What is HPAT?
HPAT stands for Health Professions Admission Test. It is a test used to select students for entry into medicine in Ireland.
It is a 2 ½ hour exam in multiple-choice question format, that is very different from school and university exams. It is very difficult and very important for determining entry into medicine, so quality preparation is essential.
Do I need to sit HPAT?
You will need to sit HPAT if you are interested in applying for undergraduate medicine at the following universities in Ireland:
- University College Dublin
- Trinity College Dublin
- Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
- University College Cork
- National University of Ireland, Galway
It is also required for applicants to MSc Speech and Language Therapy and MSc Occupational Therapy at the University of Limerick.
How important is HPAT?
HPAT is very important in obtaining a place to study medicine. When applying for medicine, Leaving Cert points are adjusted, so that every 5 points over 550 is adjusted down to 1 point. These adjusted Leaving Cert points are then combined with your HPAT score to determine entry into medicine.
Because most students applying for medicine are likely to obtain Leaving Cert points in the range of 550, and because of the points adjustment, HPAT is the main factor that will distinguish you from other candidates. Even students who achieve full marks in the Leaving Certificate (625) miss out on a place in medicine because of a poor HPAT score.
What is the format of HPAT?
HPAT is a 2.5 hour long test in multiple-choice format. It consists of 110 questions distributed across three sections.
If you are applying for the University of Limerick, there is an additional 1 hour long Written English component.
What are the HPAT sections?
There are 3 sections in the HPAT exam:
- Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving: Requires students to interpret data, problem solve and draw logical conclusions.
- Understanding People: Tests students’ ability to identify, understand and infer thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
- Non-Verbal Reasoning : Students need to reason in the abstract and solve problems in non-verbal contexts.
The following table outlines each section, including the time limits and average time per question:
|HPAT Section||Questions||Test Duration||Time Per Question|
|Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving||44||65 minutes||88 seconds|
|Understanding People||36||45 minutes||75 seconds|
|Non-Verbal Reasoning||30||40 minutes||80 seconds|
How can I apply for HPAT?
You can apply to sit HPAT if you are in your final year of school, and any year thereafter.
You can register to sit the test on the HPAT-Ireland website: https://hpat-ireland.acer.org/register
Applications open in November and close in mid-January each year.
When is HPAT held?
HPAT normally takes place on a Saturday morning at the end of February each year.
Where can I sit HPAT?
You can sit HPAT in testing centres in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Sligo, Waterford and Limerick.
How hard is HPAT?
HPAT is a very difficult test, which is unlike any other test you have ever sat. It is very time pressured and the vast majority of students do not finish the exam. Most current doctors would agree that HPAT is the single most important and difficult test they have sat in their career. However, it is possible to prepare for and succeed in HPAT.