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About HPAT

About HPAT

The Health Professions Admission Test – Ireland is conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), on behalf of the Irish Medical Schools. The scores of HPAT – Ireland are used for admission to five colleges in Ireland offering medical and related courses at the undergraduate level, namely,

  • National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • University College, Cork
  • University College, Dublin
  • Trinity College, Dublin

Each of the universities has their own cut-off HPAT score for admission. In order to sit for the examination, the candidate must have completed at least their final year at school. Candidates awaiting the final results are also eligible to sit the HPAT-Ireland. The examination is held only once a year. A candidate can sit for the exam more than once. From 2013, the HPAT-Ireland score is valid during the same year only.

HPAT – Ireland is divided into three sections designed to assess performance in the areas of;


No. of QuestionsAllotted Time

Question Type

Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving


65 mins

MCQ, 4 alternate responses, mostly text based, a few in tabular/diagrammatic form
Interpersonal Understanding


45 mins

MCQ, 4 alternate responses, completely text based
Non-verbal Reasoning


40 mins

MCQ, 4/5 alternate responses, completely visual material
Written English
(Uni of Limerick applicants only)


60 mins

2 essay tasks, one argumentative with sociopolitical issues, one reflective with more personal issues
  1. Section 1: Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving

This section consists of information drawn from a variety of materials, presented in the form of text passages and/or diagrams/tables. The candidate is required to find test hypotheses, locate missing information and form logical conclusions. All analysis and inference must be made on the basis of the given information. No prior knowledge is required to solve Section 1 questions, and assumptions are strictly not advised.

  1. Section 2: Interpersonal Understanding

This section consists of texts in the form of passages, dialogues and so on, representing interpersonal communication. The candidate is required to analyse and understand the thoughts, feelings and actions of the characters, and form inferences based on the analysis. Understanding of human relationships and empathy is essential to solve these questions.

  1. Section 3: Non-verbal Reasoning

This section consists of patterns and sequences, all in visual form. The candidate is required to identify the patterns and sequences.

  1. Section 4: Written English

This section consists of two writing tasks. The first task in argumentative, and the topics deal mostly with sociopolitical and/or cultural aspects. The second task is reflective, and the topics invite personal reflection. The candidate is required to put across their thoughts logically and coherently, reflecting social/political/personal awareness. Ideas and opinions, no matter how controversial, are not judged as long as they are coherently expressed and adequately supported.

Important dates for HPAT-Ireland

Registrations openEarly November 2016
Registrations close5:15pm GMT 20 January 2017
Sit HPAT-Ireland25 February  2017
Results releasedLate June 2017

HPAT Test Centres

HPAT will be held in the following locations only:

  • Cork
  • Dublin
  • Galway
  • Limerick
  • Sligo
  • Waterford

Additional centres are not provided. The test is held on the same date and time at all centres.

A Quick Tip On D-Day

Prep time will pass away in a flash, and the big day will arrive before you can say ‘HPAT’. Students are likely to remain nervous and the atmosphere will be charged with tension, so here are some tips for D-Day. Firstly, arrive at the test centre early. At least, set out early, so that you have enough time to tackle the traffic and still find the test centre before the scheduled hour. Make sure that you reach at or before the time stated in the admission ticket; else your candidature will be cancelled. There is no fixed time as to when the test will start; it commences as soon as the pre-testing procedures are completed. Do not forget to carry all the appropriate identification documents along with you. Otherwise you will not be permitted to take the test. And do check your mail carefully for all details about stuff that you can or cannot carry to the exam centre with you. Rules at HPAT are stringent, and one toe out of line may result in cancellation of candidature. Refer to the ACER official website for further details.

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