In the September of 6th year, I bought the platinum package and then the 5 additional full length practice exams which I feel really helped, as it gave me a total of 15 practice exams to go through before the real deal. MedEntry had come highly recommended by numerous people who had used it previously, and MedEntry honestly proved priceless in helping me prepare for the HPAT.
I think I did the MedEntry online free practice test in the summer before 5th year when I had started thinking about putting Medicine down on my CAO, but having been warned of a finite number of resources available to help with HPAT preparation I then paused all further HPAT work until the beginning of 6th year.
MedEntry has a wealth of information, exercises, practice exams and guides to help get you ready for the HPAT. Here’s my top 5 tips on how to make the most of these resources.
Set a plan: For me, I have to be super organised and have a timetable so at the start of the year I created a timetable with all my leaving cert subjects and the HPAT that I would follow every week. I dedicated about three hours or so every Sunday to HPAT preparation and made sure I stuck to it. I also tried to do a plan of what I would do each week for my HPAT preparation, splitting the exams up evenly throughout the few months. It was easier to make a more concrete plan after the first few practice exams and LMS questions when I could see what areas I really needed to pay more attention to.
Find your weaknesses: For me I really struggled with Section 3 and 1 the most. I tried to make a conscious effort not to spend the majority of my time on tests for section 2, which I was prone to do at the beginning of my prep-work to avoid the pain of sections 1 and 3. However, I soon realised if I seriously wanted to improve I needed to focus on my downfalls.
Be an early-bird: I got the platinum package and so had a two-day HPAT preparation course as well as all the online learning platinum. I chose to do the first two day course available during the October Mid-Term and I was so glad I did. I gained vast amounts of important tips and information on how best to use my MedEntry Online Learning Platform, how to properly prepare for the HPAT, and loads of general info on the exam itself that really helped me in my subsequent HPAT studies. It was also great to be able to take part in a stimulated HPAT exam so early on in my preparation.
Read and watch: I made sure to allocate time during my HPAT slot in the early weeks to reading the guides and watching the video guides so that I had watched and read them all. The guides are extremely helpful. I found it handy to have read them all early on as when I came across an issue again I could refer back to the guide relating to my problem and found myself able to recall what I had previously read or watched. The general HPAT guide in particular was helpful in teaching me to increase my efficiency.
Try to replicate the real scenario: When doing HPAT preparation I found myself taking a break halfway through to go and make some toast. This ritual started to creep in even when doing practice exams with me pausing the clock, despite the fact that I knew it was so important to try and replicate the real exam timing. I eventually put an end to this. It was definitely a good move as I gained a much better understanding of the time pressures of the real exam.
Written by Anna who achieved 100th percentile in HPAT and is currently studying medicine.