Nursing Entrance Exams

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If you are considering becoming a nurse, then you should be aware of the nursing entrance exams you may need to take. You will need to contact the schools you want to apply to since no all will use the same exam.

It’s also possible the school will require a standardized test like the ACT or SAT. That’s why it’s critical you know the requirements before moving forward.

Related: Highest Paying States for Nurses

Health Education Systems, Inc. Admissions Assessment (HESI A2)

The HESI A2 exam is a standardized test used to assess academic skills in nine different areas:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Grammar
  • Math
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Vocabulary
  • Learning Styles
  • Personality Style

The test draws on what you’ve learned in high school. But you can also see our list of HESI A2 Prep Companies to help get ready for the exam.


While the Test of Academic Skills (TEAS) can be used for other healthcare schools, it’s very common for nursing as well. It is used to show how likely a student is to succeed and how prepared they are to enter the field.

The test covers reading, science, English, and math. Along with ATI themselves, you’ll find a number of good TEAS prep solutions here.


The National League for Nursing (NLN) administers the NLN Pre-Admission Exam (PAX). It’s an exam designed specifically as a nursing entrance exam and is one of the most common.

The test focuses on verbal ability, along with math and science. It consists of 3 multiple choice sections and typically takes about 3 hours to complete.


Another exam specific to nursing school is the Nursing Entrance Test (NET). It not only looks at your knowledge in the areas of reading and math and tries to assess other skills like decision-making and how you react to stress.

The test consists of 6 multiple choice sections and a 1-minute reading test.

Kaplan Nursing School Admissions Test

The Kaplan Admissions Test is another nursing entrance exam designed to assess a student’s potential for success in LPN and RN programs. The test evaluates skills in the areas of writing, reading, math, science, and critical thinking

The NET consists of 4 sections of multiple-choice questions and takes around 2 1/2 hours to complete.

PSB Aptitude for Practical Nursing Exam

The Psychological Services Bureau (PSB) has different tests for each type of nursing school. The Practical Nursing Exam is designed for aspiring LPNs who want to get into practical nursing programs.

The test focuses on a number of subjects including vocabulary, math, nonverbal comprehension, spelling, natural sciences, and judgment and comprehension.

PSB Registered Nursing School Aptitude Exam

Another nursing entrance exam administered by the PSB is for Registered Nurses. It covers essentially the same topics including academic aptitude, spelling, reading comprehension, natural sciences, and a vocational adjustment index. 

PSB Health Occupations Aptitude Exam

The last PSB exam is a more generalized exam for students applying to a variety of healthcare programs. As with the HESI A2 or TEAS, you may find schools use this entrance exam for their nursing programs. 

The test focuses on preparedness in reading comprehension, spelling, natural sciences, math, verbal, and nonverbal areas.

The Bottom Line

Nursing is an in-demand job and the best schools want the best talent. In order to find those best suited for their programs, you’ll likely find they require one of these nursing entrance exams.

Make sure you take the simple step of contacting the school you are applying to so you can find out which exams they require. After that, it’s worth your while to find some preparation guides and courses to help bolster your score.

Given the importance of getting into your desired school, it’s more than worth the effort.

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