Studying medicine and the HPAT test


Sir, – HPAT has long been criticised by various groups for being unverified and unreliable, but what is the alternative? If HPAT is scrapped, the points required for medicine will skyrocket.

No one can deny that the skills that HPAT tests (critical and abstract thinking, logical reasoning, problem solving and interpersonal understanding) are those that are required to be a successful doctor in the 21st century. This is far better than relying on the Leaving Cert, which largely tests students’ ability to learn by rote.

Most medical schools worldwide use some form of aptitude test to assist in the selection of future doctors. HPAT has been used in Australia and New Zealand for over 20 years (in the form of UMAT). Most universities go even further and use interviews as well, which some may argue has even less reliability and validity. Aptitude testing must form part of selection, and HPAT continues to be a useful and relevant tool. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.