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What actually happens on the day of the HPAT?

This article is written from the point of view of a student sitting the UMAT, which is the Australian/New Zealand equivalent of the HPAT. The main difference is that the UMAT is 134 questions and 3 hours long with the 3 constructs blended. So you HPAT students just keep that in mind as you read on.................

If you’re a student who likes being prepared and in control, you’ve probably tried to imagine what the actual day of the UMAT will be like. You might be asking yourself some of the following questions – How early do I need to get there? What will the venue look like? Where can I leave my bags? 

It is best to be as prepared as possible, but spending too much time ruminating on the answers to these questions can detract from your preparation for the test itself. Therefore, this blog will attempt to answer some questions that you may have about the actual test day, from the perspective of a test-taker at a large metropolitan venue (Melbourne, Caulfield Racecourse).

How early do I need to get there?

Aim to arrive at the time stated, allowing for traffic, but not significantly earlier. There will be time spent waiting outside the venue before students begin moving into their exam rooms – especially in the afternoon session. In addition, there will be a large crowd of people waiting to register, which will also take time. If you arrive too early, it could increase your stress levels waiting in the company of other anxious students. Don’t stress too much if you are running five minutes late. You will still get to your exam in time. 

What will the venue look like?

The venue will be a very big room – most likely larger than any of your school examinations. Try not to be intimidated by this. Concentrate on your own desk and your own paper. 

Will the time be visible on a clock nearby?

Not necessarily. Some desks may be quite far away from a clock, or the clock may be positioned at an inconvenient angle with glare from the sun. Bring a watch, and practice using the same watch during your practice exams.

Where can I leave my bags?

There will be space to leave your bags in the examination room, away from the rows of seats, so you can bring anything you need on the day of the exam – including snacks to eat whilst you are waiting outside. Any unauthorised items can also be brought into the room but they must be stored in your bag, away from your seat. 

Will there be time to go to the bathroom after I enter the examination room?

Yes there will be time to go to the bathroom, before everyone settles down at their seat – especially if you are not one of the last people to register. There are toilets available both inside and outside the examination room, and the queues tend to be shorter inside the room. The room is big, so the bathrooms might be far away from you. It is therefore advisable to avoid drinking too much water before and during the exam so you can utilise all the time available to you. 

How will I know where to sit?

The invigilators will direct you to a seat when you enter the room. Therefore, if you register around the same time as your friends, you may be seated near them. Keep this in mind if you think that this could be a possible distraction for you.

Please note that the above information relates to one examination room in one particular year. There may be differences depending on the location of your examination room, and changes may also occur from year to year.


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