Before test day

Am I a mature-aged student?
Do I need to sit MSAP Ireland?
Where can I sit MSAP Ireland?
Are there any practice papers available?
What does Module 1 cover?
What does Module 2 cover?
What does Module 3 cover?
How will I know if my registration is successful?
Does registering for MSAP-Ireland mean I have applied to university?
How and when will I know the exact location of my test?
How much does the MSAP Ireland test cost?
Will I be penalised if I take MSAP Ireland more than once?
What is the duration of the MSAP Ireland test?
How do I know which modules I need to take?
Are all test modules offered at all test locations?
How do I apply for Special Testing conditions?

Am I a mature-aged student?
To qualify as a mature-age applicant, you must be 23 years of age or over by 1st January in the year your tertiary study commences.

Do I need to sit MSAP Ireland?
MSAP is used for applications to:

University College Cork
College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

University College Dublin
College of Arts and Celtic Studies, and College of Human Sciences
College of Science
College of Agriculture, Food Science & Veterinary Medicine

National University of Ireland Galway
The College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies

University of Limerick

Selected Health Sciences courses

Where can I sit MSAP Ireland?
Test sittings take place at each of the universities that require MSAP results.

You will receive details of your test centre location and specific directions in your Admission Ticket (via email).
This ticket is issued approximately 1 week prior to the test.

Are there any practice papers available?
Please refer to the 'Preparation' section of this website - you'll be able to find examples of MSAP prompts and questions and have the option to purchase a MSAP Sample Questions e-Booklet and/or an Automatically-Scored Written English Practice Test.

What does Module 1 cover?

Module 1 – Written English (1 hour)
Two groups of writing prompts are provided, and candidates will write in response to one prompt from each group. One group of prompts invites an argumentative response, and the other invites a personal response.

The criteria for the assessment of Written English

  • The quality of what is said in the piece of writing
  • The quality of the structure and organization developed to say something
  • The quality of the language used to organize and present what is said.

Each piece of writing is assessed by two independent markers.

What does Module 2 cover?

Module 2 – Reasoning in the Humanities and Social Sciences (1 hour)
There are 35 questions in multiple-choice format with 4 responses, from which the candidate is asked to choose the most appropriate response. There is only one correct response.

The questions focus on interpretation and understanding of ideas in language. Some questions will ask candidates to identify the main idea in a passage, or interpret specific words and phrases. Inferences or deduced meanings may be required. In some questions the emphasis is placed on analyzing and understanding the stimulus material, and in others the candidates will have to manipulate information and solve problems.

What does Module 3 cover?

Module 3 - Reasoning in the Sciences, Mathematics and Social Sciences (1 hour)
There are 35 questions in this module of multiple-choice format. For each question, candidates are required to select one correct response from 4 possible choices.

In Module 3, the questions focus on comprehension, application, decision making and solving scientific and mathematical information. Some questions will require candidates to interpret figures, identify connections, relationships and patterns. Other questions will require basic calculation, estimation and application of equations. Some questions will require deduction, extrapolations and using evidence, and others involve problem solving.

How will I know if my registration is successful?

After completing your registration and payment, you will be sent two emails immediately.

The first will be a receipt of payment. It will contain a receipt number and your customer number. Please quote the customer number (which is also your candidate number) when communicating with the MSAP Office. The second email confirms your registration.

If you do not receive a confirmation email, this may be because you have entered your email address incorrectly, or because you have a Hotmail or Yahoo account and have not put msap-ireland@acer.org into your address book.

Does registering for MSAP Ireland mean I have applied to university?
No, you need to submit an application to the CAO in the usual manner.

To contact the CAO go to: http://www.cao.ie/

How and when will I know the exact location of my test?
You will receive an Admission Ticket by email approximately 1 week before the test date. This ticket is your permission to attend the test centre and must be printed out and taken with you on the day. Please note it is highly unlikely that candidates are not allocated to their preferred location.

The Admission Ticket will tell you exactly where and at what time to report on the day of the test. It will also contain your personal details.

Please check it carefully and email the MSAP Office immediately if there are any errors. It is important that your name as recorded on the Admission Ticket matches the name on your identification document (passport or driver's licence).

How much does the MSAP Ireland test cost?
Applicants for the test will apply on-line only, via this website. The cost of MSAP-Ireland in 2017 is €78.00 per candidate. This fee covers on-line registration for the test, materials required for the paper test, and provision of test results to the candidate. This fee applies up to 5 February, being the close of timely applications. An additional fee of €35.00 applies for late applications. Please find more information here:https://msap-ireland.acer.org/registration1/registration-fees

Online payment may be made by AMEX, Mastercard or VISA. ACER uses a secure carrier for its online payment functions to act as its interface with the banking system. Credit card and accompanying personal details are not recorded or stored by ACER, but are encrypted at point of capture and transmitted direct to the bank. Thus you can be assured this is a safe payment option.

Can I sit MSAP-Ireland on another date?
No, MSAP-Ireland is held only once each year.

Will I be penalised if I take MSAP Ireland more than once?
No, you may take MSAP Ireland as many times as you wish.

There is no penalty, other than the loss of your fee, if you register but do not sit the test.

What is the duration of the MSAP Ireland test?
The MSAP test is a paper-based test consisting of three modules.

  • Module 1 – Written English (1 hour writing time)
  • Module 2 – Reasoning in the Humanities and Social Sciences (1 hour)
  • Module 3 – Reasoning in the Sciences, Mathematics and Social Sciences (1 hour)

Most candidates will sit Modules 1 and 2 (total 2 hours test time)

Some UCD candidates will sit Modules 1 and 3 (total 2 hours test time)

A few candidates will sit Modules 1, 2 and 3 (total 3 hours test time)

Expect to be at the test centre between 3 to 4 hours in total.

How do I know which modules I need to take?

It depends on which courses you are going to apply to do at which university. See details here.

Are all test modules offered at all test locations?
I'm an applicant to Science courses at UCD, but currently live near Cork. Can I still choose to sit for Modules 1 & 3 at the UCC test centre?

Yes - all modules will be tested at all test centres.

How do I apply for Special Testing conditions?
If you have a visual, hearing, physical or other impairment which means the standard manner in which the test is set up requires change, e.g. alternative format or additional rest breaks, you should complete a test registration, then log back into your ACER User Account to apply for Special Test Conditions.

Applicants with dyslexia should accompany their statement with a copy of an appropriate Educational Psychologist's report for consideration. All reasonable efforts will be made to provide appropriate testing conditions for approved candidates.

Note: There is no possibility of special consideration being given to test results. In no circumstances will scores be adjusted to account for any perceived disadvantage.