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I’m disappointed with my HPAT score, what are my options?

If a you are disappointed with your HPAT score, it is important not to panic. There are several things students can consider.

Keep some medicine courses on your CAO

As you cannot be certain if you have enough points for medicine until after the Leaving Certificate results are released and the CAO cut – off points are known it is always advisable to leave some medical courses on your CAO form. Students can look at their options again in August.

Re-sit the HPAT Exam

If your Leaving Certificate points are high, but your HPAT is not, you can consider re-sitting the HPAT exam in the following year.  You can use this year’s Leaving Certificate points for entry into medicine next year. If applying to undergraduate medicine, you do not need to use Leaving Certificate results from the same year you’re sitting the HPAT-Ireland test. Results from a previous sitting of the Leaving certificate can be used when applying through the CAO. However, HPAT – Ireland scores are only valid for one year, i.e. can only be used for entry into to a course commencing in the same year.

Resit HPAT & Leaving Cert

Students that feel both their Leaving Cert and HPAT results are low can consider re-sitting both the Leaving Certificate and HPAT exam.

Graduate entry

Students that have achieved a minimum 2.1 award in their first undergraduate degree in any discipline can apply for entry to graduate medicine. Places for this are issued through the CAO on the basis of the GAMSAT Test Score. The GAMSAT Test is slightly different to the HPAT and is offered once a year. It features 3 sections including: Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences, Written Communication and Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences.

Studying medicine outside of Ireland

Many medical Universities in Europe offer the opportunity to study medicine through English-taught programmes. These medicine degrees often have lower fees and entry requirements and are recognised by the Irish Medical Council. Medical and paramedical programmes are available to Irish students in countries including Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria. There are also a number of Italian universities have that offer medical degree programmes through English. Many of Italy’s top universities including Milan, Pavia, and Sapienza in Rome offer degrees in medicine through English which are open to all EU students.

Choose a different career path

If medicine is no longer an option consider alternative degrees that you may enjoy.