HPAT – Ireland is not based on any curriculum or subject areas; therefore you do not need any special knowledge. Intensive preparation is not advisable or necessary, although wide and critical reading may provide helpful preparation for Sections 1 and 2. However, as with any test, some practice in answering questions of a similar type, and under similar time constraints as those found in the real test, is helpful and reassuring to most candidates. The purpose of HPAT – Ireland is to assess the general skills and abilities developed over the course of your education and life experience that are considered by the universities to be important to the study and practice of medicine. To operate most effectively in this career graduates will need to:
- Be flexible
- Have good thinking skills (critical and analytical)
- Be able to respond quickly to new situations and problems
- Have a well developed ability to understand and respond to patients' needs and individual situations.
For these reasons HPAT – Ireland has been developed as a test that is not based on learned academic curriculum or study of particular subjects, but as a test of your response to stimulus that will not necessarily be familiar.
ACER and the universities that require HPAT – Ireland scores do not recommend or endorse any commercially available courses offering HPAT – Ireland preparation. Nor does ACER have knowledge of the content of such courses, or any involvement in their development, or any commercial interest in the programs. Thus the HPAT – Ireland Office is unable to comment on their relevance or usefulness. It is possible that some commercial preparation courses might provide misleading information or advice to candidates. Neither ACER nor the universities conduct HPAT – Ireland preparation courses.