A Guide to HPAT – Ireland 2033

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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This year, registrations for HPAT – Ireland 2023 opened today and will close on 20 January 2023. Every year thousands of students register to take this test. Here we provide a guide to HPAT – Ireland.

A Guide to HPAT – Ireland 2033

HPAT – Ireland stands for Ireland Health Professions Admission Test – Ireland. What is it? Basically, it is an admissions test used to assist with the selection of students into medicine and health professions degree programs.

This assessment is required by all students who wish to apply for Undergraduate Medicine courses in Ireland.

Eligible test-takers must either be in their final year of school or have completed their school leaving certificate prior to 2023.

To be eligible to study medicine in Ireland there are two key parts to the application process: applying to the CAO and applying separately to sit the HPAT.

Every student wishing to apply for admission to any of the following courses is required to take this test:

National University of Ireland, Galway Undergraduate Medicine
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Undergraduate Medicine
Trinity College Dublin Undergraduate Medicine
University College Cork Undergraduate Medicine
University College Dublin Undergraduate Medicine
University of Limerick MSc Occupational Therapy (Professional Qualification)*
MSc Speech and Language Therapy (Professional Qualification)*

For information about specific courses and admission requirements, please refer to the relevant university websites.

The Test

The test measures “logical reasoning and problem-solving skills, nonverbal reasoning and the ability to understand the thoughts, behaviour and/or intentions of people.”

In this way the test complements academic achievement, by assessing skills in the areas of reasoning, understanding and working with people.

The focus is more on general skills and personal abilities rather academic abilities. Such skills have been identified as important for a competent health professional and therefore are at the core of the test.

The test is not concerned with academic knowledge and candidates do not require any academic skills at all to take the test.

What is the purpose of the Test?

The purpose of HPAT – Ireland is to assess the general skills and abilities developed over the course of a candidate’s education and life experience. The reason they are assessed is that they are considered to be a vital part of the study and practice of medicine.

Such qualities include:

  • 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.

Preparing for HPAT – Ireland

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. 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 test is independently administered by ACER (Australian Council for Educational Research).

ACER produces the only official HPAT – Ireland preparation materials. There are currently two types of preparation materials available: six publications in the form of e-books and an automatic scoring service for the Written English test (UL applicants only).

The Test

The HPAT – Ireland is a 2½ hour test consisting of three sections. Each section is separately timed and there are no rest breaks between sections.

The questions are in multiple choice format with 4 or 5 response alternatives from which you are asked to choose the most appropriate.

Each question has only one correct response. Questions in sections 1 and 2 are in written form (though some section 1 questions may present
information in visual or tabular format). Section 3 questions are based entirely on visual material.

HPAT – Ireland is divided into three sections designed to assess performance in the areas of:
• Section 1 – Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving
• Section 2 – Interpersonal Understanding
• Section 3 – Non-Verbal Reasoning
• Section 4 – Written English (UL applicants only)

In addition to completing HPAT – Ireland, test takers applying to the MSc Occupational Therapy (Professional Qualification) and the MSc Speech and Language Therapy (Professional Qualification) at the
University of Limerick are required to sit a 1 hour Written English component


The only way to register for HPAT – Ireland is online. To register candidates must create an online account and provide a valid email address.

Online registrations and payment must be completed by 5:15 pm, 20 January 2023.

Late registrations will be accepted up to 5:15 pm, 3 February 2023. Late registrations must pay an additional fee.

When is the test?

The HPAT – Ireland test is offered once annually in February each year. ACER have confirmed that this year’s exam will be conducted online via remote proctoring. The 2023 test window is 17 – 25 February.

This year, the exams are taken remotely by the applicant. HPAT is a 2.5-hour online multiple-choice assessment.

The test itself takes place via online proctoring, which means applicants will be monitored by camera at all times before and during the test.

In order to do this, Hpat applicants will require a desktop computer or laptop with a working built-in or external webcam and microphone, with internet speed of at least 2Mbps down and uploads.

HPAT- Ireland 2023 Timeline

  • Registrations open in November 2022
  • Registrations close at 5.15pm GMT 20 January 2023
  • Book test session with ProctorU
  • Test window: 17 – 25 February 2023
  • Late registrations are accepted up to 3 February 2023 (late fee applies)
  • ACER Test App instructions and log in information provided to all test
    takers (one week before the test)
  • Results will be released to UL applicants and mature test takers in late April 2023.
  • Results will be released to other test takers in late June 2023.

Information booklet 
Download the HPAT Ireland information booklet as a PDF

Email: hpat-ireland@acer.org

Steven Galvin

Managing In Challenging Times
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