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About the HPAT Exam

See below for some general FAQ's about the HPAT exam.

What is the HPAT Ireland Exam?

The HPAT®-Ireland Exam (Health Professions Admission Test-Ireland) is an admissions test used by Irish Medical Schools for entry into Undergraduate Medicine. This includes undergraduate medicine courses in Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin and NUI Galway. Those applying for a place in undergraduate medicine on grounds of mature years must also sit the exam. The exam is also used by University of Limerick for entry into two postgraduate programmes: MSc Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) and MSc Occupational Therapy (OT). The HPAT®-Ireland Exam measures a candidate’s logical reasoning and problem-solving skills as well as non-verbal reasoning and the ability to understand the thoughts, behaviour and/or intentions of people. The test results will complement the Leaving Certificate Examination assessment for selecting applicants for admission to an undergraduate Medical School programme.

What is the structure and layout of the HPAT Exam?

The HPAT Ireland Exam (Health Professions Admission Test-Ireland) is an admissions test used by Irish Medical Schools for entry into Undergraduate Medicine. This includes undergraduate medicine courses in Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin and NUI Galway. Those applying for a place in undergraduate medicine on grounds of mature years must also sit the exam. The exam is also used by University of Limerick for entry into two postgraduate programmes: MSc Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) and MSc Occupational Therapy (OT). The HPAT®-Ireland Exam measures a candidate’s logical reasoning and problem-solving skills as well as non-verbal reasoning and the ability to understand the thoughts, behaviour and/or intentions of people. The test results will complement the Leaving Certificate.

The HPAT Ireland Exam is a 2½ hour exam. It consists of three sections which are separately timed. There are no rest breaks between sections.

Candidates applying to the MSc Occupational Therapy and the MSc Speech and Language Therapy at the University of Limerick are required to sit a 1 hour Written English component which involves completing two mini essays. The maximum possible Written English Score is 100. This is a separate score and is not used in calculating the Overall Score for Section 1, 2, and 3.

When and where is the official HPAT Exam?

How do I apply for the official HPAT Ireland Exam?

Step 1: CAO Number

Before registering for the HPAT®-Ireland exam, all Medicine applicants (including undergraduates and UL postgraduate courses for SLT or OT) must first get their CAO number. This number is required to successfully complete your HPAT®-Ireland exam registration. To get a CAO number you need to apply online at www.cao.ie

Step 2: ACER Website

In order to sit the official exam in February, students will need to register on the official ACER website: https://hpat-ireland.acer.org/ Registration opens in early November and usually closes in mid-late January.

How much does it cost to register for the HPAT Ireland Exam?

When does my admission ticket become available?

Your admission ticket which includes details of your test details usually becomes available one week before your official HPAT®-Ireland exam. More information on this will be available in the Test Taker Information Booklet on the official website closer to the test date.

What items are permitted during the test?

Permitted items

According to the official HPAT Information booklet test takers were permitted to have:

  • A small erasable whiteboard and pen, OR 2 pieces of A4 sized scratch paper, a pencil, eraser & sharpener
  • Acceptable current and photo-bearing identification document
  • A clear water bottle (no labels attached)
  • Mirror (hand held is fine) or other reflective device

Prohibited items

There are certain items that are not allowed on your desk or near you during your test session, these are:

  • Mobile phone
  • Calculators
  • Stopwatches
  • Audio or recording devices of any kind, including cameras
  • MP3 players
  • Digital, analogue and smart watches, fitbits etc.
  • Standard English Dictionaries
  • Pencil cases, and rulers
  • Food
  • Earplugs
  • Bluetooth devices such as headphones
  • Dual monitors
  • Head coverings (unless it is for religious reasons)

Access to food (including sweets and nuts), earplugs, medication or other medical equipment (e.g. support cushion, sit/stand desk) requires special permission.

If you think you will need any of these you will need to apply for reasonable adjustments by emailing the ACER office.

How long are the HPAT Ireland exam results valid for?

HPAT scores are valid for one year only.  HPAT-Ireland scores can be used for admission to a course ONLY in the same year in which the course is due to commence. For example, results from HPAT – Ireland 2023 can be used for courses beginning in 2023 but not 2024. Don’t register for HPAT- Ireland exam unless you are planning to apply for a course commencing in that year.

How long should I spend on each question?

It will vary per section, but here is a rough guide:

However, we would not advise that you time yourself for every single question. Some passages will have several questions which will take longer to complete, while others may only have one and obviously they will take less time to complete. So we would suggest that you use these times as a loose guideline without being too strict. Remember that it’s unlikely you will finish the entire exam so you should aim to strike a balance between accuracy and efficiency.

Please note: HPAT®-Ireland Exam is a registered trademark of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). CS Career Services Ltd. preparation courses are unaffiliated with and not endorsed by ACER. Our preparation materials are based the format of the HPAT-Ireland assessment and provide the best tuition with the information that is available at the current time. We cannot accept responsibility for any possible changes to future assessments.