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IMAT Test: guide to registration and preparation

On this page you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about how the IMAT test works, how to register, what to study and how to prepare to pass it.



Do you want to study Medicine in English in Italy? Single-cycle master’s degree courses in Medicine and Surgery and in Dentistry and Dental Prosthodontics are active at some public and private universities universities.

To gain access, you must first pass the IMAT test for public universities or the test provided by the private university you have chosen.

About the test

1. Where to study Medicine in English in Italy?

Here is the list of Italian Medical Schools offering courses in English, updated to 2024. Italian universities offering a degree in Medicine in English are total 20, plus 2 universities offering Dentistry in English:

  • Bari
  • Bologna
  • Cagliari
  • Campania “L. Vanvitelli” in Naples
  • Catania
  • Messina
  • Milan
  • Milan-Bicocca (Bergamo)
  • Naples Federico II
  • Padua
  • Parma (Piacenza)
  • Pavia
  • Università Politecnica delle Marche (Ancona)
  • Rome “La Sapienza”
  • Rome “La Sapienza” for Dentistry
  • Rome “Tor Vergata”
  • Siena for Dentistry
  • Turin (Orbassano)

Private Italian universities with Medicine in English include:

  • Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome and in Bolzano
  • Humanitas in Pieve Emanuele
  • Campus Bio-Medico of Rome
  • UniCamillus in Rome
  • San Raffaele Milan

2. How does Medicine in English work?

Access to Medicine and Dentistry in English in Italy is at numero programmato. This means that the number of available places is set annually by the MUR in agreement with the Regions and the universities, for both public and private institutions.

The medical test in English at public universities is unique and national. The test takes place on the same day in all universities between September and October.

Private universities organize the test themselves. The exam is not identical but similar to that of the state universities. To know the details, go to the university websites.

3. What does studying Medicine in English allow?

The main difference between Medicine in Italian and Medicine in English is that the latter course offers the opportunity to perfect the language. However, having a degree in English does not provide direct access to the profession in foreign countries such as the United States. In fact, to practice, it is necessary to pass a further exam.

4. What is IMAT?

IMAT stands for International Medical Admissions Test. The IMAT is the mandatory test for access to single-cycle master’s degree courses in Medicine and Dentistry in English at public universities, which Italian, EU, and non EU students can apply for.

The procedures for conducting the test are established by the notice published each year by the MUR.

5. Is it easier to enter Medicine in English?

Theoretically no, because the tests in Italian and in English have the same difficulty since the study program is identical. Moreover, in 2024 the tests will have the same structure.

However, the number of participants in the test for medicine in Italian exceeds 60,000 candidates while those for the IMAT test are just over 10,000.

Obviously, the available places are much fewer. Moreover, many attempt both tests and then enroll in the course in Italian if successful. Therefore, the dropout rate is higher in the IMAT rankings. This makes the IMAT test simpler compared to the one in Italian.

6. How many places are available for medicine in English?

The IMAT medical places for 2024 are:

  • 961 for EU and equivalent non EU, of which 919 for Medicine in English and 42 for Dentistry in English;
  • 453 for non EU non equivalents, of which 435 for Medicine in English and 18 for Dentistry in English.

For completeness, remember that these places must be added to the places for Medicine in English in private universities in 2024:

  • 546 places for EU and equivalent non EU plus the 425 from UniCamillus in Rome;
  • 262 places for non EU non equivalents plus the 225 from UniCamillus in Rome.

7.  How many enrolled in the IMAT 2023?

In 2023, the MUR did not communicate the number of enrollees in the IMAT test. However, we know there is always a slight decrease between registrants and actual participants.

8. How many participate in the test for Medicine in English?

The EU participants in the IMAT 2023 were just over 10,000. Among the non EU non residents, about 4,000 candidates took the test.

When and how the IMAT test takes place

9. When is the next IMAT test?

The IMAT date 2024 is 17 September. 

10. Can I use a calculator during the IMAT test?

No, it is not possible to use a calculator during the test.

11. What should I bring with me to the IMAT test?

The list of documents to bring on the day of the IMAT test is indicated in the university’s announcement. Typically, the required documents are:

  • a valid original ID document (including identity card, passport, driving license). It is preferable to present the same document used to register for the test;
  • health insurance card or tax code required by some universities to facilitate the identification process;
  • receipt of the payment of the participation fee downloadable from the portal on which registration was made;
  • registration receipt from Universitaly sent via email (not all universities require this);
  • non EU community candidates must show a residence permit or its request.
Test format

12. How is the IMAT test structured?

Unless changes are introduced with respect to 2023, the IMAT 2024 test will include 60 multiple-choice questions with 5 alternatives, of which only one is correct.

The IMAT test 2024 questions will be divided by subject in this way:

  • 4 questions on reading skills and knowledge acquired in studies
  • 5 questions on logical reasoning and problems
  • 23 questions on biology
  • 15 questions on chemistry
  • 13 questions on physics and mathematics

13. How much time do I have to complete the IMAT test?

The duration of the IMAT test is 100 minutes.

