Skip to main content

Table 1 Features of a variety of general mental ability/aptitude tests compared

From: To what extent does the Health Professions Admission Test-Ireland predict performance in early undergraduate tests of communication and clinical skills? – An observational cohort study

Assessment tool HPAT UMAT UKCAT MCAT BMAT
Target candidates Undergraduate medical school applicants – predominately school leavers Undergraduate medical school applicants – predominately school leavers Undergraduate medical school applicants – predominately school leavers Medical School applicants – predominately college students Undergraduate medical school applicants – predominately school leavers
Type of test MCQ MCQ MCQ MCQ plus written essay* MCQ, written answers and written essay
Duration 2 hrs 30 mins 2 hrs 45 mins 2 hrs 4.5 to 5 hours * 2 hr
How administered Paper based Paper based Computer based Computer based Paper based
Standard Cost to applicant €95 €161 €78 €181 €50
No of participating schools 5 14 26 Required by almost all medical schools in North America 6
Year it was first used 2009 First used in 1991 at Newcastle University, Australia with expansion to other institutions in 1997/98 2006 Earliest versions commenced in 1946 and have evolved over time. Current format exists since 1992 with some minor adjustments since 2003
Subsections of test 1. Logical Reasoning & Problem Solving 1. Logical Reasoning & Problem Solving 1. Verbal reasoning 1. Verbal Reasoning Skills 1: Aptitude and Skills
2. Interpersonal Understanding 2. Understanding People 2. Quantitative reasoning 2. Physical Sciences – chemistry, physics and data interpretation 2: Scientific Knowledge and Application
3. Non-Verbal Reasoning 3. Non-verbal Reasoning 3. Abstract reasoning 3. Biological Sciences – biology and organic chemistry 3: Writing Task
   4. Decision analysis * The writing sample section will be removed in 2013 thus shortening the test  
  1. HPAT-Health Professions Admission Test Ireland. UMAT-Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test. UKCAT- UK Clinical Aptitude Test. MCAT- Medical College Admission Test. BMAT-BioMedical Admissions Test.