Everything you need to know about the HamNat!

MUDr. Andreas Zehetner

MUDr. Andreas Zehetner

CO-Founder of futuredoctor

Reading time: 10 Minuten
Last updated: 21 March 2024

📖 Table of contents

Studying medicine with the HamNat

The HAM is a written aptitude test for medical studies that is used in Hamburg and Greifswald, among other places, as part of the "university selection procedure".

The test consists of multiple-choice questions that test scientific knowledge at A-level in maths, physics, biology and chemistry. There are also two subtests aimed at logical thinking.

The HamNat can be repeated as often as you like and is easy to prepare for, making it a good option for anyone who would like to study in Hamburg and cannot get a university place through the Abitur quota alone.

The test is also recognised for pharmacy at the University of Hamburg and Greifswald.

Are you interested in studying medicine?

We are happy to advise you free of charge about your options for studying medicine, including medical studies in other EU countries that are fully recognised in Germany.

Together for success - futuredoctor and studying medicine abroad

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Besides the Student advisory service In addition to selecting the university and accompanying you to the desired on-site appointments, futuredoctor also offers support during the application process and preparation for possible aptitude tests, as well as orientation at the place of study - including the search for accommodation! Get your application quickly and easily free info pack!

How is the HAM-Nat structured?

The test consists of two parts and takes about 2.5-3 hours.

  • Scientific part: 60 questions (90 minutes)
  • Logical thinking: 30 tasks (25 minutes)
  • Artificial problem solving: 16 questions (15 min)
  • Figural matrices: 14 questions (10 min)

In the scientific test, you have to answer multiple-choice questions at senior school level in the fields of biology, maths, physics and chemistry.

The proportions of the individual subjects may vary each year.

The subtest Arithmetic problem solving is aimed at the quick application of basic maths skills - for example addition, subtraction, fractions and the rule of three.

In the sub-test Figural matrices patterns must be logically supplemented by the correct given pattern, similar to a typical intelligence test.

Where can I study with the HamNat?

  • Hamburg: Human Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy
  • Magdeburg: Human Medicine
  • Greifswald: Pharmacy

If you are studying human medicine, it is also worth taking part in the Ham-SJT (see below for more information), and for dentistry you can gain extra points with the Ham-Man.

Is the HamNat worthwhile for me?

Probably yes - if you are interested in studying medicine in Hamburg or Magdeburg and want to improve your chances in the "university selection" applicant quota. The HamNat tests knowledge that will also benefit you later in your studies and can be prepared and repeated very well.

In Hamburg, 10% of medical study places go to the best students - this means that with a great result you can secure your place even with a "poorer" Abitur.

How do I prepare for the HamNat?

The HAM-Nat can be prepared very well due to its scientific focus.

2-3 months of regular study tailored to the HamNat should be enough - depending on your previous knowledge in the natural sciences and your maths skills. Depending on personal factors, however, there are of course also deviations from this time.  

Preparation should be tailored to the current catalogue of topics - this is available from the selection test centre and can change every year.

As with all tests, it is helpful to do at least one test simulation and work on exercises. However, you will also find many good offers for e-learning, books or live courses on the Internet, which will work through the material and everything else relating to the licence in detail for you and make it easier for you to plan your learning.

Constant dripping wears away the stone: concentrated and steady work helps you more than hours of learning to achieve a good basic understanding and a confident handling of numbers and formulae.

Tip: As with all tests for medical studies, you will find a large community and a sea of information on social media. Use it, but don't let it unsettle you - this is also a good tip for studying medicine later on.

When, where and how often can I write the Hamnat?

You can repeat the HamNat as often and everywhere as you like.

The test takes place twice a year at the relevant university:

Beginning/mid-March and beginning/mid-September. You will receive the exact date with your invitation letter, which you will receive after your registration.

How do I register for the HAM-Nat?

You can easily register via the online portal "Auswahltestzentrale" (https://www.auswahltestzentrale.de/medicine2024F/).

Here you create an account, enter your information and transfer the registration fee of 75 euros. You will then receive your official invitation with your test ID, test date and test location, which you should also bring with you to the test day.

How is the HAM-Nat evaluated?

In the HamNat, there is a maximum of 100 points to be achieved in each subtest. However, these points are calculated relative to the other participants of the year. So you can still get the full score even if you make mistakes.

