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What is the HPAT Ireland Exam?

The HPAT Ireland exam is the medicine admissions / entry test selected by the Irish Medical Schools for prospective medical students and is administered by the Australian Council for Educational Research Limited (ACER).

The HPAT exam measures a candidate’s logical reasoning and problem-solving skills, non-verbal reasoning, and the ability to understand the thoughts, behaviour and/or intentions of people. It does not test academic knowledge and candidates do not require special understanding of any academic discipline.

HPAT®-Ireland is a registered trademark of ACER. CS Career Services Ltd. is not in any way affiliated with nor endorsed by ACER.

Get a Free HPAT® Information Guide

Sign up here for our Free HPAT Information Guide and we will send it out to you!

Why was the HPAT Exam introduced?

The HPAT Ireland exam was introduced for a number of reasons, some of which are outlined below.

Before 2009, in order to study Medicine, students were required to achieve close to 600 points in the Leaving Certificate Exam. Many students were alienated from Medicine in the past, due to what was seen by many potential candidates as unattainable Leaving Certificate Exam results.

In 2009, the HPAT®-Ireland exam was introduced as the undergraduate entry test to Medicine. It was used  in order to curtail the ‘points race’ and the need to attain a near perfect Leaving Cert Exam score. Since the HPAT®-Ireland exam was introduced, students require a reduced number of points from their Leaving Certificate Exam.

Universities also felt that certain qualities such as problem solving, interpersonal understanding and analytical skills, which are deemed necessary for the medical profession to carry out their duties, were not adequately assessed in the Leaving Cert Exam. As a result, the HPAT exam was designed by ACER to help assess these skills.

Who can sit the HPAT®-Ireland Exam?


I’m in 5th year, can I start preparing now? 

We often get asked ‘Can I prepare for the HPAT in 5th year?’ and our answer is yes absolutely! In fact we encourage it. Every year, 5th year students approach us to get a head start on their HPAT Exam preparation. As they cannot sit the HPAT® exam until their leaving cert year the most popular option for them is to sign up for our HPAT Ultimate Package and defer phase 3 to the following year. This allows them to begin their preparation early and to become familiar with the HPAT® and to gain an insight into the exam. This means they are better prepared when facing into the leaving cert year. They can then complete the mock exam phase 3 in their leaving certificate year. This is becoming an increasingly popular and beneficial option among 5th year students interested in medicine.

The Structure of HPAT®-Ireland Exam

Section No. of Questions Time
Section 1: Logical Reasoning & Problem Solving 44 65 mins
Section 2: Interpersonal Understanding 36 45 mins
Section 3: Non Verbal Reasoning 30 40 mins
Section 4: Written English 
(UL Applicants Only)
2 60 mins


The ‘Weighting’ of HPAT®-Ireland Exam Scores

For students intending on studying postgraduate Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy in the University of Limerick Section 4 is applicable.

•      Section 4: Written English  (UL Postgraduate only)

Registering for the Official HPAT®- Ireland Exam

Step 1: CAO Number
Before registering for the HPAT exam, all Medicine applicants 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

Step 2: ACER Website
In order to sit the official exam in February, students will need to register on the official ACER website  here. Registration usually opens in early November and closes in late January.

Important Notice:
Enrolling into a HPAT®-Ireland exam preparation course is not the same as registering for the official HPAT®-Ireland exam. Please note that CS Career Services Ltd. is not in any way affiliated or endorsed by ACER


So, What Do I Do Now?

The following guidelines are advised for completing the HPAT®-Ireland exam successfully.

HPAT Preparation
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