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HPAT Ireland

How do I get into Medicine?

To get into medicine in most countries, you need to satisfy three criteria ie., do well in:

1. your high school/university;

2. a generic skills test and

3. an interview.

In most countries these three criteria are equally weighted. In Ireland, there is no interview yet. In Ireland the two criteria are: your Leaving Certifcate points and HPAT score.  Performing well in the HPAT is critical for students wishing to enter medicine. Most countries in the world have a generic skills test similar to HPAT (eg., UMAT, MCAT, GAMSAT, UKCAT, BMAT).

Because medicine is the only course where the government strictly controls the number of places, the demand is high which is one of the reasons why it is seen as an attractive profession.

The next FAQs provide more details on entry requirements for medicine.

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The HPAT-Ireland (Health Professions Admission Test-Ireland) is an admissions test used by Irish Medical Schools for getting into medicine.

The HPAT-Ireland test measures a candidate’s logical reasoning and problem solving skills as well as non-verbal reasoning and the ability to understand the thoughts, behaviour and/or intentions of people.  The test results will complement the Leaving Certificate Examination assessment for selecting applicants for admission to an undergraduate Medical School programme.

The HPAT is a two and a half hour test (except for University of Limerick applicants) - administered by ACER (Australian Council for Educational Research) in late Feb/early March. The head office of ACER is located in Melbourne, where MedEntry's office is also located.

University of Limerick applicants sit an additional 4th section as part of their HPAT. This is a 1 hour written essay component consisting of two questions. Further information on this 4th section can be found on the ACER HPAT site

MedEntry HPAT Prep has become synonymous with HPAT success and is trusted by more students than all other providers combined.

View some of our free sample questions.

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Most medical entrance courses in Australia require students to have sat HPAT and have valid HPAT scores. Please see the next question below which gives details of universities which require HPAT for medical entrance and other courses.

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You will need to sit the HPAT-Ireland if you are interested in studying medicine at any of the following universities:

  • National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI GALWAY)
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)
  • Trinity College Dublin (TCD)
  • University College Cork (UCC)
  • University College Dublin (UCD)

HPAT - Ireland is required for entry into the MSc Occupational Therapy (Professional Qualification) and MSc Speech and Language Therapy (Professional Qualification) at University of Limerick.


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Yes! Even high achieving students stumble in the HPAT.

Some students with perfect leaving certificate scores (625) have missed out on a place in medicine and related courses due to their low HPAT scores. In some cases, your HPAT score is more important than your leaving certificate score in securing a place in the health sciences.

Research shows training can significantly improve HPAT score by familiarizing you with the types of questions that will be asked and developing strategies to tackle them. Even ACER now admits that training for HPAT helps.

An all-too-common fallacy about preparing for HPAT is that all you need to do is 'familiarise' yourself with the test by doing some practice questions. That's like saying the way to become a great basketball player is to familiarise yourself with a basketball court and practice taking a few shots.

Once upon a time, people were wrong. They thought that the automobile was an electric death-trap that would never replace the horse and carriage, computers were only for academic nerds, and people who used tuition were simply cheaters. Then, cars stopped exploding every time you started the engine, people realised that you could use computers for more than just calculating the digits of pi, and the 'cheaters' with the tuition... well, they started getting it. They got better grades, got into better Courses at Uni and just plain old got better. Times change, rules change.

Some people point not only to their own success, but also to the success of some others, as proof that HPAT Prep is unnecessary to get into medicine. Such arguments are spurious because they gloss over the obvious truth that certain people are more capable than others. Individuals succeeding without HPAT Prep simply don’t prove that everyone else can do the same, any more than Madonna’s success proves that everyone can become a star. Such individual achievements prove only that there are exceptional people who can overcome enormous obstacles and achieve their goals. The plain fact that many ordinary students have not achieved extraordinary results is pretty strong evidence that, for most of us, HPAT Prep can be a big help.

"Kids take prep courses to ace tests that are supposed to measure inborn aptitude," (page 100, Time Magazine, December 20, 2004).

There are three types of knowledge: Known Knowns; Known Unknowns and Unknown Unknowns. The people who don't prepare are in the last category. They don't know what they don't know!

People who are low on any scale, do not even know enough to recognize how much they are missing. People who are high on a scale, are deeply aware of how much they are missing, so they think they aren't really all that high. This can be about any skill, aptitude or talent. Many of us suffer from omission bias, ie., we prefer erring through inaction to erring through action, even though research shows errors of omission are costlier than errors of commission.

Consider this story about the French marshal Louis Lyautey: when the marshal announced that he wished to plant a tree, his gardener responded that the tree would not reach full growth for a hundred years. “In that case,” replied Lyautey, “we have no time to lose. We must start to plant this afternoon." Students thinking of preparing for improvement in performance in HPAT have no time to lose. They must get started now.

So start preparing now!

Please also read the FAQ: "Does the MedEntry program really work?"

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In 2019, the HPAT will be held on Saturday 23 February.

You can sit the HPAT-Ireland in one of the following test centres: Cork, Dublin, Galway, Sligo, Limerick and Waterford.

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If you have not been successful the first time you sit the HPAT, you can re-sit it without being penalised. In fact you can resit the test ANY number of times.

Please note that HPAT scores are valid for one year only.

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You can register for the HPAT-Ireland online at ACER’s website:

Please note that enrolling with MedEntry HPAT Preparation course does not represent or include an application to sit the HPAT.

