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Special testing conditions

Candidates who have a disability or other health-related needs which might interfere with their ability to sit the test in the standard manner, should apply for special testing conditions online via their account as soon as possible after registration. All such requests must have been submitted by no later than 3 February 2017 at 5.15pm GMT.

After submitting the online form, candidates must also submit supporting documentation for their request to the HPAT – Ireland Office (via email, mail or fax) for review. The supporting documentation must be from a registered health practitioner and must give a clear diagnosis and information on the condition, indicate the impact of the condition in testing settings and include a statement as to what accommodations the health practitioner feels are appropriate for the candidate in testing settings. All supporting documentation must be typed on the medical practitioner's official letterhead and include the date and title, name, registration number, contact details, and signature of the medical practitioner. The documentation must be no more than one year old for health-related needs or disabilities other than learning disabilities, and no more than three years old for learning disabilities. Applicants with learning disabilities should submit a copy of an appropriate educational psychologist’s report for consideration. If the report is more than three years old, it will still be accepted, as long as it is accompanied by a recent letter from a psychologist stating that the information in the report is still applicable to the candidate as they are today.

All reasonable efforts will be made to provide appropriate testing conditions for candidates' needs. 

  • Diabetes: permission to take blood glucose testing kit, insulin and food/drink into the test centre
  • Hand/wrist/arm/shoulder injury: permission to mark answers in the test booklet or scribe provided
  • Hearing loss: candidate seated at the front of the room and written instructions provided
  • Visual impairment: colour or larger print test papers provided

While there is no possibility of special consideration being given to test results or HPAT scores being adjusted to account for any perceived disadvantage, school leavers with a disability are advised to also apply under the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) whilst mature applicants are advised to also apply under mature student access routes (details available on each university website).

The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a university admissions scheme which offers places on a reduced points/score basis (i.e. based on combined school leaving certificate and HPAT) to school leavers with disabilities. DARE has been set up by a number of colleges and universities as evidence shows that disability can have a negative effect on how well a student does at school and whether they go on to college.

Each university taking part in the DARE scheme has allocated a limited number of places on their medical programmes on a reduced points basis for students entering through DARE.

This number or quota is different for each university and RCSI. You can get details of the quotas on the website of each college and university that takes part in the DARE scheme.

If you are applying for the DARE scheme, you must:

  • give evidence confirming that your disability has had a significant impact on your educational performance
  • meet the minimum entry (matriculation) and subject requirements of the colleges or universities to which you are applying
  • compete for one of the quota places based on your Leaving Certificate results

Find out more about the selection and admission policies on the websites of the participating universities.

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The HPAT – Ireland 2017 Information Booklet is now available for download.