Structure and Content

HPAT-Ulster consists of three sections, with a total test time of 3 hours.

Below shows the structure of HPAT-Ulster by section and time:

Section 1 Critical Reasoning - 45 questions
Section 2 Interpersonal Understanding - 45 questions
Section 3 Written Communication - 2 questions

You will have two hours to complete Section 1 and Section 2, and one hour to complete Section 3. There are no breaks between the three sections. Sections 1 and 2 are in multiple-choice format and presented in a single test book and questions are answered on the accompanying machine-readable answer sheet (OMR). Section 3, Written Communication, is in the form of two essay tasks and answered in a separate answer booklet.

Note: It is not possible to guarantee start and finish times. Care should be taken when making return travel arrangements to allow adequate time at the test centre. You should allow up to 4 ½ hours from the time of reporting to the test centre for all testing procedures to be completed, but this time may be shorter in centres with smaller candidate numbers.

Section 1 Critical Reasoning questions are drawn from a variety of general sources. The contexts in which questions are set include general interest, science and social science, with materials presented as text, diagrams and tables. Some questions may require basic mathematical skills. The emphasis is on the application of skills in reasoning and problem solving.

Skills tested include the ability to work with and analyse stimulus material; pose and test hypotheses; interpret and extract information; identify and evaluate evidence and lines of reasoning; identify a problem; analyse it to clarify key information; transform information into forms that can be applied to enhance problem solution, and identify, generate and evaluate possible solutions.

Section 2 Interpersonal Understanding questions have a focus on working with and understanding people and consist of scenarios, narratives and dialogues with questions designed to assess the understanding of people; their motivations, behaviours and responses.

The two tasks in Section 3 Written Communication consist of an exercise requiring synthesis of graphically presented information relating to social issues and a reflective essay. Each task is graded using a set of specifically designed assessment criteria. Assessment focuses on the way in which ideas are integrated into a purposeful and relevant response to the task. You will not be assessed on the correctness of the ideas or attitudes you display. Each of your pieces of writing will be marked by at least two raters working independently.