The HPAT is a multiple choice test, lasting two and a half hours. The exam is split into three sections:
You’ll need to take the HPAT if you’re applying to study Medicine at any of the following universities in Ireland:
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.
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.
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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