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Most people find sitting the HPAT a nerve racking, stressful experience, but that does not mean you should allow those nerves to get the best of you. There are some simple ways to help you get through this period and come out feeling great about your chances.
Take some of the pressure off of yourself.
If you’re anything like me, you expect a lot from yourself and that can result in a large amount of unnecessary pressure. That pressure can prove to be your undoing, but there are simple ways in which to take some of that pressure off. Remember that HPAT is just one exam, you are able to sit it more than once, and there are also a number of other ways to get into medicine in the event you do not do well (see my other blog about alternate ways to get into medicine). There is no need to think that the first time you sit HPAT is your only chance to get into medicine.
Keep the balance.
With studying for HPAT and your final school year, the workload can pile up and seem never-ending. Keeping on top of everything can be difficult, but it is also important to take time away from the study to de-stress and indulge in some of your hobbies; be it sport, video games, music etc. Studying in overdrive and neglecting some of your hobbies may seem like it will help, but the anxiety and stress will build up and you will burn yourself out. Spending time doing your hobbies will help to alleviate some stress, benefit your overall mental health, and help you present yourself as a well-rounded individual in interviews.
Don’t neglect your friends and family.
Something that tends to happen a lot in your final school year is that people will shut themselves in their room, forever studying, because they believe the more they study, the better that they will do in HPAT and final school year. While this is true to some extent, it will be of no use if you are mentally fried from constant study. Your friends and family are there to support you and can be of great assistance to help you study, give you advice or just chill out with and take away some of the stress and anxiety.
By purchasing MedEntry’s HPAT preparation products you are already well ahead on this. Use up as much of this as you can, especially the practice exams, as these are invaluable preparation for the HPAT. The more questions that you are exposed to in practice, particularly for section 3 (non-verbal reasoning), the more comfortable and prepared you will feel. This will take away a lot of the stress of encountering new problems, as you will feel confident in your ability to problem solve and think your way through the HPAT question. Doing HPAT practice exams will give you a great feel for how long you should be spending on each question and which approach best suits your style. The HPAT drills will be very beneficial in helping you build your skills in areas where you are not so confident.