Details of HOBET as an Entrance Exam

All about the HOBET

The HOBET is a test taken by health occupation aspirants in order to get admitted in health care courses that are offered by many colleges of the USA. This competitive examination does not specify a passing score. However, the students have to secure high scores in it, in order to cope with the fierce competition for getting admission in a desired course and a good college. The test consists of 4 areas (Mathematics, English Language Usage, Reading Comprehension, and Science) and sections to evaluate the intelligence and stress-personality traits of the examinees. Thus, the exam is unique, as many other entrance examinations restrict themselves to testing only academic skills, while this one tests other aspects of the examinees also.

This examination provides information about a student's social and learning responses, at the time of admission, which is very helpful to college authorities, as they can use it to understand the mental framework of a student and then decide upon his/her admission in their courses. This saves the schools a significant amount of time that they may spend on a wrong candidate.

Health Occupation Courses Requiring HOBET Score

Mentioned below is a list of the health occupation courses requiring HOBET scores for admission:

  • Nursing
  • Radiography
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Nuclear Medicine Technology
  • Medical Sonography
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Therapeutic Massage
  • Polysomnography

Sections of the HOBET

The test primarily has 4 Sections that are Enumerated as Follows (please note: the terminology used for the HOBET tests and the number of content areas tested varies individually for the different colleges):

  1. Maths Skills Test

    This section tests the basic Algebra, Arithmetic, and Geometry and Trigonometry skills, of health occupation aspirants. The questions of this section comprise 20% of the HOBET question paper. The sub-content areas of this section are as follows:

    1. Numbers and Operators - 13%
    2. Algebraic Applications - 3%
    3. Data Interpretation - 3%
    4. Measurement - 2%

  2. Scientific Reading Comprehension

    This content area tests a student's ability to read and comprehend scientific text. This section constitutes 28% of the question paper. The individual sub-content areas of this section are as follows:

    1. Paragraph and Passage Comprehension - 13%
    2. Informational Source Comprehension - 15%

  3. Written Expression

    English language skills of the students taking this test is evaluated in this section. The questions are based on English grammar, spelling, punctuation and pluralization. The questions of this section comprise 20% of the question paper. The individual sub-content area of this section are as follows:

    1. Grammar and Word Meanings in Context - 10%
    2. Spelling and Punctuation - 6%
    3. Structure - 4%

  4. Basic Science Concepts and Vocabulary

    This section tests the scientific knowledge and scientific vocabulary of test-takers. This is the most extensive section as it covers 32% of the question paper. The individual sub-content areas of this section are as follows:

    1. Human Body Science - 7%
    2. Life Science - 10%
    3. Earth and Physical Science- 9%
    4. Scientific Reasoning - 5%

  5. Stress Level Profile

    The stress management capabilities and the personal stress levels of students appearing for the test is made known to evaluators by their performance in this content area.

  6. Learning Style

    Human beings differ in their learning styles. This content area is used by assessors to understand the learning style of the examinees, to facilitate better teaching and learning.

  7. Test Taking Skills

    This section is used to assess the aptitude of the students taking different types of tests in HOBET.

It must known however that colleges administer only those HOBET tests that are required for admission into the health care courses that they offer. Hence, the students have to find out the availability of the test of their interest, at a given examination center, before making efforts to register for this examination. They can get further information about the content area breakup at this ATI HOBET resource:

HOBET Question Types and Duration

The test poses questions of the objective pattern, with each question having four multiple-choice options, out of which the students have to choose one choice as the most appropriate answer to the corresponding question. The examination takes about 209 minutes to be completed, and the total time duration of this examination depends upon the number of content areas the student has to take in this test.

HOBET Scores

You are already aware that this test does not specify a passing score. However, the students are awarded a Composite Score and Composite Percentile, which are the most important criteria for evaluating the admission suitability of the applicants for the health occupation courses that they want to pursue in their desired colleges. The Composite Score is an average of the Maths Skills Test and Reading Comprehension scores of students. The Composite Percentile is the scaled score that is calculated by comparing the scores obtained by the students, with those obtained by their norm group. Though there is no concept of a "good score" or "bad score", as colleges differ in the value that they give to a certain HOBET score, generally, a percentage of 59 in the HOBET Math Skills exam and a score of 54% in the Reading Comprehension exam, are considered to be of average status.

Re-taking the HOBET Exam

The test can be re-taken. However, different colleges differ in the number of times they allow students to retake this examination, though most of them allow retesting for a minimum of a single time.


The norms, mostly differ from one college to another and students appearing for this examination should try to collect information and correspond with the colleges at which they intend to take the test, as much as possible for them. By doing this, they will keep themselves updated with all information and hence not run the risk of having to face unpleasant surprises regarding this examination, on the D-Day!