MedEntry

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It's Time to Plan Your HPAT Preparation

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...
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Plan-ahead

Is it too late to start preparing for the HPAT?

The short answer is no. Studying for the HPAT is possible and no matter how late you start, you will still be able to improve, just like with any other subject. The long answer is: it depends on how much time you put in and how effectively you do it. At this stage, it’s important to study SMART. Trying to do as many HPAT papers as you can will also take up a lot of your time. You are probably also going to be quite busy balancing 6th year or University study and work with HPAT preparation, so learning study techniques...
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Its-never-too-late

5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before UMAT


Rosanna sat the UMAT five times, and with the help of MedEntry is now studying medicine. In this video, she shares five things she wishes she had known about UMAT. Note: UMAT is the same as HPAT and was used in Australia prior to the change to UCAT.      

Planning time for HPAT Preparation


Unsure how to fit in HPAT prep with your school study? Florence scored 100th percentile in UMAT ( the equivalent to HPAT in Australia/New Zealand) and shares her tips.   

Balancing the HPAT and Hobbies

With the HPAT around the corner, as well as Mock exams, it can be quite a stressful time for students. Many students will spend the majority of the day practising HPAT- style questions and completing practise exams, as well as devoting a large amount of time to HPAT preparation. However, this does not mean your hobbies and interests should be forgotten about. After a long day of lessons, it can be quite daunting to sit at a desk and prepare for the night. Sometimes, motivation to ascertain a place in university to study Medicine can flicker as the late nights become...
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Aint-nobody-got-time-for-that

How to balance the HPAT and the mocks

As the HPAT and mock exams draw closer, it can become harder to balance leaving cert study and HPAT preparation, especially as the HPAT exam will often be very close to mock exams, or can even be in the middle of mock exams. It may be hard to prioritise the HPAT when your teachers and peers are putting all of their focus on the mock exams. You may feel like your peers are doing more study for their mock exams, but that is simply because they do not have another large exam to focus on, so don’t let this stress you...
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mocks

LMS Update - New Highlighter

We have recently made some changes to the highlighter feature in our drills and exams, to make it slightly more useful! Firstly, you will now need to click on the highlighter to be able to highlight text: Afterwards, you will then notice the new highlighter cursor appears, meaning you are in “highlighting mode”: Now, simply click on the question and drag your mouse, release the mouse, and the text will be highlighted! You can exit the highlighter by pressing the escape key, or by re-clicking the highlighter icon. The eraser can be used in the same way – simply click on the eraser...
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LMS-Updates-HPAT

Why practice exams are the best HPAT preparation

Be under no illusions: the HPAT is the single hardest and most important test you will ever sit. This is a scary (and for some maybe terrifying) thought. So what can you do to make it less daunting? The answer may seem counter-intuitive: the best way to make HPAT seem do-able is to face it over, and over, and over again. How? By completing high quality, full length trial exams under timed conditions. HPAT is scary because it is so different to any other test you have done in school – it is much harder, much longer and much more time-pressured,...
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SHOULD I GET A TUTOR FOR HPAT OR ATTEND WEEKLY HPAT CLASSES?

Some students who are preparing for HPAT wonder if they should get a private tutor for HPAT or attend weekly HPAT classes. Often this is because that is what they are used to doing in high school. But HPAT is very different to school and therefore requires a different approach. Here we suggest a much more effective (and much cheaper) way of preparing for HPAT: group study. The benefits of group study are well known: it is more social, more enjoyable and more effective, particularly for tests such as HPAT.  Extensive pedagogical research has shown that group study is far more...
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CHECKING YOUR PROGRESS ON THE LMS

There are a wealth of resources available to you on the LMS. You can check your progress by visiting the Check Progress page, either by clicking on the icon on the homepage of the LMS or by clicking on the icon next to the ‘Check’ section under HPAT resources:      When you arrive on the Check Progress page, you can view your progress with the practice exams or drills by clicking on the relevant tab:   Practice exams You will see a drop down list of your HPAT exams and information about their completion. Click on the drop-down arrow to...
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How to Stay Organised at School/University (and Life in General)

Your final year is a juggling act between all-important tests and exams with your other commitments, be it sport, music or a part-time job. On top of this, you have to squeeze in quality time for your family, friends and personal relationships. Well, once you leave this final year, you may find the added pressures of medical school can be overwhelming at times! Here are my trialled-and-tested tips for reining in the chaos that University can be at times. Honestly, if someone had given me these three pointers in my first few weeks at university, it would have made the transition immeasurably...
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Maximise each HPAT practice question (and your study time!)

