Preparing for the IMAT Exam

Interested in studying at an English medical program in Italy? Beginning in 2012, the Italian Ministry of Education and the Universities and Research, MIUR, developed the IMAT exam for international students who wish to matriculate into an English medical program at an Italian medical school.  Below is how you can prepare for the IMAT exam in order apply to an English medical program in Italy.

What is on the IMAT exam?

The IMAT exam tests general knowledge, logical reasoning and scientific knowledge including biology, chemistry, and physics/mathematics.

Here are some tips to help you prepare:

  • Explore the exam content outline along with sample question types on the test here.
  • Start studying or reviewing! For the reasoning section, use either Critical Thinking Skills: developing effective analysis or Cambridge Thinking Skills (3 ed) along with A-Levels Thinking Skills papers as optional practice (available here or here). As for the sciences, just review the exam content topics from your high school/college science textbooks. Take advantage of your school’s resources and online websites like Khan Academy. Aim to score over a 45 on the IMAT to stand a chance. Competition is fierce as around 3000-6000 candidates appear in the test for around a 100 non-EU seats.
  • Begin Practice Tests. Use the 400 BMAT Practice Questions book since it is most representative of the IMAT exam questions (exclude the essay section as it is NOT on the IMAT). Alpha Test also offers a lot of English practice question books with Italian explanations that are specifically for the IMAT. These were out of stock in my turn, but I think they could have helped me boost my score of 51 point something on the test. (Essential guide, 1200 quiz, and Esercizi commentate).
  • Review old IMAT exams and go through them. The exams released on the MIUR website are so arranged that the answer is A for all questions, except for IMAT 2013 Q14, which is C (P.S. Keep changing the year digit for the exam link to get 2011-14 tests). Don’t worry though, question papers with separate answer keys are also available on the Cambridge Assessment website. It is crucial to practice all of these papers before taking the actual test itself. Also, it helps to make a note of problems that you’re struggling with, find confusing or guess on. Focus on these questions as understanding them will potentially boost your score.


  • Keep studying and practicing, reinforcing strengths and targeting weaknesses.

Registering for the Test

Register for the IMAT test on the UniversItaly website when the IMAT online application opens up. In the past, registration started in March for the test in April. But last year, the test was held in September and registration opened up in July.

Things you will need to register are:
Identification document: A passport or a permanent residence card is to be used as an ID. This ID needs to be reproduced on test day to be able to sit the test.

  • High School Results (all four years): These results need to be equated to Italian High school scores. You can use the equivalence score guide UniversItaly provides on the registration page or get your equivalence from the Italian Embassy beforehand. There is an option to add eight grade results too in case senior year high school scores are not out yet.
  • Credit, pre-paid or Debit card: A registration fee of 120 euros is to be paid online. An instant confirmation receipt will follow which you need to print and bring on test day.
  • English Proficiency Exam Results: IELTS, TOEFL of Cambridge results carried five points in 2014 when the merit was to be determined. These results were not included in 2015. But you never know for 2016.


The IMAT booking guide shared earlier has all the registration steps in more detail. Alternatively watch this video instead.

  1. Post IMAT Steps, Scores and Final Rank List (merit list)

Getting Transcripts Translated

Once the IMAT is over, visit the Italian consulate or embassy to get your high school grades, college transcripts and any other academic records equated and translated. Ideally, you want to be done with this within the two weeks before the scores are released and the rank list is posted.

Viewing Test Results

When result day arrives, use the login credentials page to see your score. If you got over a 20, you passed the IMAT and if you find you’re in the top 50 candidates, you’ve definitely made it to your first choice university or first three preference universities. (see the 2014 Ranking List as a sample). I recommend that you submit your equivalence and translated transcripts to the consulate so you can apply for your student visa.

National Rank List

Now, two separate national rank lists will be released next: a national rank list and a Non-EU rank list. Non-EU candidates need to verify their status from the university they have been selected. Visit the university’ website for the next steps. However, this process varies from each institution, so it is important to contact your institution to understand the next steps.

7. Useful Information Resources:

If you would like to learn more about the IMAT, please visit the following websites and link.

*Special thanks to MedRookie contributor rosequartz for her knowledge and advice in taking the IMAT exam.

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