By finding this blog post, you have already realised that, despite what many people tell you, studying for the HPAT is possible. I was also sceptical prior to using MedEntry’s HPAT tuition course. However, my final score in the 100th percentile, more than 30 percentiles higher than my first trial paper, would not have been possible without it. The MedEntry resources will give you everything you need to succeed for the HPAT, and I will explain how to use them to your advantage.
In terms of the online LMS, I started by reading the guides, and doing related drills intermittently; this helped me to discover my weaknesses early in my preparation. It is worthwhile to use a drill from each section at the beginning of your preparations to identify areas you might need to focus on a little more. Don’t feel disheartened based on low scores on the LMS; the HPAT is unlike any kind of test that you have experienced at school; it is unreasonable to expect yourself to know all the answers! That is where the information in the guides will come in; the strategies that you will find there will help you improve in many aspects, but most importantly how to approach various question types.
Time management was a challenge in multiple ways during my HPAT preparation; fitting preparation in around school and work, and also during the exams and drills themselves. About 6 months before the test, I sourced a yearly planner and coloured in every 3rd Sunday afternoon until July – this was when I completed my practice exams. It is important to spread out the MedEntry practice HPAT exams like this, rather than cramming them in closer to the exam date. The most valuable part of doing these exams is reading, understanding and improving based on the detailed worked answers to the questions, not only for the questions you got wrong but also for those you got right. This can take some time, and it is important to allocate this into your usual study routine for the months leading up to the HPAT.
Once you have investigated the available resources, write to do lists, goals and timeframes using a pen and paper. If you're anything like myself, things tend to get done when it is not so easy to press 'backspace'. Aim to set reasonable 'due dates' for yourself, remembering other commitments as you do so. Start HPAT preparation early in order to avoid stress and overworking yourself as school, work and life commitments build up throughout the year.
Adapted from a blog post written Alexandra, a 100th percentile student in the UMAT (Similar test in Australia/New Zealand), who is studying medicine at Monash University.