The result of the HAM-Nat is valid for the test year and also for the following year - so it is always worth taking part. If you take part more than once, you can use your best valid result in your application for hochschulstart.

What is the HAM-SJT?

The Ham-SJT is a second test that provides points for admission to the human medicine degree programme and takes place after the Ham-Nat. "SJT" stands for "Situational Judgement Test" and is a written test in which social skills are tested. In each task, a situation and various possible courses of action are described and you are asked to evaluate these courses of action.

According to the official website, the test lasts no longer than 90 minutes; in 2023, the pure test time was 30 minutes. It takes place after a lunch break directly after the HamNat if you have registered for it.

What is the HAM-Man?

The "HAM-Man" is a practical work test and is interesting for those who are interested in studying dentistry. Here you are provided with wires and pliers and are asked to bend the wires according to a template.

According to the official website, the test time is no longer than 2 hours, in 2023 the pure test time was 45 minutes.

Important websites

  • Selection test centre: Here you register, receive your official invitation to the test, your results and important current information and changes as well as the subject catalogue. https://www.auswahltestzentrale.de/medicine2024F/
  • viaMINT: Here you can find official sample questions from HamNat (especially the science section). Unfortunately, memorising these questions doesn't help that much. It's all about the basic understanding of the required topics, with which you must also be able to answer new questions. Nevertheless, the questions are part of a good preparation. You can find the questions here: https://viamint.de/course/index.php?categoryid=73

Frequently asked questions

FAQs on the Studying medicine with the HamNat

Anyone can take part in HamNat - as often as they like.

The HamNat results arrive approximately 2 months after the test. The results are uploaded to the online portal "Auswahltestzentrale". You can then use them to apply to "hochschulstart". More detailed results and statistics will follow 1-2 months later.

An NC calculator or a calculator specially designed for the HamNat can provide a good prediction of which result will lead to admission. Depending on the A-level average and other admission factors, the HamNat result is more or less important. Factors such as the number of applicants or test changes influence the score you need for admission to the degree programme.

In Germany, study places for human medicine, dentistry and pharmacy are allocated centrally via the "hochschulstart" portal.

Places are allocated as follows: 30% via the Abitur quota, 60% via the university selection procedure (AdH) and 10% via the additional aptitude quota (ZEQ).

The HamNat improves the ranking in the AdH or ZEQ at certain universities, but depending on the university, other factors such as A-level scores or previous vocational training also count.

ExampleIn Hamburg, the HamNat is weighted at 40% and the Ham-SJT at 20% in the AdH, so that the Abitur score only accounts for 40%. So even without a perfect Abitur, you have a very realistic chance of getting a place at university if you prepare well for the HamNat.

The very best HamNat graduates receive a place in Hamburg via the ZEQ, without the final grade being taken into account at all.

No. Aids such as formulae or periodic tables are also not permitted.

You should always have the invitation letter, an identity card or passport, pencils and eraser and a water bottle without a label in your luggage.

Calculators, formulae, periodic tables and other aids are not permitted. Officially, you should use your test invitation as a guide, as the rules can change every year.

After about two months, you will only receive a number between 0 and 100 - and then? With around 30 points, you have already achieved an above-average performance. However, whether you are admitted depends on a number of factors: your A-level average, the number of applicants at the respective university, how many applicants accept their place and more. If you don't get in straight away, don't despair and keep trying. Your options for studying medicine are far from exhausted. Take a look at our website to discover other ways to study medicine.

Even if you had good grades in science at school, the HamNat is a challenge: the processing time is tight, there are often traps and no aids are permitted. With intensive preparation tailored to the HamNat topics, you can improve your performance.

The number of participants usually fluctuates between +/- 300 and 2000.

If you are really ill, you should of course concentrate on your health and take the test at another time.

Otherwise, it's almost always worth taking the HamNat: even if you don't have a good feeling, haven't prepared well enough or are tired on the day of the test. Because with every repetition you gain knowledge, self-confidence and routine.

Be aware of your progress and consciously think about what you can do before the test day, not about new topics.

Plan your journey so that no train strikes or traffic jams can upset you.

Stick to the information on your invitation and be on time.

Think about what makes you feel confident beforehand - for example, a playlist, a note with things you are proud of, a power outfit or a person who accompanies you. Reward yourself afterwards, no matter how you feel, because you have achieved something challenging, learnt a lot and can be proud of yourself!

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