14. What are the topics of the IMAT test?

The subjects of the IMAT test are:

  • reading skills and knowledge acquired from studies
  • logical reasoning and problem-solving
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • physics and mathematics

The list of IMAT test topics is attached to the announcement published by the MUR and is also reported by the universities in their individual decrees. Read the IMAT 2023 program for more details.

Decree and registration

15. Where can I find the official decree of the IMAT test?

The IMAT decree is published in the Atti e Normativa section of the MUR website. However, as soon as the decree is online, it will also be available on the WAU IMAT website.

16. When is the IMAT announcement published?

The IMAT 2024 decree will presumably be published in the summer. In 2023, it was posted online on August 7.

The IMAT announcement indicates the general procedures for conducting the test including: structure of the test, dates, evaluation,helps and measures for candidates with disabilities, invalidity, and learning disabilities.

Instead, the specific methods of registration and formation of the ranking are indicated in the decrees published by the individual universities that are obliged to issue them within 60 days from the date of the test.

17. What is the difference between non EU candidates?

To be considered non EU equivalent candidates, you must meet one of these requirements:

  • have citizenship in a non EU country but be in possession of one of the following residence permits issued by the Italian Government for:
    • long-term residents
    • work (self-employed or investors)
    • family reasons
    • religious reasons
    • natural disaster
    • article 50 TEU residence card – Art 18.4 EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement
    • political asylum or subsidiary protection or special reasons
  • have citizenship in a non EU country but regularly reside in Italy for at least one year and possess a high school diploma obtained in Italy that gives access to the chosen course of study;
  • have citizenship in a non EU country, have obtained in Italy the educational qualification that gives access to the chosen course of study, and hold a valid residence permit for study reasons;
  • have citizenship in a non EU country, be enrolled in a course of study at an Italian university, hold a valid residence permit for study reasons, and intend to apply for transfer or passage for the next academic year;
  • have citizenship in a non EU country and be part (themselves or a parent or spouse) of the staff in service at foreign diplomatic representations and international organizations based in Italy accredited by the Italian State or the Holy See.

Non EU non equivalent candidates are citizens of a non EU country residing outside Italy or in any case not possessing the requirements to be equated with EU citizens. Even citizens of the United Kingdom residing outside Italy are considered “non EU citizens residing abroad.” For further information, visit the section of the Universitaly website dedicated to foreign students.

18. How to register for the IMAT 2024 for EU and non EU equivalent candidates?

Registration must be done online in the IMAT Universitaly section within the time window indicated in the IMAT decree, in 2023 from September 18 to 29.

After completing the registration on the site and obtaining the access credentials, it is necessary to enter the required personal information and the list of universities for which one is competing, in order of preference.

Finally, the participation fee for the IMAT test must be paid. Each university may require non EU equivalent candidates to further perfect the registration. Therefore, it is essential to read the university’s rector’s decree where the test is taken carefully.

For further details on registration, go to how to register for the IMAT.

19. How to register for the IMAT for non EU non equivalent candidates?

Non EU non-equivalent candidates wishing to enroll in the IMAT must:

  • submit a pre-registration application for the course of study they intend to enroll in through Universitaly and apply for a visa within the specified deadlines;
  • register online on the Universitaly portal within the time window specified in the announcement, entering their email address and indicating, in order of preference, the university locations for which they are competing and any possession of recognized language certifications;
  • pay the IMAT participation fee according to the modalities published on Universitaly;
  • finally, each university requires non EU non equivalent candidates to further perfect the registration. For this reason, it is essential to read the rector’s decree of the university where the test is held carefully.

For further details, read how to enroll.

20. How to apply for a visa?

Non EU candidates residing abroad and Chinese students of the Marco Polo project must apply for an entry study visa. These candidates must submit a pre-registration application for the course of study they wish to enroll in through Universitaly and request a study visa from the competent Italian diplomatic representation in time to:

  • take the IMAT (in case they also need a visa for short stays in Italy);
  • complete the registration.

21. Is a B2 level of English required for Medicine in English?

No certification is required to register for the IMAT, neither in Italian nor in English. However, a certification attesting to the knowledge of English is a preferential title in case of a tie score. See the list of language certifications valid for the IMAT.

Regarding Italian language, universities organize Italian courses for foreign students during the first year because some knowledge of Italian is essential to cope with the course program and communicate with patients during clinical internships from the second year onwards.

22. How much does the IMAT test cost?

Unless there are changes, the cost of the IMAT test for 2024 is:

  • GBP 114.00
  • EUR 130.00
  • USD 164.00

23. In which location must I take the IMAT test?

If the candidate intends to take the test for Medicine in English at an Italian location, the first preference automatically constitutes the location where the test must be taken. Candidates who want to participate in the test abroad must choose a foreign location from those available.

24. What are the IMAT locations?

The exact addresses of the IMAT locations for Medicine in English, with the indication of the classrooms, are published through a notice on the MUR website and the universities a few days before the test.

The IMAT test time in Italy is set at 12:00 PM, while the times at IMAT locations abroad vary depending on the location.

