How to Prepare for the HPAT in 5th Year

How to Prepare for the HPAT in 5th Year

11 months ago by Tom

So you’re in 5th year and you’re thinking about pursuing a career in medicine. You’ve been getting great grades and you have the people skills to become a doctor, so there should be no problem getting in. Then you find out about the HPAT. You hear that it can be a major obstruction to your journey, and only a select few are able to succeed in HPAT. You hear about all the people who have done poorly in HPAT despite studying so hard. You may even hear about the people who passed HPAT and who didn’t do much work.

It’s very easy to fall into the hysteria of the HPAT, but with this blog you’ll have enough balanced information to start your HPAT journey.


What is the HPAT?

The HPAT (Health Professions Admission Test) is a test written by ACER (Australian Council for Educational Research), the results of which can be used by Universities to determine a student’s accessibility to a certain course. For most medicine courses, HPAT results will be used in conjunction with your Leaving Cert score. If these two scores are high enough you will be offered a place. Only after overcoming these two challenges will you score yourself a career in medicine. It can be very difficult to achieve both a high leaving Cert score and a high HPAT score, and many of the skills you need to succeed in HPAT need to be developed over a period of time. So it is best to start as early as possible. Many students begin their preparation in 5th year, to avoid being bombarded with an excessive workload in the all important 6th year.


How do I prepare for the HPAT?

A great time to start your HPAT preparation is right after the previous HPAT test has been completed.

The first step is to find some HPAT resources to study from. There are many HPAT preparation companies that offer study materials. Your challenge is to find the one that is best suited to you and most accurately simulates the HPAT. Ask past students which course was the best and why in preparing them for the HPAT.

MedEntry fit me best because the materials were online and could be accessed anywhere. They also have an App which makes practicing for HPAT easy. Their section 3 (Non-Verbal Reasoning) questions were harder than in the HPAT so I was very well prepared. And their section 2 (Interpersonal Understanding) and Section 1 (Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving) questions were very accurate in the style of the HPAT. If you’re thinking of using MedEntry check out their free resources, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed in the quality. Once you’ve found your company, it’s time to start studying!

When you’re in 5th year it’s important to prioritise. Take time to do your assignments and study for school subjects, but leave some time for HPAT. At least once a week set aside an hour for HPAT preparation. If you’re using MedEntry, try out the HPAT drills - you can repeat them as many times as you want! Especially for section 3, this really helped me learn all the possible algorithms for the real HPAT. Make sure you also work through the curriculum and don’t delay your first HPAT practice exam too far down the track.


One hour of study a week, or even more will give you the edge over other students who only start preparing in 6th year whilst they are juggling all of their other subjects! Good luck!


Written by a past MedEntry student who scored 100th percentile in HPAT.


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