In addition to your application to ACER, you must first apply to the Central Applications Office (CAO) to complete the HPAT-Ireland test.


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ACER is the Australian Council for Educational Research; an organization that administers the HPAT. Its head office is based in Melbourne, where MedEntry's head office is also located.

You will need to contact ACER to register for the HPAT. Please visit for more information.

ACER is a world renown organisation which has extensive expertise in developing and using many high stakes tests such as the UMAT, HPAT, GAMSAT in many countries.

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Registration for HPAT-Ireland is available online only.

The registration fee for the HPAT–Ireland test in 2019 will be €140 (all taxes and charges included) per candidate. This fee will cover online registration for the test, materials required for the paper test, provision of test results to the candidate and the transfer of results to the CAO. All payments must be made in EURO. The preferred method of payment is by credit card.

There is an additional fee of €25 for University of Limerick (postgraduate) applicants

Please visit for more details.

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Registrations for HPAT-Ireland 2019 will open in early November 2018. Standard registrations will close at 5.15 pm GMT on Sunday 20 January 2019. Late registrations will be accepted until 5.15 pm GMT on Friday 1 February 2019 on payment of a late fee.

Exceptional late registrations will be accepted until 5.15 pm GMT on Sunday 3 February 2019. An exceptional late registration will only be accepted from candidates who have submitted their application to the CAO by 5.15 pm GMT on Friday 1 February 2019.

It will NOT be possible to register for HPAT - Ireland after registrations close at 5.15 pm GMT on Sunday 3 February 2019.

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Late registrations will be accepted until 5.15 pm GMT on Friday 1 February 2019 on payment of a late fee of €70 in addition to the registration fee.

Exceptional late registrations will be accepted until 5.15 pm GMT on Sunday 3 February 2019 on payment of the exceptional late fee of €105 in addition to the registration fee. An exceptional late registration will only be accepted from candidates who have submitted their application to the CAO by 5.15 pm GMT on Friday 1 February 2019.

It will NOT be possible to register for HPAT - Ireland after registrations close at 5.15 pm GMT on Sunday 3 February 2019.

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Personalised tutoring is available as part of the Diamond package only. If you are not enrolled in the Diamond package and wish to access tutoring, you can do so by upgrading to the Diamond package.

You will receive a total of five hours of one-on-one, face-to-face tutoring. Tutors will also be available for support via phone and email between sessions. The location and exact timing of the tutoring is negotiable between you and your tutor.

All tutors have performed exceptionally well in HPAT, interviews and school.

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The UMAT (Undergraduate Medical and Health sciences Admissions Test) is a test used in Australia for over 25 years for entry into medicine. It is the same as the HPAT in all aspects – purpose, content and form (however compared to the HPAT, there are more questions in the UMAT, and they are mixed). The UMAT is administered by the same organisation (Australian Council for Educational Research). MedEntry has been training students for UMAT since the inception of the test.

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Undergraduate entry to medicine for school leavers is based on:

  • Achieving a minimum of 480 points and meeting the minimum entry requirements for the programme in the same sitting of the Irish Leaving Certificate Examination (or equivalent) and;
  • Completing the required admissions test (HPAT-Ireland). HPAT results are valid for one year only.

To calculate your total points:

Total points = Leaving Certificate (adjusted) + HPAT score
Up to 550 LC points: no adjustment
More than 550 LC points: 5 points = 1 adjusted point
Maximum LC score of 625 = 565 adjusted points

An example: If your LC points is 565, and HPAT score is 190:

Your adjusted LC points is 553
553+190=743 Total points

Another example:

LC Points=560, student has done HL maths, HPAT score of 185:
HL Maths gives 25 bonus points.
Total=585 points. Adjusted points= 550+35/5= 557
Total points: 557+185=742

The HPAT scores of successful applicants range from 160 to 228.

The score required to get into medicine in Ireland varies each year but has been around 720 points - please contact us for up to date information about this.

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The HPAT-Ireland test is a 2½ hour paper-based multiple choice test consisting of three modules or sections:

Section 1 Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving. Some questions test your logical and critical thinking skills. Other questions test your ability to solve problems and interpret data. Overall, this section is designed to test how fast you can interpret information and your ability to think in various ways. 44 questions to be completed in 65 minutes. It is worth 40% of the total score.

Section 2 Interpersonal Understanding. You will be given various passages or scenarios describing people and interactions between people. You will need to empathise (put yourself in another person’s shoes), and understand what they might be thinking or feeling. You may also be asked to explain why a person behaves the way they do. 36 questions to be completed in 45 minutes. It is worth 40% of the total score.

Section 3 Non-Verbal Reasoning. This involves finding patterns and trends in a sequence or block of pictures. It tests your ability to think non-verbally. 30 questions to be completed in 40 minutes. It is worth 20% of the total score.

As of 2016, University of Limerick applicants will sit a 4th section, a 1 hour written essay component.

More information on the structure of the HPAT can be found on the ACER HPAT website

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The HPAT scaled score for the three sections of the test are added to obtain an overall score. The individual section scores given are not raw scores (the percentage of questions you got right). The maximum a candidate can receive is 300. An overall percentile rank is also given.  This indicates how well a student has performed against other HPAT-Ireland candidates. Please note that from 2014, the weighting of the three sections 1, 2 and 3 will be 40%, 40% and 20%.

The actual means of converting a student's responses to each question into scaled scores is confidential information which is not released by ACER.


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