How to use Holidays to Improve in HPAT

How to use Holidays to Improve in HPAT

5 months ago by Philippa

Many students use the holidays to finally relax after a several months of hard work. For those sitting the HPAT next year, the road ahead can look especially challenging and instil feelings of anxiety. However, after taking a long-deserved rest, the holidays can actually be used efficiently and effectively to get ahead in the HPAT and obtain the score you need to get into your dream course of medicine. 

This blog outlines some tips for using your holidays to your advantage.


1. Practice HPAT exams under timed conditions

With the HPAT exam approaching in February, students often use the holidays as an opportunity to start practicing full length HPAT exams under timed conditions. Enormous amounts of mental energy, determination and positivity is required to sit a 2 ½ hour HPAT exam, which is why holidays are one of the best times to practice (rather than attempting one at the end a long school day). At the same time, don’t finish all available HPAT exams during the holidays – pace yourself and complete them at regular intervals until the HPAT exam date. On the other hand, don’t ‘save’ them up either, as you may run out of time to complete them once school starts back.


2. Find and develop HPAT techniques that work for you

Start developing strategies for HPAT. Whether this be how you attempt HPAT Non-Verbal Reasoning questions or how you analyse a HPAT Interpersonal Understanding text, this is a good time to attempt different HPAT techniques to find out what works best for you. If you start practicing techniques now, they will become second nature to you by the time the HPAT exam comes around, which will not only enhance your time management but also your accuracy and score. Techniques for each type of HPAT question are covered in detail in MedEntry HPAT courses.


3. Review your HPAT performance

The holidays can also be a good time for you to start reviewing your performance to identify your current strengths and weaknesses in HPAT. By doing so, you can assess the types of HPAT questions you need to improve in and specifically focus your attention in the holidays into refining that particular area. Use the HPAT questions you are strong in as motivation to keep on improving because there is still time to perfect your skills.


4. Develop your HPAT study plan

Try to develop a “HPAT Timetable” with reasonable goals over the coming weeks, rather than a cram session a day or two before returning to school. This will allow you to prioritise your weak areas, complete HPAT practice exams at regular intervals and address clear targets you wish to meet by certain dates. As a result, your HPAT study plan will be organised and structured, helping you visualise your progress and truly see the positive results of working hard. You can use the MedEntry interactive study planner to plan out your HPAT preparation.


5. Train your brain for HPAT

Just as an athlete would not stop training before a major event, so your brain needs consistent activity in the form of HPAT prepration to perform at its best.  Continue to do some HPAT preparation during your holidays. A little bit of preparation on a regular basis can go a long way.


The holidays are meant for and should be used for relaxing. Use the time to catch up with friends, attend parties and binge-watch TV series, but don’t drown in the pleasures of leisure and lose sight of your end goal. That being said, studying every day will just make you burn out and feel even more stressed when school begins. Keep yourself balanced, work hard and enjoy the indulgences of the holidays.  


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