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Is The HPAT Stressing You Out? How To Use Stress To Your Advantage

You may have heard that stress negatively impacts on performance. You may have been told that if you are too stressed in the lead up to an important exam such as HPAT, you won’t do well. You may have been advised to look for ways to relieve your stress. While this may be true, in some cases trying to get rid of stress can actually cause you to become more stressed. A different approach, which might sound crazy at first, is to embrace your stress. The following three strategies will not only help you manage stress, but will also boost your...
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HPAT Nutrition

Napoleon Bonaparte once famously said “an army marches on its stomach”, and that is as relevant for HPAT as it was for the French Armies that Bonaparte commanded. Making sure you put the right things into your body in the lead up to HPAT is vital to making sure that you perform well on the day of the test. I’m sure you are well aware of what a quality diet consists, so in this post I’ll serve up a couple of key tips for the immediate lead up to test day. The Night Before: As you would expect, the night before...
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5 Tips for the last fortnight

HPAT is well and truly close now and it’s time to streamline your study and buckle down! Here are five ways to make sure you’re using the next two weeks to set you up for success on HPAT day. 1. Use your practice exams wisely A practice exam is only a practice exam if you’re doing it in exam conditions. HPAT is a marathon and your MedEntry and ACER exams are your trial runs so use them to recreate HPAT as much as you possibly can. HPAT isn’t just about the questions, it’s about building your stamina, working on your time...
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HPAT Registrations Closing!

Registrations to sit HPAT 2021 will close this Wednesday 20th January at 5:15 PM GMT! If you plan to sit HPAT in 2021 and have not yet registered, please do so immediately. Remember that this is your only chance to sit HPAT in 2021 – if you miss the registration date, you can still make a late registration until Wednesday 3rd February at 5:15 pm GMT. However, this will attract a late fee. After this final deadline you will need to wait until next year's HPAT to apply. To register, please visit: Note: registering with MedEntry does not mean you have registered...
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HPAT-Ireland: A Student’s Experience

Deciding to sit HPAT Making the decision to sit HPAT was a difficult one. I was worried that the time I would have to spend on HPAT preparation would impact my school study. However, speaking to people who had been through it already provided some reassurance that it is possible, if you are clever with your preparation, to manage both HPAT and Leaving Certificate or university examinations. In addition, I was nervous that HPAT wouldn’t go well but decided it was worth making an attempt because at least I would know rather than be left wondering ‘what if?’.  If you are...
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Why is the HPAT so important?

Firstly, the HPAT is important because without it, you cannot study medicine in Ireland, regardless of your Leaving Cert points. The HPAT was implemented to assess students’ skills in logical reasoning, problem-solving and understanding people –skills that are important in the medical field. It was felt that such competencies should bear weight on an individual’s suitability to medicine. Whether you agree with the HPAT or not, it’s there for a reason and you have to do it to be considered for medicine. The HPAT is extremely important, as Leaving Cert points for medicine applicants are assessed differently. A medicine applicant can...
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HPAT Results to be released in mid-June

ACER has announced that HPAT-Ireland results will now be released in mid-June. Candidates will receive an email when results are available, as is the case each year.  Normally, HPAT-Ireland results are released in late-June each year. ACER initially announced that HPAT-Ireland results would be delayed until August. This was in response to the government’s announcement that Leaving Certificate examinations would be postponed until August, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Leaving Certificate 2020 has been postponed further and the decision has been made to offer students calculated grades. The conventional Leaving Certificate examination will...
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Coronavirus and HPAT

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and rapid escalation of cases across Ireland, you may be wondering how this affects HPAT and medical entry. This blog answers some frequently asked questions. Will coronavirus affect medical entry for 2020? As HPAT 2020 took place in February, coronavirus will not affect students who have applied for medicine in 2020. The only change is that there will be a delay in the release of HPAT 2020 results until after the conclusion of Leaving Cert examinations, which have been delayed due to coronavirus.  Will HPAT 2021 be proceeding? HPAT 2021 will take place in February 2021. As the situation...
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Dealing With Disappointing HPAT percentiles - 3 Tips

So you’ve been preparing for HPAT by working through the HPAT guides and attempting HPAT practice questions and exams. Then one day you receive a disappointing HPAT percentile. So what should you do? Is it time to freak out? Is it time to give up on your medical entry dream? No! Read on for three key tips. 1.  Understand what a HPAT percentile means and how they are calculated Firstly, it is vital that you understand HPAT percentiles, and how they are calculated. Essentially, a percentile compares your performance against other HPAT candidates who have attempted that particular drill, or HPAT...
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Five tips for how to survive when you arrive in the HPAT Exam Venue

