What is the IMAT exam?

Updated on 17/01/2024 in
What Is The IMAT Exam

The IMAT exam is a means of ranking for admission in Italian medical universities for English-taught medicine and dentistry courses. IMAT stands for International Medical Admissions Test. 

Nowadays, 13 Italian universities use this test to determine the best candidates from all around the world. It is a pen-and-paper exam that includes multiple-choice questions from science subjects, such as Biology, Chemistry, Maths, and Physics. It also assesses your culture and general knowledge, and logical reasoning. You have 100 minutes to answer 60 questions divided into 4 sections.

The exam takes place in different cities around the world in the so-called “test centres”. This eases the applicants to choose where to take the exam instead of worrying about travelling to Italy. The IMAT exam takes place in September, but you need to check your test centre’s start time. Each centre has a different time and date for the exam. You can find all the centres and their locations below.

IMAT Exam Structure

Section 1:

Logical reasoning and general knowledge: It consists of 22 questions - 12 General knowledge and 10 logical questions

Section 2:

Biology: Includes 18 multiple-choice Biology questions 

Section 3

Chemistry: 12 multiple-choice Chemistry questions

Section 4:

Physics and Maths: 8 questions in total for both subjects.

List of Italian medical universities that require IMAT exam:

  • University of Bari
  • University of Bologna
  • University of Campania ‘Luigi Vanvitelli’
  • University of Messina
  • University of Milan
  • University of Milan-Bicocca
  • University of Naples Federico II
  • University of Pavia
  • University of Rome ‘Sapienza’
  • University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’
  • University of Siena
  • University of Turin
  • University of Padova

Is IMAT difficult?

We are not going to lie to you. It is difficult. But there is a reason for that. The competition here is fierce - thousands of applicants worldwide are competing for only around 500 total seats available in all Italian medical schools. The IMAT examination aims to select the finest candidates who deserve the privilege to study medicine in English in Italy.

Where are the IMAT test centres?

Around ⅓ of the centres are in different Italian cities like Milan, Naples, Rome, Pavia, etc. Don’t worry - there’s no need to fly halfway around the world to take the exam in Italy. 

There are over 20 more locations on 4 continents where you can sit the exam. It’s very possible that there's a test centre in your country or even your city. Here you can find a list of all the IMAT exam centres.

BrazilSao Paolo
GermanyHamburg, Munich
Hong KongHong Kong
IsraelTel Aviv
ItalyBari, Bologna, Messina, Milan, Naples, Pavia, Padova, Rome, Siena, Turin
Saudi ArabiaJeddah
South AfricaJohannesburg
United KingdomLondon
USANew York

How do I register for IMAT?

Registering for the IMAT exam is a piece of cake. All you need is a computer and an Internet connection. The registration process will take you a few minutes to fill the form. You need to choose at least 1 out of the 13 Italian universities where you’d like to study. Then, select which centre you want to take the exam in. What’s left to do is to prepare for it. 

What should I study for IMAT?

As you already know, IMAT is meant to evaluate and select the best applicants for medical schools in Italy. That’s why science subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Maths are mandatory. You will need to apply this knowledge for sections 2-4.

But what is more specific for section 1 is that it’s not all about what you have learned in high school. Here, it is about your critical thinking, logical reasoning, and analytical skills. This section will evaluate your general knowledge and your ability to follow logical steps and solve problems.

If you have already chosen the Italian university of your dreams, but it requires an IMAT examination, cheer up! Medlink Students will supply you for FREE with a preparational IMAT online course and IMAT exam samples. Also, we will help you register in the most suitable test centre. We will stay by your side until you feel fully prepared to take the test.

How long should I study for the IMAT?

As long and as much as possible. The IMAT examination consists of different sections not only from the science subjects, but you will also need logical reasoning skills and general knowledge. What you have studied in secondary school is deficient even to pass the exam. You not only want to pass it, but you also want to score competitive results. 

Are there any IMAT preparation courses? 

You can find many online preparatory courses for the exam as well as IMAT past papers to practice. If you are strong-willed and determined to pass the exam, don’t rely only on something or someone else to prepare you. Our advice is to find as many materials and resources as possible, structure them, and organise your studying schedule. 

What is a good IMAT score?

As high as possible! Even though the official minimum score is 20, for your best, you should aim to achieve the maximum points of 90. As we earlier mentioned, the applicants are thousands from all over the globe, and the seats are only a few hundred. A minimal score for acceptance won’t be competitive enough to gain you entry.

Each correct answer gives you 1.5 points, BUT every wrong answer will reduce your score by 0.4.  If you are not sure about the right answer, you better leave it empty. A not answered question gives you 0 points but also doesn’t reduce your total score.

How much does IMAT cost?

The regular entry fee for the exam is €130, but that's your least worry. The IMAT examination is expensive from another perspective. We mean focus, hard work, and willingness to study medicine in Italy. It takes you a lot of time and effort to prepare for it. But the end justifies the means. A few months of studying cannot be compared to the honour of being accepted into one of the most prestigious European universities.

Article written by Dr Sam El Mais
Dr Sam El Mais, MD, MSc, BSc, graduated from a renowned medical school in Romania in 2019. He uses his professional knowledge and personal experience to guide students on crucial aspects such as university selection, admissions processes, and cultural adjustments.
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