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27th June 2024
With competition for medicine entry so high, the HPAT is used to assess additional desirable qualities in an aspiring medical professional, such as empathy, pattern recognition and problem-solving. It is also mandatory if you are applying for Medicine in Ireland!

What Is the HPAT?

The Health Professions Admission Test, also known as the HPAT, is a 2.5 hour long test taken by students applying to study Medicine and other health sciences in Ireland. It consists of 114 questions in total, across 3 sections: Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving, Understanding People and Non-Verbal Reasoning.

The questions are all multiple choice, with only one correct response. There is an additional Written English section for students applying to the University of Limerick. In this section, candidates are provided with a prompt from which they must produce an essay. International/non-EU students may be exempt from taking the HPAT – please contact your prospective universities for information.

HPAT 2024 Exam Date

The HPAT testing period typically runs from mid to late February each year. In 2024, the test window was Friday 16th to Sunday 25th February. The registration deadline for the test is usually mid-January, with late registrations accepted until late January (although the fee to take the test increases!) 

HPAT Results Release Timeline

For applicants who took the test in February 2024, results will be released in late June 2024. ACER does not normally state a specific date when results will become available. In 2023, results were released on the 28th of June. Results are valid for one year, and can only be used for admission to a course in the same year the test was taken (i.e, if you took the HPAT in 2024, you can only use it for courses starting in 2024). 

Applicants to the University of Limerick, and mature students (applicants who are 23 years old on or before January 1st 2024) will have received their results in April. 

You will receive an email when results are available to view via your online ACER account, which is used to register, pay and book the HPAT. The Statement of Results is only available to view through your ACER

account, and no hard copies are provided. It is recommended to save and print a copy of the results. For privacy reasons, ACER do not provide results via phone, fax or email. 

Results are automatically sent to the CAO and universities, so don’t worry about sending the results yourself!

What to Do After Receiving Results

When you receive your HPAT results, you will be given a scaled score between 0 and 100 for each section of the test, as well as an overall score and a percentile ranking. The percentile ranking gives you an indication of your performance compared to other candidates who sat the HPAT in the same test period. For example, if a candidate scores in the 60th percentile, they scored as well as or higher than 60% of candidates. 

The overall score is a weighted score combining all three sections, with a maximum possible score of 300. It is calculated using the following formula: 

Overall score = [(2 × Section 1 + 2 × Section 2 + 1 × Section 3) ÷ 5] × 3 

A ‘good’ HPAT score varies slightly each year, depending on how well students perform. According to HPAT Ireland, candidates should aim to achieve 160 + out of 300. Don’t forget, it’s not only the HPAT score that universities look at – they also take into account Leaving Certificate Exam points (equivalent to 3 A Levels in the UK).

For entry to medicine, you need to achieve at least 480 LCE points or above, but ideally, you should be aiming to score much higher. In 2023, the students who received an offer achieved HPAT scores of between 164 – 235, and 542 – 625 LCE points. Universities will combine your HPAT score and LCE points to determine their own entry points requirement. 

The table below outlines the minimum entry points required to receive an offer to study Medicine at different universities in 2023: 

University Entry points (2023)
NUI Galway729
Royal College of Surgeons734
Trinity College Dublin741
University College Cork732
University College Dublin736

Once you receive your HPAT score, make sure you work out how many LCE points you will need to meet the minimum entry point requirements – but remember these do vary year on year, and could be higher (or lower) than previous years.

Review your CAO form and adjust your preferences according to the LCE points that you can realistically achieve – the change of mind deadline is the 1st of July 2024. In Ireland, applicants for Medicine are not typically interviewed, so it is very important to focus on your grades and HPAT for a strong application. 

Applying for Medicine is daunting and stressful, and if you don’t get the result you wanted, remember that there are many routes into Medicine, and it is very common for students to take the HPAT more than once – you will be surprised by how much you can improve your score in a year!

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