HESI A2 Biology Practice Test

The Health Education Systems, Inc (HESI) Admission Assessment (A2) Biology exam is an assessment used by nursing programs to evaluate your fit and potential success in a challenging nursing education environment. The Biology exam is one of seven subtests that make up the HESI A2 admission assessment. This article discusses the HESI A2 Biology subtest.

 Study Guide

 Do I have to take the exam?

The short answer is maybe. A majority of nursing programs require successful completion of the HESI A2 exam for entrance into their nursing program. Every program has different admission requirements – some require all seven subtests, while others require four or five subtests. The best answer to this question is to follow the application directions for the program you are applying to, and if you have any questions, contact the registrar of your college or university for guidance.

How do I register and schedule the exam, and what does it cost?

Your program advisor will guide you with the registration process. Often the exam is offered on the campus of your nursing program. Dates, time, and cost vary by institution. Your program advisor will assist you with registration (usually online), which tests to take, when the test is given, and cost.

How long is the Biology subtest?

The subtest is delivered by computer and consists of 30 multiple-choice questions. Five exam questions are used for evaluation in future exams and do not count toward, or against, your score. You are unable to distinguish between the scored and non-scored questions. Each question is followed by four possible answers. You must select the correct response to receive credit for the question. Each question has only one right answer.

You have 25 minutes to complete the exam. You have about 50 seconds to spend on each question, so pay attention to your time that remains. If a question is proving to be difficult, make your best guess and move on. If time remains, you can go back to prompts that you are unsure. An on-screen calculator is available for your use.

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What is on the exam?

The biology subtest evaluates your general biology knowledge. Topics include:

  • Biology basics

Your understanding of the kingdom classification system, evolution, natural selection, punctuated equilibrium, gradualism, and the scientific method are evaluated.

  • Water

Questions regarding water ask you to demonstrate your knowledge of the different properties of water including, heat, cohesion, adhesion, and solvency.

  • Biologic molecules

You will encounter questions testing your understanding of reactions (anabolic and catabolic), the four basic macromolecules, and the four basic building blocks.

  • Metabolism

Questions here require you to demonstrate your understanding of metabolism.

  • The cell

You are asked to demonstrate your knowledge of the function and structure of cells. Specific understanding of nuclei, chromosomes, ribosomes, nuclear pores, nucleoplasm, cytoplasm, cell membranes, and related concepts are evaluated.

  • Cellular respiration

Topics include metabolic reactions within a cell, the Krebs cycle, chemiosmosis, glycolysis, oxidation, respiration (aerobic and anaerobic), and fermentation.

  • Photosynthesis

Your understanding of the concepts related to photosynthesis is evaluated.

  • Cellular reproduction

This section focuses on the concepts and terms related to cellular reproduction, including mitosis, meiosis, gametes, chromatids, haploids, and diploids.

  • Genetics

Questions deal with Mendel’s Laws, genetic principles (Hardy-Weinberg, etc.), genes, genotype, phenotype, alleles, dominant traits, recessive traits, hybrid crosses, monohybrids, codominance and incomplete dominance, and DNA mutations.

  • DNA

Questions focus on DNA replication, base pairing, antiparallel replication, DNA protein functions, and related concepts.

How is the subtest scored?

The test is scored on a scale of 750 to 900. The higher your score, the better your chances are at being accepted into your chosen program.

What is the passing score?

Every program determines the minimum passing score. Your program advisor should provide the information on the minimum passing score, as well the score that increases your success at being admitted to their nursing program.

What if I don’t pass?

You can retake the exam if you did not receive a passing score. Check with your program advisor for the rules and cost involved with retaking an exam.

Steady preparation

Plan to begin studying for the HESI A2 Biology subtest at least three months before you schedule your exam appointment. The subtest covers a lot of information that you are expected to have a functioning knowledge of, and you want to make sure you have time to solidify the concepts, vocabulary, and terminology before you even set foot in the testing center. Mometrix Test Preparation has developed the tools you need to make your studying effortless and fruitful.

Use the flashcards, step-by-step tutorial videos, and study guide developed by Mometrix Test Preparation’s expert test researchers.  Each product is designed to review thoroughly concepts, terminology, and techniques you need to be successful on the exam and in the nursing program. A 100% money-back guarantee ensures your satisfaction, and their proven study methods guarantee success.