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What Is the IMAT Exam? – Study Medicine in English in Italy

What is the IMAT?

IMAT stands for International Medical Admission Test, it is the entrance exam for Italian public medical schools. The exam is in English as it is composed by a British company called Cambridge Assessment, visit their website to learn more information. If you wish to study medicine in Italy, in English, you must take the IMAT and generate a competitive score that will be the sole basis of your admission to the program. The score on this exam determines the success of the application. Therefore, it is crucial to obtain a high score. However, before we jump into studying, let’s first learn about the nature of the exam. 


Exam Structure:

The format of the exam is 60 multiple choice questions with 5 possible answers for all questions. The length of the exam is 100 minutes. There are no calculators, dictionaries or any other aids allowed for the exam. 



Correct answer = +1.5 points

Incorrect answer = -0.4 points

Unanswered = 0 points

Maximum = 90 points


Exam Format:

Section 1 – Logical Reasoning and General Knowledge

  • General Knowledge = 12 questions
  • Logical Reasoning = 10 questions

Section 2,3, 4 – Science 

  • Biology = 18 questions
  • Chemistry = 12 questions
  • Math/Physics = 8 questions (combined)


The general knowledge questions consist of various topics that may include history, geography, politics, economic systems, books, authors, famous philosophers, writers, etc. In a nutshell, this section of the IMAT is extremely broad and covers a multitude of cultural topics. The logical reasoning sections consist of 2 main types of questions, critical thinking and problem-solving. 

Critical thinking involves 7 different types of questions: 

  1.  Summarising the main conclusion 
  2.  Drawing a conclusion 
  3.  Identifying an assumption 
  4.  Assessing the impact of additional evidence 
  5.  Detecting reasoning errors 
  6.  Identifying parallel reasoning 
  7.  Applying principles

Problem-solving primarily consists of questions that evaluate numerical and spatial skills. 

Overall, the logical reasoning section does not require any previous knowledge in order to solve the questions. However, it is important to do plenty of practice questions to gain the skills to solve the problems with high efficiency. 


The science sections cover a wide variety of topics that are listed here. The depth of the material is equivalent to the standard high school knowledge in Italy. It is highly recommended to focus on the biology and the chemistry sections as they make up half of the exam questions. 


Exam Location: 

The IMAT is written at designated testing centers that are stationed all around the world. Currently, there are 22 testing centers in countries outside of Italy and 12 locations in Italy. All the listings for the IMAT 2020 testing center locations and their start times are mentioned here. Keep in mind, testing centers and their locations may change every year. Please plan your travel to the nearest testing location well in advance. 


Exam Date:

The IMAT is typically held in the second week of September, once per year. For example, IMAT 2021 will be held on Thursday, September 9.  


Exam Cost:

The IMAT entry fee will be paid on the universitaly website during the registration. The fees can be paid in 3 different currencies, depending on your location. Again, keep in mind that these fees are subject to change.






The registration for the IMAT typically opens at the beginning of July and lasts for about 3 weeks. In 2020, the registration opened on July 1st and ended on July 23. The entire process is done on the universitaly website after the non-EU premeds have completed the Pre-Enrollment procedure. The deadlines are strict, thus it is important to not miss the window, and plan all the arrangements well ahead of time. 

You cannot take the exam multiple times a year like the MCAT. It is only available once per year, and you cannot use your IMAT score from previous years to apply for the current application cycle.

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