MedEntry

Trusted HPAT prep.

How to deal with those HPAT Nerves (Part 1 – In the lead up)

Most people find sitting the HPAT a nerve racking, stressful experience, but that does not mean you should allow those nerves to get the best of you.  There are some simple ways to help you get through this period and come out feeling great about your chances.  Take some of the pressure off of yourself.  If you’re anything like me, you expect a lot from yourself and that can result in a large amount of unnecessary pressure. That pressure can prove to be your undoing, but there are simple ways in which to take some of that pressure off. Remember that...
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Improving your reading for HPAT

With the exception of the Non-Verbal Reasoning component (section three), HPAT is primarily comprised of written – rather than pictorial – questions. Thus, it stands to reason that your HPAT preparation should include improving your reading skills. With that in mind, here are some of the many strategies you can use to develop your reading efficiency for HPAT.  Firstly, you must ensure that you read every single component of the stimulus, particularly for section two (Understanding People). A past HPAT stimulus, for example, described a middle-aged man. This information was included in the introductory stem of the stimulus, but nowhere else....
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Interview Tips and Advice (Part 1)

In preparing for something as mammoth as a medical school interview, there are a lot of things to consider. When preparing you have to understand what type of language the interviewers might use, what to include in your answers and how you can respond both verbally and through your body language.   General advice for medical interviews • Walk into the room with a big smile. • Be confident, honest, friendly, understanding, respectful and empathic. • It doesn’t matter which side of the argument you decide to adopt, take your stance and defend your arguments until the end. Give reasons 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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Set your mind on your mindset

Preparation is key for any exam, and UMAT preparation is no different. But we’ve all had that horrible experience when the nerves hit, and all that preparation is thrown out the window because your brain is more interested in stressing itself out than answering the exam questions. But you can, of course, prepare for that too. 1.    Practice Since I’m supposed to be telling you what to do when it feels like preparation isn’t working, you might not expect a synonym for “preparation” to be the top tip. But it is, so hear me out. Nothing is as reassuring as...
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What Interviewers look for in prospective medical students (Part 1)

Many of the personal qualities that the HPAT aims to assess in prospective medical students are the same qualities that are required to be a good doctor. Whilst the HPAT can only assess what you put on a paper in multiple choice format; the medical interview that will follow, can look for these qualities in person.    Your choice of words, body language, attitude and way of thinking will all be up for examination in the medical interview. Without some internal self-reflection, you will not be able to paint a detailed enough picture of yourself. A lot of these qualities we...
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One on one with a medical school interviewer

I was fortunate enough to have jumped through the hurdles that lie on the way to medical school, and there are quite a few benefits on the other side. One of these is being able to talk to doctors, health professionals or community members that have had previous experience as interviewers. The following is an excerpt from a conversation I had with a past interviewer to understand what they are looking for in medical interviews.    1. As a community member are you concerned about the medical/dental focus of some of the scenarios? “The scenarios in the MMI (multiple mini interview)...
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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 UMAT. 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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Building the right mind set for success on the day of the HPAT

From the moment you first hear stories of the HPAT and how difficult it can be until the first step you take to enter that exam centre, only you can decide the mind set and approach that will embody your HPAT experience. There are two ways to view this exam; either as a roadblock that is there to hinder you on the path to success or simply a stepping stone towards getting you into your dream career. In the end, which viewpoint you adopt is up to you.   A distinct point that is often conveyed when describing the HPAT is...
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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 error 1 . More purposeful approaches are the Gestalt approach, and the cognitive approach. The Gestalt approach involves solving problems as a whole 2 . 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...
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Extra-curricular activities: important or irrelevant?

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Amidst the stress of preparing for the HPAT and studying for your other exams, it may be tempting to not spend time on extra-curricular activities, so that you can focus on getting the marks you need to get into medicine. After all, they won’t contribute directly to your score, right?    However, participating in extra-curricular activities, whether it be joining your local cricket team, volunteering for a soup kitchen or being captain of the chess club, will help you not only be a better person, but be a better candidate for medical entry. Don’t believe me? Here are three reasons to...
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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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Navigating the LMS

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...
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Keeping the Balance

Keeping the balance is something we all struggle with in our final year of schooling, myself included. At the commencement of the year, I jumped into everything. Then, at the end of term one, I crashed, and in term two I tried to do nothing. Neither of these worked for me, and over the remainder of the year I learnt some important lessons about keeping the balance. Not only was I happier and more well-rounded as a result, I was also able to succeed in both HPAT and in my final exams.     The golden rule for staying well-rounded is...
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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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VIDEO GUIDES NOW EVEN EASIER TO ACCESS

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The new LMS provides even easier access to your HPAT video guides. Simply click on the blue ‘Video Guides’ icon under the ‘Learn’ category to access all of your HPAT preparation video guides. On the LMS you will find video guides that cover all three HPAT sections: Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving, Understanding People and Non-Verbal Reasoning. You will also find specific guides covering particular types of question, for example, Pick the Middle, Missing Segment, and the new Transformation type of question in the Non-Verbal Reasoning section. Challenging concepts in HPAT will be tackled and explained in detail. These HPAT preparation...
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MedEntry has a new-look Learning Management System

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The LMS has a fresh new look and it is even more user-friendly than before! When you log in you will see that we have made it even easier to access all those awesome HPAT resources on the LMS. Put simply, you can select to either  Learn, Practice, Check or Get Help .    Learn..............instant access to the MedEntry guides, forums and extra skills development module     Practice..........instant access to the many thousands of HPAT practice questions in their various forms       Check............instant access to see how you are progressing       Get Help.........instant access to help...
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Improving your HPAT skills in Logical Reasoning & Problem Solving / Section 1

Rather than assessing your knowledge, the HPAT is an exam which isolates certain deductive skills that will be important in work as a doctor and requires you to apply them in various scenarios. Therefore, if you wish to succeed in the HPAT, you will need to nurture these skills, sharpen them and know exactly when to use them. If your eager mind has begun this uphill climb towards HPAT success and if you have thoroughly scoured the LMS and still seek ways to better your logical reasoning, this guide will show you how.   Logical Reasoning & Problem Solving questions in...
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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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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?...
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