Go to the list of IMAT test centers.

How to study

25. How to prepare for the IMAT test?

To prepare well for the IMAT, the best choice is to use a mix of study tools and have an effective method. Here are some tips for passing the IMAT test in 2024:

  • print the program and for each topic decide if it needs to be reviewed, studied in depth, or learned from scratch;
  • draft a realistic program that considers commitments and habits without too many study hours. You can use the Pomodoro technique: take a 5-minute break after every 25 minutes of study with maximum concentration and after 3 study sessions take another 15-minute rest;
  • study one subject at a time;
  • alternate theory with exercises and simulations.

Among the most useful tools are:

26. Where can you practice for the IMAT test 2024?

Here’s where to practice for the IMAT test:

  • to understand your level of preparation, a test with simulation of the IMAT is available here;
  • the archive of previous years’ IMAT tests with commented answers through which to practice;
  • the WAU IMAT e-learning platform where you can find simulations of the IMAT test and study resources. Registration is free.

27. How difficult is the IMAT?

The difficulty level of the IMAT test is subjective and depends primarily on one’s preparation. Generally, it is said to be a challenging admission test for the following reasons:

  • first, because it is in English (this applies to Italian candidates);
  • it includes numerous questions, some of which are ambiguous;
  • it covers a very broad program;
  • to answer the quizzes, it is not enough to study the theory, but it is necessary to practice solving problems in mathematics, physics, and chemistry;
  • the number of places is significantly lower than the number of participants;
  • finally, one should not underestimate the typical anxiety on the day of the exam.
Scoring and rankings

28. How is the IMAT score calculated?

The IMAT score is obtained by summing the points assigned to each answer in the following way:

  • +1.5 points for each correct answer
  • -0.4 points for each wrong answer
  • 0 points for each unanswered question

For example:

Maria answered correctly to 30 questions, got 16 quizzes wrong, and did not answer 14 questions. Her final score is:

(30 x 1.5) – (16 x 0.4) = 45 – 6.4 = 38.6 points

The maximum IMAT score is 90 points.

29. What is the minimum IMAT score?

The minimum score to be eligible for inclusion in the ranking is:

  • 20 points for EU and equivalent non EU residents in Italy;
  • non EU non-residents are eligible if they achieve a score above zero.

The eligible EU and non EU equivalent candidates in 2023 were 58.4% of the total number of participants admitted to the national ranking.

30. What is a good score to pass the IMAT?

It is not possible to predict in advance what score will be sufficient to pass the IMAT. Typically, after the publication of the national anonymous ranking, predictions are made about the minimum IMAT score, the score achieved by the last candidate in a position useful for entering the ranking.

The minimum IMAT score in 2023 was approximately 46.7 points without scorrimenti, scrollings of the ranking.

The minimum IMAT score tends to drop significantly during scorrimenti due to the high number of resignations from enrollment.

31. How does the IMAT ranking work for EU and non EU equivalent candidates?

The IMAT ranking is unique and national for candidates from EU countries and non EU equivalents. To be eligible for inclusion in the ranking, EU and non EU equivalent participants must achieve at least 20 points.

Each candidate finds next to their name in the merit ranking the notation assigned, reserved, waiting, or end of places:

  • if assigned, they have 4 days to enroll;
  • if reserved, they can enroll within 4 days or wait for subsequent movements, taking care to confirm staying in the ranking within 5 days;
  • if listed as waiting or end of places, they must wait for the movements.

32. How does the IMAT ranking work for non EU non-residents?

For non European Union candidates residing abroad, the ranking is defined locally by the university. Each candidate finds next to their name the notation assigned, waiting, not eligible.

33. When is the IMAT 2024 ranking published?

The publication of the national ranking for EU and non-EU equivalents takes place in two phases:

  1. about two weeks after the test, the anonymous IMAT ranking is published, showing only the score associated with the label code;
  2. approximately a month after the test, the nominative IMAT ranking is made known. Additionally, a few days before, candidates can view their calculated score and the registration card.
  3. in the weeks that follow, scrollings occur.

In 2023, the anonymous ranking was published on October 26, while the nominative ranking was published on November 7.

Conversely, the local ranking for non-EU non equivalent candidates is usually published by the universities on the same day as the national nominative ranking.

34. Where to see the IMAT results?

The anonymous and nominative rankings for EU and non EU equivalents are published in the reserved area of the Universitaly website. To see them, you must log in with the same credentials with which you registered.

35. What are the alternatives to Medicine in English?

If you do not pass the IMAT test, you have several alternatives:

  • try to enroll in Medicine and Surgery at a private university;
  • enroll in an alternative faculty to Medicine such as Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology, Biological Sciences, Biotechnology, Pharmacy. In particular, the degree programs in Biological Sciences and Biotechnology have more subjects in common with Medicine;
  • take advantage of Article 6 to take 2 courses of the Medicine degree program in advance if allowed by your university;
  • better prepare for the IMAT test in 2025.

36. Where to find more information about the IMAT test 2024?

To stay up-to-date on the IMAT test, other useful resources include: