HESI A2 Vocabulary Practice Test

Below is our free HESI A2 Vocabulary practice test. Make sure you do a lot of HESI Vocabulary practice before you take your exam. There are a wide variety of words that will be tested, including many medical terms. Many of the questions present the word in the context of a sentence, which makes is easier to figure out. If you are not sure about a word, just make your best guess.

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Question 1
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

The patient’s stomach appeared distended, and the physician decided to order an ultrasound.

A
bloated
B
weeping
C
sponge-like
D
robust
Question 1 Explanation: 
"Distended" means "expanded" or "enlarged." The closest word to this meaning is "bloated."
Question 2
What is the best definition for the word therapeutic?

A
understanding
B
remedial
C
palliative
D
concurrent
Question 2 Explanation: 
Something is therapeutic if it is related to curing or treating a disease. "Remedial" or "remediation" are closely related to this definition.
Question 3
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

When the lab work returned, it appeared that the patient’s hematologic values were abnormal.

A
circumference
B
blood
C
immune system
D
circulatory
Question 3 Explanation: 
The prefix hemato- or hemo- indicates that a word relates to "blood."
Question 4
Which word means “to happen again”?

A
tended
B
recommended
C
follow
D
recur
Question 4 Explanation: 
"Recur" means "to occur again."
Question 5
What word meaning “to complete or enhance when added” fits best in the sentence?

In order to retain weight and maintain a good nutritional status, the doctor wanted the patient to ________ his diet with additional foods containing protein.

A
template
B
blend
C
continue
D
supplement
Question 5 Explanation: 
To supplement something is to add to it, often completing it. Although "blend" may seem close in meaning, it does not indicate that something unique is being added to enhance the patient's original diet.
Question 6
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

The medication was ordered to be given as a sublingual dose.

A
oral
B
by mouth
C
under the tongue
D
rectally
Question 6 Explanation: 
Although a sublingual medication will technically be taken "orally" or "by mouth," the most specific answer is that a sublingual medication is administered under the tongue.
Question 7
What is the best definition for the word retain?

A
eliminate
B
keep
C
despair
D
eject
Question 7 Explanation: 
To retain something is to keep it or hold it intact. The other answer options are not related.
Question 8
What word meaning “to make things worse” fits best in the sentence?

The doctor had prescribed an antibiotic to cure the patient’s infection, which had ______ matters by causing a pruritic rash.

A
exacerbated
B
exhilarated
C
augmented
D
mistreated
Question 8 Explanation: 
To exacerbate is to make more violent or severe. To exhilarate is to make someone very happy or excited. To augment is to make something bigger or more intense. To mistreat is to treat poorly.
Question 9
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

The medication could cause a burning sensation, so the pharmacy technician diluted it with normal saline.

A
potentiated
B
poisoned
C
weakened
D
glorified
Question 9 Explanation: 
To dilute something is either to diminish the strength of something or to make it thinner.
Question 10
What is the best definition for the word latent?

A
hidden
B
active
C
revealed
D
courageous
Question 10 Explanation: 
A condition that is latent is present and capable of developing, but is currently hidden or inactive. It is the opposite of "active" or "revealed," and "courageous" is not related.
Question 11
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

The preexisting condition was covered by insurance, and the patient did not have to pay for surgery.

A
juxtaposing
B
false
C
negligible
D
existing beforehand
Question 11 Explanation: 
The prefix pre- means beforehand or earlier than. Therefore, "preexisting" means to exist beforehand.
Question 12
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

The manifestation of a rash on the patient’s skin indicated that he was allergic.

A
shirking
B
appearance
C
donning
D
acquiescence
Question 12 Explanation: 
The manifestation of something is its materialization. The manifestation of a rash will be its appearance.
Question 13
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

The girl hadn’t eaten properly for weeks; her cheekbones were nearly concave in shape.

A
extended
B
extinguished
C
bowed inward
D
bulging
Question 13 Explanation: 
Concave means "hollowed or curved inward." It is the opposite of convex, which would mean "rounded outward" and more closely align with the words "extended" and "bulging." "Extinguished" means "ended."
Question 14
Compensatory is best described as ________.

A
corrective
B
sociable
C
beleaguered
D
courteous
Question 14 Explanation: 
To compensate for something is to offset an error or undesired effect. Therefore, something that is compensatory is corrective.
Question 15
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

The doctors who were participating in rounds wanted to know the patient’s status as of this morning.

A
bias
B
peak
C
condition
D
cognizance
Question 15 Explanation: 
A patient's status is the state or condition in which they are in.
Question 16
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

In what appeared to be a paroxysmal reaction, the medication only seemed to make the patient’s spasms worse.

