The HPAT-Ireland is an admissions test you’ll need to take if you want to study Medicine in Ireland. Like the UCAT for UK Medical Schools, the HPAT assesses a student’s skills in areas such as problem solving and logical reasoning. 

What is the HPAT?

The HPAT is a multiple choice test, lasting two and a half hours. The exam is split into three sections:

  • Section 1 assesses logical reasoning and problem solving. The questions will ask you to examine a piece of text or a graph, and they are designed to test your ability to interpret data, draw logical conclusions and evaluate relevant information. Section 1 has 44 questions and lasts 65 minutes.
  • Section 2 assesses interpersonal understanding through multiple choice questions. These involve a scenario testing your ability to identify, understand and empathise with the emotions and behaviour of others. This section consists of 36 questions and lasts 45 minutes.
  • Section 3 tests non-verbal reasoning and, unlike the first two sections, relies on visual material such as patterns and shapes. This is designed to test your ability to problem-solve in an abstract context. Section 3 has 30 questions and is assessed in 40 minutes.

What Courses Require The HPAT?

You’ll need to take the HPAT if you’re applying to study Medicine at any of the following universities in Ireland:

How do I register for the HPAT?

Firstly, if you’re looking to study Medicine in Ireland, you need to register with the Central Applications Office (CAO) and get your CAO number, because you won’t be able to sit the exam without it.

Registration for the HPAT usually opens in November and closes in January, so make sure you don’t miss the deadline! The exam is typically held in February each year.

Once you have your CAO number, you’ll need to create an account with HPAT. You can do this on their website. Use an email address that you check regularly, because all HPAT information will be emailed to that account. When you’re creating your account, make sure your name and date of birth are correct, as they’ll need to match the ID that you present on the day of the exam.

You’ll be able to register for the test via your online HPAT account when registrations are open. You need choose where you would like to sit the test. Test centres are located in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Sligo and Waterford, but the test for 2022 is taking place online due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

When you’ve registered, you’ll receive an email with your payment confirmation and another with your registration confirmation. Make sure you’ve received these confirmation emails – if you haven’t, it could mean there’s a problem with your email address.

What Does The HPAT Cost?

For 2022 the HPAT costs €152.80 to register, with an additional fee of €6.00 for all UL applicants who are also required to complete the Written English component. 

If you register late, you’ll need to pay an extra fee. Until February 2, 2022, you’ll have to pay €70 if you register late. If you register exceptionally late – until 4 February 2022 at 5.15pm GMT – it’ll cost you an extra €105.

How can I prepare for the HPAT?

Unlike your school exams, the HPAT doesn’t draw on any specific knowledge that you can revise. Therefore the best way to prepare for the test is to try example questions and past papers, so you can familiarise yourself with the format and the type of questions that have come up before. There are also several HPAT courses available to help students prepare for the test.

Questions can take a variety of formats. In Section 1, you might have a short passage from a news article and a set of multiple choice answers relating to the content of the text. In Section 2, you might be presented with a scenario where a patient comes to you with a problem and you need to choose the most appropriate course of action. In Section 3, you might be asked to identify which pattern block should follow in a sequence.

Your registration fee for the HPAT includes a copy of the Practice Test e-book, which includes practice questions and example answers. Answering practice questions in timed conditions will help you to prepare for the time limits of the exam and get to grips with the structure and possible topics.

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