What do the numbers on the Statement of Results mean?
Your HPAT Statement of Results will display two measures of your performance: HPAT score and HPAT percentile.
Your overall HPAT score is a weighted sum of your three section scores. Sections 1 and 2 are each weighted at 40%, and section 3 is weighted at 20%. For the mathematically inclined, the formula for calculating overall HPAT score is 0.4 x (Section 1 + Section 2) + 0.2 x Section 3.
The section scores are derived (scaled) from your raw score (the number of questions you got right) using statistical methods that are not made publicly available by ACER. Note that you will never know your raw score. Section scores normally, but not always, range in value from 0-20 to 100. The maximum overall score possible is theoretically 300, but in reality very few students obtain an overall score over 200 (they are usually in the top 1% of candidates). Last year the highest overall HPAT score obtained was 249.
Your percentile rank gives an indication of how your overall score compares to other students who sat HPAT in that year. For example, if you obtain a percentile rank of 60, this means you have performed better than 60% of students and 40% of students have performed better than you.
How is entry into medicine determined?
Entry into medicine is determined by adding together your HPAT score and adjusted* Leaving Certificate scores. Candidates are then ranked on the basis of this combined score, and offers are made. As for all CAO offers, where there is a tie on points for the last remaining places, random selection will apply.
*Leaving Certificate Examination points are adjusted as follows:
- Students who obtain 550 points or less: no adjustment to points
- Students who obtain higher than 550 points: each additional 5 points achieved over 550 points is adjusted to 1 point. Therefore, the highest adjusted leaving certificate points possible when applying for medicine is 565 [(625 – 550) ÷ 5 = 15; 550 + 15 = 565]
How many points will I need to get into medicine?
Last year, following were the minimum combined points required for entry into medicine:
|University College Dublin||734|
|Trinity College Dublin||731|
|Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland||728|
|University College Cork||730|
|National University of Ireland Galway||724|
Note that the minimum combined points required for entry into medicine vary from year to year – sometimes they go up, and sometimes they go down.
As seen in the table above, the course with the lowest required points last year was Galway, with a minimum combined points of 724. This means that applicants needed a minimum of 156 in HPAT (if a candidate achieved 156 in HPAT, they would have needed 625 points in the Leaving Certificate). The higher the HPAT score, the lower the Leaving Certificate points required. Continuing with the same example, a candidate with a HPAT score of 210 would have needed only 514 points in the Leaving Certificate for entry into Galway last year.
For applicants successful in entering medicine last year, Leaving Certificate scores ranged from 532 to 625. HPAT-Ireland scores ranged from 162 to 249.
Can I request a remark?
ACER states that HPAT-Ireland results are released ‘only after careful calculation and extensive checking’ and that ‘errors in scoring are highly unlikely’. However, it is possible to apply for a re-check of your answer sheet if you believe there may have been an error. In the past, a few students’ HPAT scores were adjusted upwards, although this is rare. Requests for recheck must be submitted through your ACER online account by early July. It costs €85.
What if I don’t get enough points for medicine?
Before CAO cut off points are made available and before your Leaving Certificate points are known (in August) it is not possible to determine with certainty whether or not you have enough points for medicine. It is therefore wise to leave at least some medical courses on your CAO form. It is possible that the minimum required points for medicine will fall this year or that you obtain higher points in your Leaving Certificate than you expect.
If you miss out on medicine this year, there are several options available to you. These are outlined below.
- If your Leaving Certificate points are high, but your HPAT is not, you can re-sit HPAT (note that you can use this year's Leaving Certificate points for entry into medicine next year)
- If your Leaving Certificate points are not high, you can re-sit both HPAT and Leaving Certificate (note that HPAT scores are only valid for one year, so you will need to re-sit HPAT)
- You can pursue graduate entry medicine (however, note that this is a more expensive and time-consuming pathway, and there is uncertainty involved in terms of obtaining entry)
- You can consider studying medicine in another country, such as the UK or Europe
At MedEntry we truly believe that if you are committed and motivated to pursue medicine, you will be successful – it is just a matter of how, when and where. Note that discounts are available to past MedEntry students.
What should I do now?
Unfortunately there is not much you can do except wait until August when Leaving Cert results are out and CAO offers are released. If you feel you do not have a chance at getting into medicine, you can amend your CAO (change of mind is open until early July). However, as mentioned above, we suggest you leave at least some medical courses on your CAO form, as it is not possible to predict what the minimum points will be this year.
If you are very motivated, you could consider doing some work experience or volunteer work in the health field over summer. This will help you decide whether medicine is really the right career for you, and will also assist you if have to sit graduate, overseas or mature entry interviews for medicine.
Other than that, it’s time to relax, celebrate and get back to normal life!
Wishing all students the very best of luck.
Further information can be found at: http://www2.cao.ie/downloads/documents/2018/UGMedEntry2018.pdf