Trusted HPAT prep.

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to

Changes to HPAT non-verbal reasoning (section 3)

In last year's HPAT, there were some changes to non-verbal reasoning questions in the HPAT. Although the structure, number of questions and broad types of questions were the same (pick the middle, missing segment, next in the sequence etc) there were three main differences:

  • A few completely new question types that had not previously appeared in the HPAT
  • A different approach to pick the middle questions required compared to previous years’ HPAT
  • A shift towards more positional type questions

In this blog, we will briefly go through these changes and explain how MedEntry is updating our materials to ensure our students are well prepared for the HPAT.

1. A few completely new question types in HPAT

Both of the new question types in the HPAT are of the 'transformation' type where questions contain original images, transformation images and altered images.

The two new question types in the HPAT were X type questions and matrix transformation questions. 

X type questions involve a central image which undergoes transformation to four images around the outside. One of the four outer images is missing, and students must use the logic of the three transformations given to determine which of the five options would best fit in the missing image.

Matrix-transformation type questions are similar to matrix questions but also include transformation images.

How MedEntry will help you
MedEntry has created new guides for both of these new types of questions. In addition, we will be uploading drills and updating our practice exams to familiarise our students with these questions.  

2. A different approach to pick the middle questions required compared to previous years’ HPAT

MedEntry has led the way over the years in developing new and innovative approaches to non-verbal reasoning questions in the HPAT to assist our students. Our students have had great success in the HPAT over the years with use of MedEntry’s mapping techniques as well as other strategies such as the 3-2 rule when approaching pick the middle questions.

Last year, there was some changes to the HPAT so that using these rules blindly or without careful consideration did not work well. Now, a more in depth understanding is required to answer these questions effectively. In particular, knowing when to use particular strategies such as mapping and when not to use them is important.

How MedEntry will help you
MedEntry has developed some innovative new techniques to tackle this new type of question that students will face in the upcoming HPAT. Our guides have been updated to help students know when to use the variety of strategies available to you.  

3. A shift towards more positional type questions

In the past, most sequences have involved components which have a regular and predictable pattern based on one or more features of the component changing. However, there has been a shift towards positional type questions in the HPAT where components change based on where they are located in the image (e.g if they hit the top corner of a 2x2 square). Furthermore, new components can be added based on the position, adding another layer of complexity. These questions are very difficult and require new techniques.

How MedEntry will help you
MedEntry has developed new techniques and included these in our updated guides. New drills are being added for these types of questions and our practice exams will be updated.


In summary, like any good test, the HPAT is constantly evolving. As the leading HPAT preparation provider, MedEntry updates its materials to reflect these changes. We have a track record of creating innovative strategies to tackle HPAT questions. As there were some changes to non-verbal reasoning questions in HPAT last year, MedEntry has developed new strategies to approach them. We have also created practice questions to familiarise our students with these new question types.

Don't rely on old and outdated information from 'hand-me-downs' or other preparation providers who do not invest in updating their materials. Rely on MedEntry - the smart choice for HPAT preparation.

Medicine – The Big Picture
Optimising your performance in HPAT: Lessons from ...