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The HPAT Exam: A Guide for Leaving Certificate Students

Updated: Mar 27, 2023


The HPAT, or the Health Professions Admissions Test, is a standardized test that is required for admission to certain health profession programs in Ireland. If you're a Leaving Certificate student considering a career in the health field, it's important to understand what the HPAT is and how to prepare for it. In this blog post, we will explain what the HPAT is, what it covers, and provide tips and resources for success.

What is the HPAT?

The HPAT is a computer-based test that is designed to assess problem-solving, critical thinking, and reasoning abilities. It is required for admission to certain health profession programs, including medicine, dentistry, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy. The test is divided into three sections: Abstract Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Interpersonal Understanding.

What is the purpose of the Health Professions Admissions Test (HPAT)?

The HPAT is used to assess cognitive abilities and non-academic attributes of students who are seeking admission to health profession programs such as medicine, nursing, and physiotherapy. It is intended to help identify those applicants who have the necessary abilities and characteristics to succeed in these programs.

How is the Health Professions Admissions Test (HPAT) scored?

The HPAT is typically scored on a scale of 200 to 600, with a higher score indicating a stronger performance. The test is divided into three sections: Logical Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning and Problem Solving. Each section is scored separately and then combined to determine the overall score. Some universities may also take into account other factors such as grade point average and interviews as part of the selection process.

How to prepare for the HPAT

• Understand the format: The HPAT is a computer-based test, so it's important to familiarize yourself with the format and practice taking the test on a computer.

• Review the content: The test covers abstract reasoning, verbal reasoning, and interpersonal understanding, so it's important to review these areas and understand the types of questions that will be asked.

• Practice, practice, practice: Taking practice tests and reviewing the answers is a great way to prepare for the HPAT. There are various HPAT practice tests and sample question available online.

• Time management: The HPAT is timed, so it's important to practice time management and learn how to pace yourself during the test.

Resources for success

• HPAT Ireland: The official website for the HPAT has a wealth of information and resources, including practice tests and study guides.

• Study guides: There are various study guides available for purchase that provide in-depth information about the test and strategies for success.

• Tutors: Consider getting a tutor to help you prepare for the HPAT. A tutor can help you identify areas you need to focus on and provide personalized feedback.


The HPAT is a important test for students considering a career in the health field. By understanding what it is, reviewing the content, and utilizing resources and strategies, you can increase your chances of success. It's important to start preparing well in advance of the test date and be consistent with your study schedule.

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