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Distributed Practice and the HPAT: What you need to know Part 2

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In part 1 of this blog, we looked at why it is important to study with distributed practice for the HPAT. In part 2, we will look at how to implement this into your HPAT plan.

How to implement distributed practice for HPAT

Here are some tips and strategies on how to best use distributed practice in your HPAT preparation (you can also use them in your secondary school and university study; or acquiring any skill for that matter):

1. Plan out a HPAT study schedule/timetable

This is an important step. You need to make time for your HPAT preparation, even if it’s a small amount. Make a timetable and slot in 15-30 minutes of HPAT preparation each day or every second day depending on how much time you have. Then follow this timetable and adhere to the tasks you have set yourself. You can plan your HPAT preparation easily using MedEntry’s HPAT study planner.

2. Actively acknowledge the information you have learnt during a HPAT study session

Take a couple of minutes to reflect on what you have learnt. If you are simply answering HPAT questions with no consideration to the broader scheme of the HPAT you will not make the most of your preparation. So, take a moment to reflect on what was difficult, where you can improve and things you should remember for the next time you sit down to do HPAT preparation.

3. Revisit old HPAT topics

Every now and then you should go back and review HPAT strategies and concepts you found difficult, consider why you found them difficult and if you have improved. It’s not about aimlessly repeating HPAT questions or drills, but retrieving those reflections you have made in the previous step, and reviewing what has happened since. You should keep a notebook to record your reflections.

4. Formative assessments

3 HPAT exams completed over a 3 week period will better reflect long-term improvement than 3 HPAT exams completed in consecutive days. Naturally, these assessments will be summative in results but reflect on them in a formative sense. See if your HPAT time management has improved, or if you are more comfortable with the HPAT strategies you’ve been working on. After these considerations move on to consider your HPAT percentiles and scores. These assessments should be signposts in your distributed practice journey, reminding you where you need to direct your HPAT studies and if you have improved.

5. Sleep!

Enormous amounts of research has been done demonstrating the relationship between memory retention/skill development and quality of sleep. So sacrifice the 2am study session or the gaming all-nighter for some quality sleep and you’ll reap the rewards in the long run.

6. Spaced learning

The final and crucial tip is to space out your HPAT learning. Don’t try and master all HPAT strategies in one 30 minute period. Give yourself time to absorb information. Remember, HPAT is a marathon, not a sprint. Start with a manageable load of information (HPAT strategies, tips and reflections) and move on to the next load once you are comfortable.

How will MedEntry help you implement distributive practice?

MedEntry has been preparing students for aptitude tests related to medical entry for over two decades. Over that time, we have developed an understanding of how to best prepare for tests such as HPAT. Because we know that distributed practice is the best way to prepare, we provide access to all resources immediately upon purchase, and access is provided right up to HPAT. This means you can prepare for HPAT over an extended period of time, gradually developing and building up your HPAT skills. This will give you the best chance of HPAT success.

On the MedEntry Online Learning Platform you will find numerous tools to enable you to practice ‘distributed practice’ which you should now be eager to take on.

MedEntry also offers multiyear packages for those students who would like to start preparing in their earlier years of secondary school. Remember, the earlier you begin your HPAT preparation, the better!

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