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For many students, HPAT preparation begins with enrolling in a HPAT tuition program such as MedEntry. But boy, there sure is a lot of stuff on here, isn’t there? How exactly should you use all of the resources, such as Practice Exams, Drills and Eureka? In this post, I’ll share how I navigated the MedEntry LMS to ultimately achieve 100th percentile in the HPAT.
The HPAT is such an important of your application to medical school. Obviously it is unfeasible to spend as much time on the HPAT as you do on schoolwork, so I found that treating the HPAT just like another final year subject was an appropriate amount of time. This translates to (only!) a couple of hours per week for HPAT study, so that time needs to be spent as effectively as possible.
Before you start practicing anything, have a read of as much of the supporting information that MedEntry has to offer (like the guides and this blog!), so that you aren’t going in completely blind.
The best resource that MedEntry has to offer are the Practice Exams, which resemble the HPAT as closely as possible, in order to most effectively prepare you for the real thing. I strongly recommend completing all the Exams before the HPAT exam. There are ten exams (with an option to upgrade to fifteen), and the HPAT is in February, so late October is the perfect time to start. This gives you one exam per week, with a couple of weeks to spare before the HPAT for you to revise any specific aspects of the exam. It’s acceptable to do the first few HPAT Exams under relaxed conditions to find your groove, but start completing them under exam conditions as soon as possible, as they are your best tool for practicing your time management.
Drills are also a great resource for the HPAT. They are a smaller time commitment, and are perfect for boosting the sections that you are weaker in. I found myself completing at least two, and up to ten drills a week, depending on my Exam result and time available that week. My Exam results showed that I struggled with Section 2 the most. Accordingly, I practiced on Section 2 drills, so by the end of February I had completed all of the Section 2 drills. On the flipside, I needed the least practice for Section 1, so I had only completed about a third of Section 1 drills by the time of HPAT.
Eureka is home to the least challenging questions. If you find that you are losing a lot of marks to silly avoidable errors, spending a while on Eureka can help to increase speed and precision on the basic questions. All the more time to spend on the real head-scratchers!