About the Entrance Exam

Denver College of Nursing on-campus program applicants who have met the prerequisite requirements but don’t have a prior bachelor’s degree from an accredited college are required to take and receive a passing score on the EVOLVE REACH (HESI A2) entrance exam. Applicants who have already earned a prior bachelor’s degree from an accredited college do not have to take the exam. Entrance testing is not required for applicants of DCN’s online programs. 

Exams are scheduled after students are screened through the admissions process and have met with an admissions advisor.

EVOLVE REACH (HESI A2) Admissions Assessment Examination

EVOLVE REACH (HESI A2) is a four-part, computer-based, multiple-choice test covering math, reading comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary. Successful completion of the HESI A2 exam is required for acceptance into the on-campus Associate Degree in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs for students without a prior bachelor’s degree.

Applicants must obtain a minimum of 75% on the English Composite Subscale (Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Grammar) and Math Subscale and take the exam components utilized in the advising program.

Each section of the HESI A2 exam is timed per recommendations from the test developers. Exam content includes the following:

  • Math: Covers concepts required when calculating drug dosages, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, ratio and proportion, household measures, and general math facts like Roman numerals and military time
  • Reading: Focuses on reading comprehension related to healthcare topics
  • Vocabulary and general knowledge: Covers common words in nursing
  • Grammar: tests the ability to identify correct English writing formats

Time Commitment for the HESI A2 Exam

There is a four-hour time limit for the test. This time limit begins when exam instructions are being read. The average time to complete the exam is three hours. 

HESI A2 Exam Materials and Procedures

Applicants must bring a photo ID and a pen or pencil. No personal calculators are allowed, as one is built into the test for the test taker's use. Scratch paper will be provided. Scores are available immediately upon completion of the examination. No counseling or tutoring is available from DCN regarding the interpretation of scores; however, prospective students will receive a printout showing where there may be weaknesses, and study guides are available for any student needing to retest.

Test Fee Information

A fee of $40 is required for the HESI A2 exam. Test dates are scheduled once students are screened through the admissions process and have met with an admissions advisor.

Exam Retakes

Applicants who don’t successfully complete the HESI A2 entrance examination on the first attempt may elect to take a second version of the exam for an additional $40 test fee. Applicants are eligible for up to two retakes.

Exam Prep

Applicants are encouraged to obtain and review the study guide, EVOLVE REACH Testing and Remediation Admission Assessment Exam Review, before taking the exam. The study guide is available for order through Elsevier Health or by phone at 800-401-9962. Copies of the study guide are also available through DCN. 

Applicants can also prepare for the HESI A2 exam through NurseHub, a learning resource that provides sample questions, detailed answers, and knowledge of what to expect on the exam. NurseHub includes access to full-length, timed tests that simulate the HESI A2 exam experience.