ATTENTION PARENTS: 5 Ways to help your Son or Daughter get into Medicine

ATTENTION PARENTS: 5 Ways to help your Son or Daughter get into Medicine

5 months ago by Chris

Great things never come easy.

Medicine is an incredibly rewarding, secure, well paid and respected profession in Ireland.

It is also the hardest course to get into.

Furthermore, the final years of secondary school are a stressful and demanding time for your son or daughter, and the need to sit HPAT places additional pressure on them during this time.

Thankfully there are ways you, as a parent, can provide valuable assistance to your child to ensure their success.


1. Understand the importance of HPAT

Unlike most other courses, entry into medicine is based on much more than just a good Leaving Certificate. In fact, even those with perfect Leaving Certificate points can miss out on a place in medicine. HPAT is as important, if not more important, than the Leaving Certificate when applying to medicine. Yet many students neglect HPAT, and focus their efforts on academics, only to find that they fail to secure a place in medicine.

The first step is to recognise the importance of HPAT, communicate this to your son or daughter, and then work out a plan to ensure adequate preparation time is allocated to this crucial criterion.


2. Encourage your son/daughter to start preparing for HPAT early

HPAT is very different from school exams and is not a knowledge-based test. It is a test of generic skills over three areas:

  • Section 1: Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving

  • Section 2: Interpersonal Understanding

  • Section 3: Non-Verbal Reasoning

It takes two and a half hours and is highly time-pressured so that most students will not finish every HPAT question. Most practicing doctors would agree that it is the hardest and most important single test they ever sat in their career. It is therefore important to start preparing early, as the skills required to succeed need to be developed over time.


3. Avoid missing important deadlines

HPAT takes place in February, and registrations usually open in November. Before your son or daughter can register to sit the HPAT, they need to apply to the CAO and get their CAO number. It is important to be organised so that important deadlines are not missed.

It is advised that you create your own specific timeline relevant to your son or daughter and record important dates in your calendar.


4. Provide encouragement and support

Your child’s final year of secondary school is a stressful time. Add in HPAT and the pressures of getting into medicine and stress levels can rapidly skyrocket. Significant stress can impair performance and lead to burnout.

It is therefore important that your son or daughter feels encouraged and supported, especially when important exams such as HPAT are near. Ensure that they are eating well, sleeping well, exercising and engaging in appropriate stress management strategies. Make yourself available to listen to them when they feel stressed or overwhelmed.

Do what you can to lighten their load – for example, read through relevant HPAT information, redistribute chores to younger siblings, create a quiet working environment and drive them to important assessments, such as the HPAT exam. Your actions can have a significant positive impact on their wellbeing and performance.


5. Choose a trusted HPAT provider

There are several HPAT preparation companies available, and the quality is variable. It is vital to choose a provider who is trusted among doctors, teachers and those successful in entering medicine. MedEntry has a proven track record of success, having trained 20,000 doctors over 20 years, and with 3000+ 5-star reviews. You can compare MedEntry here.

Helping your son or daughter get into medicine is an invaluable gift to give, and one which will secure their success and happiness in years to come. 

From the parents at MedEntry.



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