On test day

What time will the test start and finish?
Report to the test centre at the time specified on your Admission Ticket. The test itself will start as soon as the pre-testing procedures have been completed.

As pre-testing procedures will take some time to complete, 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 between 3 - 4 hours from the time of reporting to the test centre for all testing procedures to be completed (this time may be shorter in centres with smaller candidate numbers).

What can I take into the test centre?
You will need to take your Admission Ticket, identification document (ID), pencils, pens and eraser.  Bottled water is also permitted.
Please dress in warmly in layers under your coat. Coats are removed and heating in large test rooms can be variable.

Note: You are not permitted to take food into the test unless you have prior approval from the MSAP office.

Timing and Order of the test
The MSAP test is a paper-based test.

Module 1 – Written English (1 hour)
There are two writing tasks, and candidates will write in response to a prompt in each task. One prompt invites an argumentative response, and the other invites a personal response.
Each piece of writing is assessed by two independent markers.

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.

Module 3 – Reasoning in the Sciences, Mathematics 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.

Don’t forget to eat something before the test. You will not be allowed to take any food or drink, other than bottled water, into the test room. Expect to be at the test centre between 3 and 4 hours.

What identification do I need to bring?
On the day of the test you will be required to present an original photo-bearing identification document (in which the photograph is recognisable as a likeness of you as you are on the day).

The only acceptable identification documents are:

  1. A valid passport, or
  2. A current EU/EEA National Identity Card, or
  3. A current photo-bearing driver licence (learner’s permit, probationary or full licence), or
  4. A Public Services Card, or
  5. A certified letter of identification.  (see sample ID letter)
  • This letter must be on official institution letterhead (eg school, employer, doctor, Garda, etc.)
  • It should contain your full name, date of birth and a passport-sized photo of you glued to the letter
  • The institution's stamp must overlap the photo
  • The official verifying the identification must include their signature and title
  • A witness to the official's signature is required
  • Your signature is required

If you intend to present a certified letter of identification, please organise it well before the test date.
Note: If your certified letter of identification does not conform to the criteria described above, you may be turned away from the test centre.

If you do not present one of the above approved identification documents, in addition to your Admission Ticket, you will not be able to sit MSAP and will be turned away from the test centre.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Student cards and Garda ID cards are not accepted forms of identification.
Photocopies of identity documents and expired documents are not acceptable.

What happens if I'm unable to attend the test?
There are no extra sittings of MSAP. However, you may be able to claim a refund of your test sitting fee.

If through illness or emergency, you are unable to attend the test sitting, please obtain a Medical Certificate or other appropriate documentation, and supply a copy of that to the MSAP Office. This should be forwarded within 2 weeks of the test to request a refund. The administrative charge of €35.00 applies to these refunds.