exam and their meanings:

  • Abate – To decrease or lessen in intensitz
  • Acute – Sharp, severe or intense
  • Aggregate – To gather or combine into a whole; a total or collective amount
  • Analgesic – A medication that relieves pain
  • Benign – Not harmful; gentle or kind in disposition
  • Chronic – Lasting for a long time or recurring frequently
  • Contraindication – A specific situation or condition that makes a particular treatment, medication or procedure inadvisable
  • Convulsion – A sudden, involuntary muscular contraction or seizure, often accompanied by uncontrolled movements and potential loss of consciousness
  • Correlate – To have a mutual relationship or connection; to show a link or association
  • Defecate – The physiological process of eliminating solid waste material
  • Depress – To lower or reduce a physical function or activity, such as pressing down a body part or decreasing a physiological response
  • Dilate – To expand or enlarge; to make wider or larger
  • Distended – Enlarged or expanded from pressure
  • Emaciated – Extremely thin or weak, often due to malnutrition or illness
  • Exacerbate – To make a problem, situation or condition worse
  • Excrete – To eliminate waste or substances from the body
  • Febrile – Feverish
  • Flaccid – Lacking firmness or muscle tone; weak or limp
  • Impaired – Diminished or weakened in function or quality
  • Impending– About to happen or occur; imminent or looming
  • Inevitable – Certain to happen; unavoidable
  • Labile – Changing rapidly and often
  • Laceration – A cut, tear
  • Milieu – The environmental condition or setting
  • Neurovascular – The relationship between the nervous system and blood vessels
  • Occluded – Closed or obstructed
  • Paroxysmal – Beginning suddenly or abruptly
  • Precipitous – Rapid, uncontrolled
  • Predispose – The tendency to be susceptible to a particular condition or outcome due to genetic, environmental or lifestyle factors
  • Preexisting – A condition or circumstance that was present before the occurrence of an event or the onset of a specific situation
  • Proliferation – A rapid increase in number
  • Prognosis – The anticipated or expected course or outcome
  • Rampant – Unrestrained
  • Remission – Improvement or absence of signs of disease
  • Renal – Of or relating to the kidneys
  • Sublingual – The area beneath the tongue, often used to describe a method of administering medication that is absorbed through the tissues under the tongue
  • Triage – Process of evaluating the urgency of medical need and prioritizing treatment
  • Vascular – The system of blood vessels in an organism, including arteries, veins and capillaries
  • Viscosity – A liquid’s resistance to flow

Practice Questions

Now, let’s test your knowledge with a couple of sample questions:

Example Question

1. If a patient is experiencing respiratory problems, they are struggling with _______?

a) Sleeping
b) Breathing
c) Eating
d) Walking

Example Question

2. Which one of these is the best description of the word 'pathology'?

a) The study of viruses
b) The study of neurological capabilities
c) The study of anatomic pathways in the body
d) The study of diseases

Example Question
  1. The patient's condition is ACUTE. What does 'acute' mean?

a) Severe
b) Long-lasting
c) Mild
d) Ignorable

Example Question

The nurse noted that the patient appeared LETHARGIC. What does 'lethargic' mean?

a) Energetic
b) Tired
c) Excited
d) Anxious

Example Question

The patient's symptoms were BENIGN. What does 'benign' mean?

a) Harmful
b) Non-threatening
c) Severe
d) Contagious

You can find more HESI A2 Practice Test questions on TestPrep-Online

Tips to Improve Vocabulary for HESI Entrance Exam

To further enhance your vocabulary skills for the HESI A2 exam, consider incorporating the following tips into your study routine:

Step 1. Get in the Habit of Looking up Words You Don’t Know or Understand

Use online dictionaries or medical reference materials to expand your knowledge.

Step 2. Create Flashcards of Tricky Words and Review Them Regularly

Flashcards are an effective tool for memorizing definitions and recalling information quickly.

Step 3. Try to Use Synonyms in Your Daily Life

This practice will help you build a broader vocabulary and improve your ability to understand context.

Exposure to specialized vocabulary will deepen your understanding and help you recognize terminology used in the HESI A2 exam.

Step 5. Take Practice Tests Specifically Designed for the Hesi A2 Vocabulary Section

Practicing with HESI vocabulary practice tests will familiarize you with the format, types of questions, and time constraints of the actual exam.