A
unprecedented
B
sudden
C
ironic
D
curved
Question 16 Explanation: 
A paroxysm is a fit, attack, or sudden increase of symptoms. If something is paroxysmal, it is sudden.
Question 17
Select the word that means “to urinate.”

A
void
B
eliminate
C
evacuate
D
divert
Question 17 Explanation: 
"Void" is the term used to describe urination. "Eliminate" is often used to describe defecation.
Question 18
Primary is best defined as:

A
subtle
B
following
C
first
D
aimless
Question 18 Explanation: 
"Primary" describes something that is first.
Question 19
What word meaning “to bind or inhibit” fits best in the sentence?

The doctor gave an order to ________ the patient as necessary in order to keep the patient from hurting himself.

A
focus
B
correlate
C
caress
D
restrict
Question 19 Explanation: 
To restrict someone is to bind or constrain them.
Question 20
Select the best meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

The musculoskeletal system is expansive and is one of the first body systems to feel the effects of age.

A
muscles and bones
B
muscles and ligaments
C
bones and ligaments
D
muscles and organ tissues
Question 20 Explanation: 
Musculo- relates to muscles and -skeletal relates to the skeleton (bones).
Question 21
Gender is best described as ______.

A
applying
B
sex
C
shape
D
predilection
Question 21 Explanation: 
In medical settings, gender often refers to the biological sex of someone: either the male or female designation of a species.
Question 22
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

The patient’s neurovascular system was compromised and he fainted.

A
relating to the vascular system and blood flow
B
relating to the nerves and especially their effect on blood flow
C
relating to the nerves only
D
relating to an uninhibited section of the body
Question 22 Explanation: 
Neuro- relates to the nerves and -vascular relates to channels that convey bodily fluids (namely, blood).
Question 23
Select the correct definition of the underlined word in the sentence.

The toddler’s ultrasound contained possible foreign bodies in his abdominal cavity.

A
cavern
B
container
C
empty or hollow space
D
defined area
Question 23 Explanation: 
A cavity is an unfilled space within something. "Cavern" is used to describe caves or natural places, not something within the body. "Defined area" and "container" are not specifically related to or descriptive of a cavity.
Question 24
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

The nurse made sure to depress the drainage bulb so that it would begin applying suction pressure immediately.

A
compress
B
liquefy
C
clarify
D
encourage
Question 24 Explanation: 
"Depress" and "compress" both closely mean "to press down on."
Question 25
Select the word or phrase that will make the sentence grammatically correct.

The patient was ________ to aspiration, and that’s why they made sure he was sitting upright for dinner.

A
weakened
B
suspected
C
predisposed
D
easy
Question 25 Explanation: 
To be predisposed to something is to be susceptible to it. The patient had to sit upright to eat because he was susceptible (vulnerable) to aspiration.
Question 26
What is the best definition for the word elevate?

A
rectify
B
elucidate
C
lift
D
plead
Question 26 Explanation: 
To elevate is to lift or raise. To elucidate is to clarify or explain. To rectify is to make right. To plead is to beg.
Question 27
What word meaning “obvious or visible” fits best in the sentence?

The doctor had put his              opinion in the plainest language possible; there was nothing more to be done for the patient besides comfort care.

A
professional
B
condoned
C
single
D
overt
Question 27 Explanation: 
Something that is overt is clear, obvious, and out in the open.
Question 28
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

The nurse reminded the patient that he was ordered to be on strict bed rest until the doctor said otherwise.

A
lackadaisical
B
absolute
C
shifting
D
lax
Question 28 Explanation: 
Something is strict if it is stringent in control, and therefore absolute.
Question 29
What is the best definition for the term pathology?

A
the study of the disease process
B
the existence of disease
C
the carelessness of infection prevention
D
the maintenance of chronic diseases
Question 29 Explanation: 
"Pathology" represents the study of diseases and their structure, functions, and processes.
Question 30
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

The labored respirations of the patient began to be far and few between as he slipped peacefully toward death.

A
undertakings
B
journey
C
breathing
D
struggling
Question 30 Explanation: 
Respiration refers to breathing.
Question 31
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

The nurse checked that the tube was patent before she connected the patient’s next feeding.

A
closed
B
open
C
available
D
hidden
Question 31 Explanation: 
One of the meanings of "patent" is "unobstructed or offering free passage."
Question 32
What word meaning “sudden and possibly unexpected” fits best in the sentence?

Although the nursing unit did their best to care for the patient, he passed away in a/n ______ manner when his heart stopped.

A
violent
B
abrupt
C
contained
D
ordered
Question 32 Explanation: 
Something is abrupt if it occurs suddenly without warning or anticipation.
Question 33
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

The patient decided to abstain from alcohol for the rest of his life, which his family agreed was for the better.

