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Eminent Member Donator

The scrolling system for the results of the exam can be quite confusing. In this article I want to establish all of the facts about the scrolling system and debunk some commonly misunderstood ideas.

This article, while still touching on Non-EU issues, will focus on scrolling for EU candidates. You can check out this article for a better grasp on the Non-EU side of things.

First of all lets understand what each status means when it comes to the ranking.

IMAT Scrolling - explanation of terms used to give candidates awaiting exam feedback

This is the “official” list of definitions that are given when the EU ranking is first released. However certain things still need clarification.

When you are ASSIGNED to a university, it means that you have been given an offer from your highest possible choice university. It means that there are no longer any seats available in any of your higher choice universities as candidates above you in the ranking have all accepted and enrolled into their offer.

Let’s try to clarify this with an example: If I have Sapienza as my 1st choice, and Tor Vergata as my 2nd choice, but every single seat available for Sapienza has been enrolled into by higher ranking candidates, I become ASSIGNED to Tor Vergata. As long as there is still 1 seat remaining in Sapienza that hasn’t been filled by an enrolled student, I will not become assigned to Tor Vergata. I will remain BOOKED into Tor Vergata, and remain BOOKED for subsequent rounds until every single Sapienza seat is filled. This follows through all the way down to your last choice; if there are no remaining seats in one of your higher choice universities you become assigned even if it was your 8th or 9th choice.

When you are BOOKED into a university, it means that you have received an offer from a university that isn’t your highest possible choice, but given your score the most competitive one possible. There are still unassigned seats remaining in one of your higher choice universities. Following the same example from above: Imagine my score is 45 with Sapienza as my 1st choice, and Tor Vergata as my 2nd choice. Currently the 35th candidate (of the ones who have Sapienza as a first choice) to be offered a seat has a score of 45.1, but the 20th candidate who has TV as a choice is 44.9. I am BOOKED into Tor Vergata, as my current score is competitive enough to receive an offer from Tor Vergata but only slightly below that needed for Sapienza. I now have 2 options.

1. I enrol and accept my seat that I have been BOOKED into.
2. Wait in case a candidate ranking above me who has been offered a seat in Sapienza renounces it, allowing me to receive an offer in the next round.


You can wait for weeks and even months with a BOOKED status for a seat from a higher choice university to open up. However, if you become assigned while waiting you will only have 1 week to accept your offer before you lose it to another candidate below you in the ranking.


IMAT Scrolling - Confirmation page of scrolling process   IMAT Scrolling - Confirmation page of scrolling process

If your score is not high enough to receive an offer from any of your universities this doesn’t mean you should lose hope, especially as an EU student. The scrolling for EU students continue for months (2016 scrolling lasted until March 2017) with every week a new round offering seats to new students. In 2016 there were just under 200 seats being offered to the top 200 ranking candidates, however the last person to get a seat in March of 2017 was 825th on the ranking. This means that over 600 candidates gave up their seats over a couple of months.

So why don’t Non-Eus have rounds continuing for months and months having a chance to be booked into every university they choose? The answer is because non-EU candidates are not as likely to give up their seats. Roughly 95% of Non-EU candidates accept their first choice university offer in the first round. With nobody renouncing their seats there’s no opportunity for the scrolling to take place. Which is why the 1st choice university for a Non-EU student is incredibly important. It’s not because their subsequent choices are less valid or not considered, but because not enough students renounce their seats to have multiple rounds and scrolling.

A more detailed breakdown of Non-EU scrolling can be found here.

A huge part of why so many EUs give up their seats has a massive impact from the number of Italians who sit the exam. This sounds quite strange at first but actually makes a lot of sense. The largest portion of seats given up in the EU ranking are by Italian nationals. The exam to study Medicine through ITALIAN is held one week before the exam to study through English, so consequently the rankings for the Italian exam are also released a week early. Most Italian students will sit the exam in both languages to double their chances of studying Medicine, which is a pretty good idea, however a lot would also prefer to do the course through their mother-tongue language. As the weeks go by and Italian students hold out for the possibility of a seat in the Italian course, they keep the English course as a back up. As more Italian candidates are offered seats from the Italian ranking they renounce their seats from the English ranking no longer needing to keep it as a back up. All in all this leads to a massive withdrawal of candidates from the English ranking freeing up a tonne of seats allowing the scrolling to occur the way it does.

This is one of the largest contributing factors to the EU scrolling system, giving the false impression that Non-EU candidates do not have this opportunity. Both EU and Non-EU candidates have the opportunity to receive an offer if a higher candidate refuses their seat; however it’s much more likely that an EU candidate will refuse their seat.

Other reasons seats are renounced are sometimes accidental as sad as this sounds. Every week a new round is announced with new offers being made, however to continue being considered in the ranking, you MUST confirm your interest in the ranking every week. While luckily there is a pretty simple way to express your interest in a possible seat weekly, its unfortunate that a lot of people are unaware of this. To confirm your interest in the ranking you must ensure to click the button shown below when you log in to

IMAT Scrolling EU student - confirmation page on rank registration system of university application     IMAT Scrolling EU student - confirmation page on rank registration system of university application

If you do not complete this action your status within the ranking changes to “NOT CONFIRM INTEREST”, removing you from the possibility from any subsequent offers. The new and freed up seats offered will literally skip you and instead be given to candidates ranking below you.

IMAT Scrolling EU student - student rankings with detailsIMAT Scrolling EU student - student rankings with details

The final reason why EU seats are given up that we will discuss is because students do not enrol in time. Unfortunately, the timeframe to accept your seat and enroll, find a place to live etc. etc. is quite short. You usually have less than a week of being ASSIGNED to a university to accept your offer and complete your registration, which is not a problem that Non-Eu students have to deal with to the same degree. However most universities are very understanding, so if you are able to contact the university and pay your fees they will hold your seat for you until you can show up in person.


Posted : 16/07/2020 11:17 pm
New Member Donator

Thank you very much for the clarity on this subject Serra. 

I have chosen Pavia as my 1st choice. However, after completing registration I did some more research and now think that Bologna would be a better fit for me. Because the test centres are filling up it is too late to change my first choice.

I just wanted to ask if you know if there is any chance that I will be able to get Bologna, even though Pavia is my 1st choice. 

I feel like Bologna will be higher points this year because they have reduced EU seats so my guess is probably not, but just wanted to ask




Posted : 17/07/2020 2:31 pm