Before the HESI A2 Vocabulary Test

To optimize your performance on the HESI A2 vocabulary section, make sure to follow these additional tips before the exam:

Get Enough Rest the Night Before the Exam

A well-rested mind will perform better and help you stay focused during the test.

When preparing for any type of assessment, it is crucial to consider the impact of nerves. However, ensuring adequate sleep is equally important as it can significantly influence your performance.

Numerous studies have consistently demonstrated that insufficient sleep can substantially negatively impact cognitive abilities.

As you approach the test, it is recommended to prioritize getting six to eight hours of sleep each night. This will enable your brain to operate at its optimal level and maximize your performance.

Practice Mindfulness or Relaxation Techniques to Reduce Test Anxiety

Deep breathing exercises or meditation can help calm your mind and improve your concentration.

Taking a few moments before the assessment to focus on your breath and clear your thoughts can alleviate stress and create a more conducive mental state for optimal performance.

Additionally, incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine leading up to the test can enhance your overall stress management skills and promote a sense of mental well-being.

Experiment with different techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation or guided imagery to find what works best for you.

Remember, regularly incorporating these practices can benefit your test performance and contribute to your overall mental resilience.

Eat a Healthy Meal Before the Exam

Proper nutrition will provide the energy you need for optimal cognitive function. As well as getting enough rest. It’s important not to overlook the significance of nutrition and hydration.

Nervousness might diminish your appetite, but it’s essential to provide your brain with the necessary fuel for optimal functioning, which entails prioritizing healthy and well-balanced meals.

On the day of the test, it is advisable to aim for a nutritious breakfast at the very least and consider bringing along some healthy snacks to supplement your energy levels if needed.

Feeling hungry can be distracting and potentially hinder your ability to concentrate effectively.

Additionally, maintaining hydration throughout the test will aid in keeping your cognitive ability during the test.

Frequently Asked Questions

The HESI A2 vocabulary test is a section of the HESI A2 exam that assesses a candidate's understanding of medical and healthcare terminology.

The difficulty of the HESI A2 vocabulary section may vary for each individual. However, with proper preparation and study, you can improve your performance and increase your chances of success.

To study effectively for the HESI A2 vocabulary section, create a study schedule, use various study materials, engage in active learning techniques, and take practice tests.

The HESI exam focuses on medical and healthcare-related vocabulary, including etymology, verbal ability, nursing-specific words and health-care-specific words.

The number of vocabulary questions on the HESI A2 exam may vary.

It is important to refer to the specific exam guidelines provided by the nursing program or institution.

You can retake the HESI A2 Vocabulary test if you have not achieved the required score to be offered a place in the nursing program you have applied for.

Resits are available up to six times a year, twice in the same eligibility period.

You can find sample questions for the HESI A2 vocabulary section on reputable online platforms that offer HESI A2 exam preparation materials, such as nursing program websites, study guidesx and practice test providers.

We recommend using the resources at TestPrepOnline as it has a range of different resources, including HESI A2 Vocabulary practice questions.

The ability to skip questions during the HESI A2 vocabulary section may vary depending on the test format and guidelines provided by the nursing program or institution.

Refer to the specific instructions for the exam for more guidance. However, it’s always recommended to take an educated guess at a question if you’re not completely sure of the answer.

Reputable online resources, such as nursing program websites and HESI A2 exam preparation platforms, may provide vocabulary lists specifically designed for the HESI A2 exam.

The time limit for the HESI A2 vocabulary section is normally 50 minutes. However, it may vary depending on the nursing program or institution conducting the exam.

Refer to the specific instructions provided for the exam.

We recommend using the resources at TestPrepOnline as it has a range of different resources, including HESI A2 Vocabulary practice questions, which is useful for those looking who want extra preparation and revision materials.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the format and content of the HESI A2 vocabulary section is crucial for success in the exam.

By following a study guide, practicing with vocabulary lists and sample questions, implementing effective study techniques, and doing practice tests, you can improve your vocabulary skills and increase your chances of achieving a desirable score.

Remember to create a realistic study schedule and take advantage of available resources to maximize your preparation efforts.

With dedication and focused study, you can confidently approach the HESI A2 vocabulary test and excel in your healthcare career.

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