A
allow
B
hide
C
forgo
D
indulge
Question 33 Explanation: 
To abstain from something is to choose not to do or have it. In this case, the patient is choosing to "forgo" his ability to consume alcohol.
Question 34
What is the best definition for the word comply?

A
to argue loudly
B
to soften or make malleable
C
to reluctantly agree
D
to follow instructions willingly
Question 34 Explanation: 
To comply with an instruction is to follow it willingly.
Question 35
Select the word that means “important.”

A
vital
B
corrective
C
instigative
D
diversional
Question 35 Explanation: 
Something that is vital is of the utmost importance.
Question 36
Oral is best defined as:

A
audible
B
constitutive
C
significant
D
by mouth
Question 36 Explanation: 
Something is oral if it involves the mouth.
Question 37
What word meaning “to absorb or intake” fits best in the sentence?

The patient was brought to the emergency room because he had planned to ______ a lethal amount of Tylenol.

A
inject
B
ingest
C
build
D
summarize
Question 37 Explanation: 
To ingest something is to take it in.
Question 38
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

The patient’s exacerbation of sickle cell disease was worsened due to his poor hydration status.

A
water balance
B
nutritional status
C
financial situation
D
emotional stability
Question 38 Explanation: 
Hydration relates to having an adequate amount of water for bodily tissues.
Question 39
Select the best meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

Peristalsis is a function of the gastrointestinal system that is performed by nerve cells.

A
of or relating to the cranial nerves
B
of or relating to the pharynx, oesophagus, stomach, intestines, and anus
C
of or relating to the autonomic nervous system
D
of or relating to the colon only
Question 39 Explanation: 
"Gastrointestinal" describes something involving both the stomach and the intestines.
Question 40
Flaccid is best defined as ______.

A
toned
B
limp
C
rotted
D
amused
Question 40 Explanation: 
Something is flaccid if it is not firm or stiff.
Question 41
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

The drainage coming from the wound had the consistency of mucus but looked like blood.

A
variation
B
aroma
C
texture
D
erraticism
Question 41 Explanation: 
"Consistency" refers to the texture of an item, often involving its density, firmness, or viscosity.
Question 42
Select the correct definition of the underlined word in the sentence.

The patient demonstrated a neurological deficit he had not shown prior to the accident.

A
ability
B
shortfall
C
error
D
concurrence
Question 42 Explanation: 
"Deficit" and "deficiency" share the same root; they both relate to lacking something or being impaired in some way.
Question 43
What is the best definition for the word defecate?

A
to have a bowel movement
B
to surrender to an opposing side
C
to conquer in battle
D
to strain
Question 43 Explanation: 
"Defecate" refers to discharging waste from the bowels.
Question 44
What is the best definition for the word nutrient?

A
substance
B
energy
C
program
D
food
Question 44 Explanation: 
A nutrient is something that nourishes a living being. Although it might supply energy and it may be a substance, these are not the most specific answers.
Question 45
Soon after the surgery, the patient found he had to suppress the urge to vomit. What does “suppress” mean in this context?

A
correct
B
exemplify
C
counter
D
eliminate
Question 45 Explanation: 
To suppress is to restrain or keep from happening. To counter something is to act in opposition to keep it from happening. Although "eliminate" might seem related, it does not mean to hold an urge down, it would get rid of the urge.
Question 46
What word meaning “heart” fits best in the sentence?

The doctor’s report indicated that the patient’s _______ status was at risk from the medications he was taking.

A
musculoskeletal
B
pancreatic
C
cholecystic
D
cardiac
Question 46 Explanation: 
"Cardiac" means "of or relating to the heart."
Question 47
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

The patient’s health appeared to be contingent on her taking the medications.

A
erroneous
B
contagious
C
dependent
D
reliable
Question 47 Explanation: 
"Contingent" means dependent on or conditioned by something.
Question 48
What is the best definition for the term fatigue?

A
energy level
B
exhaustion
C
correction
D
motivation
Question 48 Explanation: 
"Fatigue" means weariness or exhaustion.
Question 49
Select the meaning of the underlined word in the sentence.

Gloves are a required precaution when dealing with blood and other bodily fluids.

A
recommendation
B
situation
C
safeguard
D
accommodation
Question 49 Explanation: 
A precaution is a safeguard taken in advance of something to prevent harm or undesired outcomes.
Question 50
What word meaning “issues or characteristics” fits best in the sentence?

Although the patient tested positive for mononucleosis, she showed no _______.

A
aftereffects
B
disappointment
C
symptoms
D
lethargy
Question 50 Explanation: 
A symptom is an indication or characteristic of something.
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