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About HPAT

What is HPAT?

HPAT is the Health Professions Admission Test used in order to assist with the selection of students into medicine and health professions degrees in Ireland. This test is compulsory, because admission to the universities which offer medicine in Ireland requires students to submit their HPAT score as part of their application process.  On application, apart from HPAT score students will also need their Leaving Certificate results.

When do you sit the HPAT?

The very first time you are eligible to sit the HPAT is during your final year of school. You may sit HPAT as many times as you like, as long as you are a bona-fide applicant. HPAT is held only once a year, usually around the 3rd week of February, this means you will sit the exam roughly mid-way through the 6th Year of your Leaving Certificate.  However, you can sit HPAT after completing your schooling as well. Regardless, whether you are repeating the HPAT, or decided that you wish to apply for undergraduate medicine at a later date. This also means that students who already finished school, and maybe even completed a different undergraduate degree, are still eligible to sit the HPAT. 

HPAT Structure and Content

Many students underestimate the HPAT and consider that it is just another academic assessment along  the way to achieving their dream career in health sector. HPAT is not your typical high school or university exam. Research has shown that academic excellence does not necessarily equate to an outstanding HPAT result. 

During the HPAT, students will undergo a highly controlled and specific 2.5 hour assessment made up of 110 Multiple Choice Questions and three specific constructs that assess a range of non-knowledge based skills and personal qualities.

HPAT Section 1 ‘Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving’ questions covers a broad spectrum of logical and verbal reasoning, including understanding, critical thinking, thought content and organisation of thoughts.  There are also a number of analytical reasoning type questions in this construct. Questions are in the  written form but some questions may contain additional visual cues, e.g. a graph, table or figure.

Attempt sample HPAT Section 1 questions to gain a better understanding of this section entails. 

HPAT Section 2 ‘Interpersonal Understanding’ questions made up of short conversational and situational scenarios between  a range of characters. You will be asked to choose, from the four options provided, the one statement or word that best describes the feelings or actions of a character from the scenario. Some questions might be visual/picture format. This construct requires  an intuitive understanding of the differences between emotions and feelings, the depths to how they can  be depicted within the written form and an excellent understanding of the differences and definitions of  key emotional words.

Attempt sample HPAT Section 2 questions.

HPAT Section 3 the ‘Non-verbal Reasoning’ questions simply ask you to complete a sequence of patterns or a diagram with the most logical option from the five choices offered. The type and style of these questions is virtually unlimited. Some questions though will also ask that you place a set of patterns firstly into their most logical order before selecting the required answer. This construct is divided into three styles of questions, known as, Next in Series, Missing Segment, and Middle of the Sequence. 

Attempt sample HPAT Section 3 questions.

HPAT is Administer by ACER

HPAT is conducted by an organisation known as ACER,   Australian Council for Education Research.  There is only one way to register for the HPAT, which is via the ACER HPAT website. You will need to read HPAT Information Booklet before registering for the exam. This guide usually published during September.