  So with all things going well you’ve arrived at the HPAT exam venue with plenty of time and well rested, ready to put all the knowledge you’ve gained from MedEntry to use. However, now you have to make it through the last short while before you sit down and start the HPAT test. Here’s five tips to help you survive. Go to the bathroom. Make sure you head to the loo not long before you are due to start the HPAT because the last thing you need is to have to take a bathroom break in an already time constraining...
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HPAT Scoring Myths

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation on the internet and on forums about how HPAT scores are calculated. Some people and companies claim that your HPAT score or percentile ranking can be calculated from your raw score (the number of questions you got right). This is naïve, simplistic and demonstrates ignorance. Not to mention it is irresponsible to provide students with incorrect information. ACER uses a complex computer program to calculate HPAT scores. Even if you buy it (it costs a few thousand dollars), you cannot replicate the results since the assumptions ACER uses to run the program is kept...
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Making Friends with HPAT Practice

In the game of HPAT practice, consistency beats brilliance. It is important that we not wait until we have lots of motivation before we start practicing. Good HPAT skills come about in the context of practicing in a more routine and ordinary manner, rather than sporadic bursts of insight. The goal should be gaining meaningful and valuable HPAT skills every time you practice. Expecting anything more may create too much pressure and lead to debilitating blocks and limitations. To be successful at the HPAT, you need to develop HPAT practice as a practice or discipline. HPAT = Meditation? In this sense,...
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Mind games: motivation for HPAT study.

Yes, we’d all rather be on Facebook or YouTube, or twitter, or asos, but before you throw your hands up in exasperated defeat and open another tab in your internet browser, consider this…    If you do well in the HPAT exam, you will only have to sit it once. It’s 3 hours of your time which can open the door to a lifelong, rewarding and satisfying career in medicine and/or the health sciences.    If you do not study for the HPAT, you may have to re-sit it or be forced find alternative pathways to reach your health career goal....
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HPAT is probably the hardest test you will ever have to sit. Many students, especially those who do not prepare, are shocked by the difficulty of HPAT. Some who do prepare become disillusioned. So why is HPAT so hard? And what can you do about it? Read on!  1. HPAT is very different to every other type of test you have sat Why?  School and university exams test your knowledge and your ability to apply that knowledge. HPAT is not a test of knowledge; it is a test of your generic skills. You most likely have never sat a test of...
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This blog contains information for how to interpret your HPAT statement of results.   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 the overall HPAT score is 0.4 x (Section 1 + Section 2) + 0.2 x Section 3.  The section scores are derived (scaled)...
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Your venue for the HPAT can become a very scary place very quickly. While being academically prepared is extremely important for HPAT, it is also useful to know what to expect when you get to the venue. Firstly, you’ll see a range of different students at the HPAT venue – while some are great to have a conversation with before the exam commences; others, not so much: 1. The Downplayer – This is a student who will consistently talk about how they have not done any practice for the HPAT, keep reinforcing that they’re going to fail and claim to have...
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Life isn’t the only thing full of surprises. The upcoming HPAT exam could hold a range of new, never-before-seen questions and it is important to know how to deal with these in an exam situation.  The first step is to identify these types of questions in reading time. When looking through your HPAT exam booklet, mentally note these questions and have them simmering away in the back of your mind. By doing so, you’ll be better prepared for these “surprises” and less likely to panic when you go on to attempt these questions. When writing time begins, start doing the questions...
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How to deal with those HPAT Nerves (Part 2 – On the day)

For some people sitting HPAT, those nerves may not hit until the day of or the night before HPAT. We get butterflies in the stomach and perhaps even the need to vomit. These feelings are natural and can even help us to do better. But, for those of us who have difficulty handling the nerves, there are a few simple things to do to minimise them. Make sure you have everything that you need in advance A few days before the HPAT, read through the admission ticket and instructions and make sure that you have everything you need. Print out your...
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Optimising your performance in HPAT: Lessons from Sports Psychology

Preparing for the HPAT is similar to preparing for a marathon: it requires training, preparation and strategies to optimise your performance on the test day. Just as an athlete prepares for a major sporting event, so you must prepare yourself to sit HPAT, which is one of the most important exams that you will face in your career. We can learn much from athletes about optimising performance in HPAT, as outlined in this TED talk by Martin Hagger: This talk discusses how highly successful athletes prepare themselves before a competition. The main points are summarised below, with an emphasis on...
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Only 3 weeks to HPAT - what should I do?

ONLY 3 WEEKS TO HPAT - WHAT SHOULD I DO?   There are three weeks left until HPAT! Are you completely freaking out? Feeling utterly under-prepared? Never fear! These 4 simple steps are sure to make you ready for any HPAT question thrown at you.   Practice ACER exams and read their worked solutions. ACER offers 3 full-length practice exams; these are a must-do before the exam! They are a little bit easier than your average MedEntry exam, so they are great for that last minute confidence boost. ACER also gives you worked solutions to every question, which lets you see...
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