So you’ve decided to spend x hours per week preparing for the HPAT. Well done on making a commitment! But it doesn’t end there. The next step is to squeeze as much as you can get out of those HPAT preparation hours. One way of doing this and making the questions work for you is to carefully review solutions. When going through HPAT practice questions, it’s very tempting to avoid reading the solutions for one reason or another. As someone who achieved 100th percentile in the HPAT, I’ll try to make a case for reading the solutions all the time.  ...
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PROBLEM SOLVING APPROACHES

There are many different approaches to problem-solving that have been established in psychology. Firstly, there’s the Thorndike paradigm, which involves blind trial and error1. More purposeful approaches are the Gestalt approach, and the cognitive approach. The Gestalt approach involves solving problems as a whole2. You see the problem, you see what you have, and then you try to see how everything fits together. If the question is routine, it’s very easy to figure it out. If it isn’t, well, sometimes you gain insight, but sometimes you come up with an idea based on what you’ve encountered before and you get so...
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WHAT MAKES A WINNING HPAT MINDSET?

Have I prepared enough for HPAT? As school assessments begin to pile up and the date of the HPAT exam looms closer, this one question can create great anxiety. As a MedEntry workshop helper, questions like, “when did you start preparing for the HPAT?” and “how much practice did you do every night?” are amongst the most frequent that I receive. With such a high-stakes exam like the HPAT, it can often feel like no amount of preparation is enough. This feeling can become increasingly dominant as the exam approaches, and you may find yourself ‘hitting a wall’ with your HPAT-related...
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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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG7v4y_xwzQ 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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Prepare-for-competition

How to Prepare for the HPAT in Year 5

So you’re in 5th year of secondary school and thinking about pursuing a career in medicine. You’ve got great grades as well as the people skills to become a doctor, so there should be no problem getting in. Then you find out about the HPAT. You hear that it is a major obstruction to your journey, and only a select few are able to succeed in it. You hear about all the people who have done poorly despite studying so hard. You may even hear about the people who passed that didn’t do much work. It’s very easy to fall into...
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Year-11

HPAT PHOBIA Don’t get Scared, Stay Motivated!

Does the thought of HPAT day make you cringe and consider hiding in your room? That's how I felt in the weeks that led up to HPAT. Being a student in my final year of high school I had rarely been in a position where I was sitting an exam which was so important for determining my future career pathway. Sure I had been through many school exams and academic competitions, but I felt that no test or assignment I had previously completed could compare to the importance of the HPAT. In my fresh teenage eyes the HPAT was the be...
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Phobia

How to identify and understand emotions in HPAT (Understanding People / Section 2)

Medicine is largely a people-oriented career, which is one of the reasons HPAT tests how well you can understand people in a personal and professional setting. Whilst you can try to “study” for this section of the exam, the best way to develop and refine your interpersonal skills leading up to the HPAT is via emotional reflection and understanding certain concepts. ‘Understanding People’ questions will frequently require you to assign a specific emotion a person might be feeling at a given time. This blog will cover how to approach such a question methodically, in various steps.   STEP 1: Recognise what...
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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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Motivation: without carrots or sticks

Are you having a hard time motivating yourself to study for the HPAT? The tools we often reach for when we need to get ourselves moving are carrots (rewarding ourselves once a tough job is done) or sticks (depriving ourselves of something we want if we fail to do it). These are "extrinsic rewards". But such extrinsic rewards and punishments are not as effective as intrinsic ones. Intrinsic rewards come from your own person - you believe that if you do a certain thing, it will make you a better, more knowledgable person.  Here, six ways to find the intrinsic interest in studying for the...
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