HESI Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to Evolve Reach Testing and Remediation (formerly known as Health Education Systems, Inc, or HESI), provider of the most reliable and valid exam for predicting NCLEX®- success, commonly called "The HESI Test." The Evolve Learning System comprises some of the best possible learning tools in the industry for both students and teachers, and is run by Elsevier, the world's leading and largest provider of medical content, tools and services.

HESI has been providing the tools to measure student progress throughout the nursing curriculum since1990. Specifically, it provides exams that predict how students will perform on the NCLEX® examination. Core exams include an Admission Assessment, Specialty Exams to test students throughout the nursing curriculum, and Exit Exams that measure student's readiness for the NCLEX-RN® or NCLEX-PN® . As part of the Evolve Learning System, it also provides remediation content from market-leading textbooks in nursing education to help students prepare for their licensing exams.

Below is a list of common questions and answers associated with the HESI Exit Exam:


Q: What is the primary purpose of the HESI Exit Exam?
A: The primary purpose of the HESI Exam is to offer predictive accuracy for NCLEX® success. Note that the test does not attempt to predict NCLEX® failure (discussed later).


Q: What is a "passing" score on a HESI Exit Exam?
A: Setting a passing score is not part of HESI's role as the test vendor. University or college faculty and administration--not HESI--make policies about how a nursing education program will use the exams.


Q: Does Elsevier recommend to its customers that only students who pass the HESI Exit Exam be allowed to take the NCLEX® exam?
A: The HESI Exit Exam is marketed only as a practice tool for students, and as a predictor of student success on the licensure exam so that faculty can use the test results to guide students' remediation over their content areas identified by the exam as needing improvement. Elsevier Review and Testing personnel do not make recommendations one way or another regarding a schools policy nor do they advise when students have met the school's defined level of readiness to take the NCLEX®.


Q: Do you offer remediation materials?
A: Yes, access to remediation materials is available to students as long as they are enrolled in a program utilizing the Evolve Learning System. After any Admission Assessment, Exit, Specialty, or Custom Exam, students will be able to access remediation materials for every test item answered incorrectly on their exams. This activity is completed online, providing immediate review of the concept missed. Students can then save these knowledge paragraphs in their personal learning folders, which can be stored electronically or printed out to facilitate their learning plans.


Q: What are progression policies and do they help or hinder success?
A: Progression policies require a student to achieve a certain score on one test, before they are allowed to take another one. We believe progression policies help better prepare and educate students for success.

It's important to note that we do not contend that students who do not achieve a recommended score will fail the NCLEX®. In fact HESI has never attempted to predict NCLEX® failure with the Exit Exam. It only offers predictive accuracy for NCLEX® success. Students who fail The HESI test may indeed pass the NCLEX® - particularly if they study and remediate prior to sitting for the NCLEX® exam. That is precisely the purpose of the Exit Exam's diagnostic analysis because it allows students to hone in on areas of identified weakness so that they can bolster their understanding and pass the NCLEX® examination.

We believe that faculty should focus on helping students achieve success in passing their licensure exams. This can be done by offering students guidance on strengths and weaknesses which they can shore up using our online remediation resources taken directly from authoritative Elsevier textbook sources. Students should then be able to pass a re-test using an alternate version of the Exit Exam, and ultimately, become more prepared for success on the NCLEX®.

Research shows that the HESI Test is indeed a predictor of licensure exam success. Of the more than 35,000 students who were predicted to pass the licensure exam, up to 98.3% (over 7 years studied) passed the NCLEX® exam in their first sitting.


Q: Some students spend a lot of time and money preparing for the NCLEX®. Is it fair for them to not even be able to take it because they can't get past the HESI Test?
A: We want as many potential nurse applicants as possible to become qualified practicing nurses. Our testing and remediation programs support this cause. However, individual nursing schools are better positioned to address this question and others like it.