HPAT-Ulster Exam

**Note: HPAT-Ulster 2021 Exam:

According to the official ACER website, the HPAT-Ulster 2021 exam is being held via remote proctoring from 22–23 January 2021. For further information please refer to the official ACER Information Booklet here


Who can sit the HPAT-Ulster Exam?

Candidates must be in their final year of secondary school (sitting their exam in 2018) or must have the A-Levels, or equivalent exam, already completed. Candidates need to achieve the pre-requisite subject's grades for the course in which they are applying.


HPAT®-Ulster Exam Structure

Section 1: Critical Reasoning

This section evaluates candidate's ability to evaluate complex information. Questions are presented in multiple choice format. Critical Reasoning questions are drawn from a variety of general sources – general interest, science, social science. The questions are presented as text, diagrams, graphs and tables. Some questions may require basic maths skills, but the emphasis is on the application of skills in reasoning and problem solving.

Section 2: Interpersonal Understanding

This section tests candidate's ability to understand other people's thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It consists of a number of narrative and dialogue passages followed by multiple choice passages.  Questions are designed to assess the understanding of people; their motivations, behaviour and responses.

Section 3:  Written Communication

Written Communication consists of two exercises. The first exercise requires candidates to observe and understand graphically presented information relating to social issues. The second exercise is a reflective essay.



The total time for the exam is 3 hours.  There are no breaks in between the sections. Please note that Section 1 and 2 have a combined time of 120 minutes. This is a new change for 2018.


Section  No.Questions Time

Section 1

Critical Reasoning 

45 120 minutes

Section 2

Interpersonal Understanding


Section 3

Written Communication 

2 60 minutes


Where is the exam held?

*2021 exam: According to the official ACER website, the HPAT-Ulster 2021 exam is being held via remote proctoring from 22–23 January 2021. Remote proctoring involves sitting the test under live supervision using your own computer in a suitable location i.e. at home with internet connectivity.

In previous years, candidates could select their preferred exam centre during the registration process. However, exam centres are filled in a first come, first served basis, so candidates are advised to register online early. There are three HPAT®-Ulster exam centres:

• Coleraine

• Jordanstown

• Magee


Registering for the Exam

The only way to register for HPAT-Ulster is online via the HPAT-Ulster website: hpat-ulster.acer.org 


When is the official exam?

The official HPAT®-Ulster exam is usually held at the end of January.


When are the results released?

The HPAT-Ulster results are usually released in late March.