Is it too late to Start Preparing for HPAT?

Is it too late to Start Preparing for HPAT?

1 month ago by Chris

The short answer is no. Preparing for the HPAT is possible and no matter how late you start, you will still be able to improve, just like with any other subject.

The long answer is: it depends on how much time you invest and how effectively you prepare. At this stage, it’s important to study SMART. Trying to do as many HPAT questions or HPAT papers as you can is not necessarily the best way to prepare, and will also take up a lot of your time. Given you are likely to be quite busy balancing 6th year or University study along with HPAT preparation, time is not something you are likely to have in excess. So learning study techniques that will allow you to improve in your HPAT quickly is going to be the most valuable for you.

Here are three strategies to quickly but effectively study for the HPAT:


1. Identify your weaknesses and focus on improving them

Identifying and working on your weakest HPAT areas is one of the most efficient ways to prepare for HPAT. You can identify your weaknesses by completing full HPAT mocks and reflecting on the HPAT sections or types of questions that you found most difficult.

After completing MedEntry HPAT exams, you will be provided with detailed analytics to help you target your weakest HPAT areas.

Once you have identified an area of weakness, you can commence a more targeted study approach, will result in rapid improvement.

This can involve:

  • Reviewing relevant strategies to tackle that particular HPAT section or question type in MedEntry’s video guides
  • Practicing specific types of HPAT question that you find most difficult in MedEntry’s QBank
  • Using MedEntry HPAT Skills Trainers to target specific skills that you need to improve
  • Completing HPAT Section Mocks to improve your performance for certain HPAT sections

I focused on my weaker HPAT sections and tried to make them my strongest. Personally, I was weakest in HPAT Section 3. I allocated almost double the time to it and completed lots of HPAT Section 3 practice questions in the weeks leading up to the exam. This helped me to practice a huge variety of possible patterns and grow in confidence that I had covered all possible bases. This really paid off and what used to be my weakest section ended up being my highest mark in the HPAT.


2. Always review the solutions

Reviewing the solutions after doing a HPAT Mock Exam is almost more valuable than completing the exam itself. In fact, the highest HPAT performers don’t just complete exams – they reflect and learn from them. Maybe, after completing an almost 3-hour practice exam, the last thing you want to do is to study more. However, recognising your mistakes and learning how to not make those mistakes again is a particularly effective way of studying for the HPAT.

HPAT is such a challenging exam that you will inevitably have made educated guesses for many questions, and made lots of mistakes in each HPAT exam. By going back to read the examiner’s solutions:

  • You will be able to understand the examiner’s reasoning behind the HPAT questions
  • You will learn new techniques to improve your success rate in completing future HPAT questions 

In this way you learn to avoid making the same mistakes again and again.


3. Sit the HPAT practice exams as if they were the live HPAT

It is important when sitting HPAT exams to stick to the time limit. This is the time you will have in the live HPAT exam and the more practice you have in speed reading, thinking quickly under pressure, and deciding which questions to skip, the less of a shock the live HPAT will be to you. Simulate the HPAT by:

  • Completing HPAT exams under timed conditions
  • Avoiding lengthy breaks between sections
  • Using the same equipment and environment that you will use on HPAT test day
  • Using the same platform that you will use on the day of HPAT (exactly simulated in MedEntry’s packages)

So, in summary, it is not too late to start your HPAT preparation, but to get the best results ensure that it is efficient and targeted – good luck!


Written by Jessica, a past MedEntry student who achieved 100th percentile in HPAT and who is currently studying medicine


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