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 2 hours to complete Section 1 and Section 2, and an hour to complete Section 3. There are no breaks between the three sections. Sections 1 and 2 are in multiple-choice format: answers will be presented as radio button options. Section 3, Written Communication, is in the form of two essays: responses will be typed.

Note: it is not possible to guarantee start and finish times. You should allow up to 4 ½ hours total to account for all testing procedures required.

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 and 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 markers working independently.

Please note: Section 3 Written Communication responses will undergo an online plagiarism investigation. ACER does not condone plagiarism and it is listed as one of our unacceptable acts of misconduct on page 11 of the Information Booklet.