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Understanding your HPAT Score 

When the HPAT results are released you will receive a score for each of the three sections of the HPAT together with an overall HPAT score and an overall percentile rank. This will give you an indication of how well you preformed in comparison to the students that sat the HPAT test.

Your overall HPAT score is a weighted sum of your three HPAT exam section scores. Sections 1 and 2 are each weighted at 40%, and section 3 is weighted at 20%. Section scores normally (but not always) range in value from 0-20 to 100. In theory, the maximum overall possible HPAT score is 300, however in reality, very few students obtain an overall score of over 200 (these are usually in the top 1% of candidates).

The overall HPAT – Ireland score is calculated using the following formula: Overall Score = [(2 × Section 1 + 2 × Section 2 + 1 × Section 3) ÷ 5] × 3 (Acer Booklet)

Your percentile rank gives an indication of how your overall score compared to other students who sat HPAT in the same year – e.g. a percentile rank of 60 means that you performed better than 60% of students and 40% of students performed better than you.

Your HPAT – Ireland scores can be used for admission to a course ONLY in the same year in which the course is due to commence.

How the HPAT scores are calculated with the Leaving Cert Results?

Allocation of places for Medicine will be determined based on a combination of the Leaving Certificate Examination (LCE) score and the HPAT-Ireland score.

It will not be possible to know whether you have achieved enough points for medicine before your Leaving Certificate points are known (in August), and before the CAO cut off points are known. The best indicator is to look at the CAO points that were required to enter Medicine in 2017.

First, let us take at the CAO points that were required to gain entry into Medicine in 2020.


NUI Galway 728

Royal College of Surgeons 733

Trinity College Dublin  734*

University College Cork  731

University College Dublin  736*

In 2020, applicants receiving an offer achieved Leaving Certificate points ranging from 543 to 625 and HPAT-Ireland scores ranging from 163 to 227. 

Whilst 480 is the minimum entry criterion outlined we will see why students will realistically need to achieve much higher in their Leaving Cert. This is because if you were to achieve a Leaving Certificate score of 480 + 25 Maths bonus points, it would give you a total of 505 points for your Leaving Certificate. This would mean having to score 223 (728 minus 505) in the HPAT-Ireland to gain entry in to medicine in NUIG. While a HPAT- Ireland score of 223 is possible, it is highly unlikely.

Rechecks and appeals 

Students are encouraged to consult the official ACER booklet available on their website for information relating to rechecks and appeals however ACER states within this that ‘HPAT – Ireland results are released only after careful calculation and extensive checking, and errors in scoring are highly unlikely’ however ‘following receipt of the HPAT – Ireland Statement of Results, you may apply for a re-check of your answer sheet, if you believe an error may have been made’.  The cost of re-check is €85.

Disappointed with your HPAT results? See here for some options

Want to know more?

Check out our HPAT section here

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