Should I do a HPAT preparation course?

Should I do a HPAT preparation course?

8 years ago by Tom

Isn't the HPAT an aptitude test, so what's the point in preparing?

The HPAT may be an 'aptitude' test, but there can be no doubt that having seen HPAT style questions before, and understanding how to answer them, will increase your chances of succeeding in the HPAT. While practice may not always make perfect, practice does increase your ability to perform in the HPAT exam because you can hone those thinking skills required to answer HPAT questions. Further, there is some evidence to suggest that in non-verbal reasoning section of the HPAT, repetition and practice can increase this HPAT section score.


What if I'm failing HPAT practice papers: Is there any point in me doing a HPAT preparation course?

If you were failing a subject at school this year, you wouldn't just let it go: You would get a tutor and do everything possible to try and improve your marks. Studying for the HPAT is exactly the same. The last thing you would want to happen would be to miss out on your chosen undergraduate medical course because you performed poorly on the HPAT due to lack of preparation. There are numerous students who have obtained outstanding Leaving Certificate Examination scores and have missed out on undergraduate medical places because of their performance on the HPAT. Others may miss out on the HPAT score they need by only one percentile- perhaps, a percentile that could have been gained by doing a HPAT preparation course.


But all the HPAT preparation courses I'm seeing are really expensive..

Yes it's true: The best HPAT preparation courses aren't free and that's because these courses have been thoroughly prepared by highly experienced industry professionals. They are designed specifically to help you succeed in the HPAT and achieve the HPAT score that you need to gain entry into undergraduate medicine or your chosen health science course. Irish doctors who have not yet become fully-qualified GPs can receive pay of over over €80,000 a year while they are still in training, and obviously this amount will significantly increase once they become fully qualified. Thus, relatively speaking, the cost of a HPAT preparation course is minor compared to your own potential earnings as a medical professional.

In addition, doing a HPAT preparation course will also give you peace of mind that you have done everything possible in your power to gain entry into undergraduate medicine. The worst case scenario when HPAT results are released, is that you only just miss out on your preferred course, knowing you could have done more HPAT preparation. Paying for a HPAT course, thereby increasing your chances of doing well in the HPAT, will far outweigh not doing a HPAT course, not succeeding in the HPAT and having to enter medicine by the graduate entry medicine pathway.


Can't I just find free HPAT resources on the internet?

Yes, there are a limited number of free HPAT practice exams and other free HPAT resources available on the internet including this blog. However, if you want HPAT advice that is far more comprehensive, specific, up-to-date and with real-time feedback you will need to pay for some kind of HPAT preparation package.


So which HPAT course is best?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. The best thing that you can do as a final-year high school student is to talk to others who have sat the HPAT. The HPAT preparation course you choose needs to be up-to-date, thorough and reflect any recent changes in the HPAT. You might find that there is a reluctance among students to admit doing HPAT preparation courses due to the stigma and negative connotations that can come with using HPAT tutors and HPAT courses to gain an advantage over other students. Therefore, don't be surprised if you can't find anyone to talk to about HPAT preparation courses as many students will deny having used them. It is important to remember too that how students will view the usefulness of HPAT courses is highly subjective and many will base their opinion of a HPAT preparation course on their HPAT results. Thus, you would do well to gain the opinion of several such students if at all possible. However, the reality is, not doing any HPAT preparation will make it virtually impossible for you to succeed in the HPAT. You need to thoroughly utilise all of the HPAT resources available to you by studying regularly and effectively and thus succeed in the HPAT.

Perhaps one thing that can be said is make sure you choose a HPAT preparation company that specialises in HPAT tutoring and HPAT preparation. The HPAT is a very specific style of test and thus any preparation you do needs to reflect this and needs to be run by medical professionals who understand the strenuous requirements of the HPAT and medical and health science courses.


So what. If I don't do well on the HPAT I can get into medicine other ways..

Actually, there is no way you can gain entry into undergraduate medicine in Ireland without having sat the HPAT first. If you are unable to gain entry into undergraduate medicine, you will be forced to take the longer and non-guaranteed graduate medicine entry pathway. This will make achieving your dream of becoming a medical professional uncertain, untimely and not cost-effective as you will be unable to begin studying medicine straightaway.


The bottom line on HPAT and HPAT preparation courses:

The HPAT, like your medical interview, and Leaving Certificate Examination scores, is just another hurdle requirement that you need to overcome in order to gain entry into undergraduate medicine. You really should do everything in your power to succeed in the HPAT. The last thing that you want would be to miss out on your place in your chosen undergraduate medical course, knowing you should have, and could have, done more to prepare.



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