Top 5 tips for Making the Most out of MedEntry
4 months ago by Tom
In the September of 6th year, I bought the HPAT Platinum package and then the 5 additional full length practice exams which I feel really helped, as it gave me a total of 15 practice exams to go through before the real deal. MedEntry had come highly recommended by numerous people who had used it previously, and MedEntry honestly proved priceless in helping me prepare for the HPAT.
I completed the MedEntry free HPAT practice test in the summer before 5th year when I had started thinking about putting Medicine down on my CAO, but having been warned of a finite number of resources available to help with HPAT preparation I then paused all further HPAT work until the beginning of 6th year.
However, I should not have been worried! MedEntry has a wealth of HPAT information, exercises, more than 10 HPAT practice exams and HPAT video guides to help get you ready for the HPAT. Here’s my top 5 tips on how to make the most of these resources.
Create a HPAT Plan
Leaving HPAT preparation to when you ‘might’ have time is not the best choice. For me, I have to be super organised and have a timetable. So, at the start of the year I created a timetable with all my Leaving Cert subjects and the HPAT that I would follow every week. I treated HPAT as another subject to prepare for and dedicated about three hours or so every Sunday to HPAT preparation and made sure I stuck to it. I also tried to create a plan of what I would do each week for my HPAT preparation, splitting the HPAT exams up evenly throughout the few months. It was easier to make a more concrete plan after the first few HPAT practice exams and HPAT questions when I could see what HPAT sections I really needed to pay more attention to.
Find your weaknesses
For me I really struggled with Section 3 (HPAT Non-Verbal Reasoning) and 1 (HPAT Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving) the most. I tried to make a conscious effort not to spend the majority of my time on tests for section 2 (HPAT Interpersonal Understanding), which I was prone to do at the beginning of my HPAT prep-work to avoid the pain of sections 1 and 3.
However, I soon realised if I seriously wanted to improve I needed to focus on my downfalls. This is where the MedEntry HPAT exams come in really handy. They not only provide fully worked solutions to each HPAT question, but at the end of the exam, the feedback shows where your strengths and weaknesses are. When you know your weaknesses, you can use the curriculum and QBank to target and improve certain areas.
Be an early-bird
I got the Platinum package and so had a two-day HPAT preparation course with Dr Ann as well as having access to all the resources on the online learning platform. From the several workshop dates, I chose to do the a course available during the October Mid-Term and I was so glad I did. I gained vast amounts of important tips and information on how best to use my MedEntry Online Learning Platform, how to properly prepare for the HPAT, and loads of general information on the HPAT exam itself that really helped me in my subsequent HPAT studies. Also, hearing from past students who had been through HPAT and are now currently studying medicine, was really encouraging and a good reminder that all this HPAT prep will be worth it!
Read and watch the guides
Don’t be tempted to skip the guides thinking they’re a waste of your HPAT preparation time. I made sure to allocate time during my HPAT prep slot in the early weeks to reading the guides and watching the video guides so that I had watched and read them all. The guides are extremely helpful. I found it handy to have worked through them all early on as when I came across an issue again I could refer back to the guide relating to my problem and found myself able to recall what I had previously read or watched. The general HPAT guide in particular was helpful in teaching me to increase my efficiency.
Try to replicate the real deal
When doing schoolwork, I found I would often take a snack break here or a phone check there. When doing HPAT preparation I also found myself taking a break halfway through to go and make some toast. This ritual started to creep in even when doing HPAT practice exams with me pausing the clock, despite the fact that I knew it was so important to try and replicate the live HPAT exam timing. The time in the two and a half hour HPAT test goes so quickly, that it’s vital to learn to sit and focus on the HPAT test in one go. So, I eventually put an end to taking the breaks. It was definitely a good move as I gained a much better understanding of the time pressures of the real HPAT exam.
These were the 5 ways that helped me in preparing for the HPAT. If you are taking the HPAT, I would recommend starting your preparation now!
Written by Anna, who achieved 100th percentile in HPAT and is currently studying medicine.