All applicants to the nursing program are required to take the Health Education Systems Incorporated Admission Assessment Exam (HESI A2), designed to evaluate and predict the academic potential of nursing candidates. Applicants will be allowed to take the HESI exam twice within an application cycle. It is recommended you wait at least two weeks between test dates. Contact your advisor to schedule a re-test date.
A minimum cumulative score of 80 percent is required. Each individual HESI component score will be evaluated, but of the component scores, the reading score will be given the highest emphasis.
Candidates will be tested on:
Only prospective students who have confirmed payment will be allowed to test. Our HESI information guide provides:
Students are highly encouraged to purchase the following publication in preparation for testing:
Elsevier: HESI: Admission Assessment Exam Review
(order by the correct ISBN)
The nursing program has arranged group HESI testing sessions in Vermillion, Sioux Falls, Rapid City and Pierre for $42. Space is limited in each section.
If you are unable to attend one of the testing sessions, you can use our online proctoring service Examity for an additional charge. For information on Examity or if you have questions, contact Beth Melstad at 605-658-5600.
If you are a prospective student with a disability and need accommodations during the entrance testing, please contact the director of Disability Services at least seven days before the testing date at:
119B Service Center North
University of South Dakota
Vermillion, S.D. 57069
(605) 677-6389 | Fax: 605-677-3172
The USD Academic misconduct policy 1.017 applies to any student caught cheating on the admission HESI exam.