After a successful switch to online learning in 2020, the HPizzle HPAT Preparation Course will again be delivered using Microsoft Teams software, making it accessible to students throughout Ireland. This will also ensure that teaching can continue safely in the case of any classroom restrictions.

In class, students attempt HPAT questions which are shared via PowerPoint presentations on Microsoft Teams. They submit answers using an online quiz software, and get instant feedback on their choices. Aifric then thoroughly explores each solution with the students using pre-prepared PowerPoint slides to clearly communicate the best method for arriving at the correct answer.

In a typical class we aim to get through approximately 25-30 questions in this format. There is a large emphasis on student engagement and they will always be asked and encouraged to explain which methods they used to tackle a question. We believe this is key to keeping the classes engaging and allowing students to learn from each other as well as from the teacher.

The cost of the course is €200 per semester / €400 for the full year



  • 10 x 2.5-hour online HPAT classes (5 in each semester)
  • 7 Full Length HPAT exams – 5 of these as homework and 2 as mock tests under strict examination conditions
  • Comprehensive notes with advice and techniques for preparing for the HPAT exam.


Dr. John Gannon sat the HPAT in 2012 and scored in the 99th percentile. He was awarded an Ad Astra academic scholarship to study medicine in UCD and graduated in 2018. with a 2:1 honours degree. 

He has been teaching the HPAT since 2013, first as 1-on-1 grinds and then to increasingly larger groups of students in St. Michael’s College, Griffith College and the Institute of Education in Dublin. He has also lectured on the HPAT at several open days and events for secondary school students in University College Dublin and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

As a postgraduate, John has earned a Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, completed a remote internship with the World Federation of Public Health Associations based in Geneva, and worked in the Australian and Zambian health systems. He is now on the Paediatrics Basic Specialist Training Programme in Ireland.

Aifric Walsh sat the HPAT in 2020 and scored in the 91st percentile. She is now studying medicine at University College Cork with a Quercus Scholarship. 

“I believe that the HPAT is one of the most difficult exams I have ever sat in my life. I found it really challenging because unlike the subjects I studied at school there is no curriculum to learn and no teacher to teach the HPAT. At the beginning I was scoring poorly in practice exams. People told me that ‘you cannot study for the HPAT’.

This could not be further from the truth. Given the right resources and study techniques you most certainly can study for and improve greatly at the HPAT. With regular practice my results in mock exams began to increase dramatically and on the exam day I performed well enough to secure my first choice of a place in medicine in UCC.”


How Does the Points System Work?

Your HPAT score will be combined with your Leaving Cert results to determine if you are offered a place in undergraduate medicine in one of the five participating universities in Ireland. Scores above 550 will be rounded up to the nearest 5 points and moderated as per the table below:

For example, a score of 558 will be rounded to 560 and result in a score of 552.

Note: this adjustment only applies to candidates for medicine and not for other courses.

HPAT 2022 Results

Source: https://hpat-ireland.acer.org/

Entry Requirements for Medicine 2021

 UCD 743

Trinity 743

RCSI 741

UCC 738

NUIG 737

Points vary from year to year e.g. since I’ve started coaching students for the HPAT, entry points for UCD have gone from 747 (2013) to 731 (2014) to 736 (2015) to 730 (2016) to 734 (2017). This does not necessarily mean the standard is changing or that interest is increasing or declining or that the exam is getting easier or harder.

The HPAT is marked by ACER (Australian Council for Educational Research) who change the marking scheme on an annual basis which influences the points that are awarded for a particular centile score. It is best not to worry too much about points going up or down and instead to focus on improving your own scores in each of the practice tests that we will do in class and as homework over the year. The bottom line is that you are competing against the 2500 or so other candidates who are sitting the HPAT and you need to be in and around the top 20% with a Leaving Cert > 550 points to put yourself in a good position.

What is the Structure of the Exam?

You have to answer 110 questions in 150 minutes. All questions are in multiple choice format with 4 or 5 options. Only 1 is correct.

The exam is divided into three sections:

  • Section 1: Logical Reasoning & Problem Solving (40%)
  • Section 2: Understanding People (40%)
  • Section 3: Non-Verbal Reasoning (20%)

Section 1 Skills: comprehend, draw logical conclusions, reach solutions by identifying relevant facts, evaluate information, pinpoint additional or missing information, and generate and test plausible hypotheses Questions are based on a brief text or piece of information presented graphically

Section 2 Skills: understand people and their thoughts, feelings, behaviour and intentions Questions are based on a scenario, dialogue or other text representing interpersonal situations

Section 3 Skills: reason in the abstract, solve problems in non-verbal contexts Questions are based on patterns or sequences of shapes More information about all things HPAT is available at: