The Italian Ministry of Education (MIUR) has released the official rules for the IMAT 2021 exam (International Medical Admissions Test), this decree contains all the important updates for this year’s IMAT, such as the number of reserved places in each medical school, admissions, IMAT test centers locations and all the essential information for studying Medicine in English and Dentistry in English in Italy!
If you’re planning to sit the IMAT this year and to get into a medical school then this decree is a fundamental piece of document for you.
Quick Summary and Quick jump links:
- Reserved seats for EU an non-EU Students have been updated, HUGE surprise in Pavia
- IMAT Test Centers Worldwide: One new test center added
- 2021 Admission Test structure (IMAT) and exam scores
- Minimum IMAT score threshold will be different for EU and non-EU
- Language certifications as an extra boost for corner cases (not a must)
- Candidates with disabilities and learning disabilities can get up to 30% more time
- How to Apply for IMAT online
- Content of the entrance examination for the degree course in medicine in English 2021
- New medical school was added in 2021 (see right below)
New medical school in 2021:
One of the most exciting surprises in the MEDschool community this year is the opening of the brand new international medical school in Piacenza. The program will be delivered by the University of Parma, but the location of the English – taught med course will be entirely held in Piacenza. The course offers quite a lot of available places, both Eu and Non-Eu. You can learn more about the program, and find some pictures of the campus and the hospital in our article about Piacenza.
[Warning]: The number of available places stated in the decree is provisional! Slight changes may occur, so a subsequent decree will be released confirming the available places with certainty.
This year we’ve got a significant increase in places: 89 Eu and 53 Non-Eu new spots! This is mainly due to the opening of the new medical program in Piacenza which brings a whole lot of seats to the table (100 to be exact). The other big change is the drastic increase in Eu places in Pavia. Milan and Padova, however slightly reduce their Eu spots.
Siena’s English-taught Dentistry School also increased both their Eu and Non-Eu spots.
(In brackets you can see the places available for 2020 for comparison)
Available seats for the academic year 2021 – 2022
|University||EU and non-EU citizens resident in Italy||Non-EU candidates|
|Milan (IMS) Statale||45 (+1 from 2020)||25 (+9 from 2020)|
|Napoli “Luigi Vanvitelli” (SUN)||40||40|
|Naples Federico II||15||25|
|Pavia||103 (+33 from 2020)||40|
|Rome “La Sapienza”||38||10|
|Rome “Tor Vergata”||25||10|
|Torino / Turin||70||32|
|Padova / Padua||43 (-5 from 2020)||20 (+4 from 2020)|
|Piacenza (University of Parma)||60||40|
|Siena (Dentistry)||28 (+2 from 2020)||15 (+3 from 2020)|
You can sit the IMAT either in Italy or in 22 countries worldwide. The complete list of all the test centers is published here.
The list of exam locations is quite rich, including countries like the US, the UK, India, Israel, Brazil, China, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. For European candidates, several EU countries like Germany, France, Spain, and Poland do offer one or more test centers, meaning that it’s going to be pretty easy to sit the IMAT close to you.
This year, one new test center is added in Ankara, Turkey and the test center in Hamburg is replaced with a center in Frankfurt.
In the table, we just linked there is also the starting time for the exam in each test center for every time zone. The precise classrooms addresses where the test will be held will be announced on August 30th, 2021.
IMAT Start time
|Brazil||Sao Paolo||Winner Idiomas|
|Canada||Toronto||Global Village English Centre||09:00|
|Cyprus||Nicosia||Pascal Education Ltd|
|China||Beijing||British Council Beijing|
|France||Paris||British School of Paris|
|Switzerland||Zurich||Zurich Flying Teachers|
|Spain||Madrid||British Council Madrid|
|Greece||Athens||Hellenic English Council Ltd|
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong||ITS Education Asia|
|India||New Delhi||British Council|
|Israel||Tel Aviv||Mobile Testing Solutions|
|Italy||Bari||Università degli Studi di Bari|
|Italy||Milan||Università degli Studi di Milano|
|Italy||Milan||Università degli Studi di Milano – Bicocca|
|Italy||Naples||Università di Napoli Federico II|
|Italy||Naples||Università degli Studi della Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”|
|Italy||Pavia / Bologna / Torino / Siena / Messina||Università degli Studi di Pavia; and Bologna; Torino; Siena, Messina|
|Italy||Padova||Università degli Studi di Padova|
|Italy||Rome||Università degli Studi di Roma “Sapienza”|
|Italy||Rome||Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”|
|Italy||Parma*||Università degli Studi di Parma|
|Pakistan||Lahore||British Council Lahore|
|Turkey||Ankara||British Council, Ankara|
|Saudi Arabia||Jeddah||British Council, Jeddah|
|South Africa||Johannesburg||British Council Johannesburg|
|United Arab Emirates||Dubai||British Council, Dubai|
|United Kingdom||London||Mobile testing solutions LTD|
|USA||New York||OHC New York|
As for previous years, the test will be a multiple-choice quiz with 5 options per question, lasting 100 minutes for 60 questions in total (that is roughly 1.6 minutes per question!). Each correct question will grant 1.5 points, incorrect answers will cost you 0.4 points, while no answer results in 0 points.
According to the IMAT test 2021 decree, there are no changes compared to last year’s modality and the exam will be structured as follows:
- General knowledge – 12 questions
- Logical reasoning – 10 questions
- Biology – 18 questions
- Chemistry – 12 questions
- Mathematics and Physics – 8 questions
The general knowledge section has been a hot discussion topic lately – up until 2018, it only used to contain 2 questions. It is commonly regarded by applicants as the most unpredictable section; questions revolve around a variety of topics, from recent events to history, literature, and so on. It’s not easy to prepare for these subjects, and generally, it requires lots of reading newspapers and high school textbooks.
If you want to maximize your chances of ranking very highly on the IMAT 2021 score, we at MEDschool.it have our very own online course held by expert IMAT teachers, for a fraction of the price of hard courses that are held in some parts of Italy. Check out the IMATschool website for more information on how to subscribe and what is offered!
Exam dates and enrollment deadlines:
We already published a complete step-by-step guide for how and when to enroll to IMAT. As previously established, the IMAT will be held on September 9th, 2021. Enrollment will be possible starting from June 30th, 2021 all the way to July 22nd, 2021, until 3 p.m. (GMT+2).
It sounds like there’s loads of time, right? However, if you consider all the bureaucracy involved in the application process these 3 weeks will be over before you know it! Remember to keep an eye on the calendar.
This is something that hasn’t changed again in the last few years, but it’s still worth noticing. For EU candidates, given the fact that the IMAT syllabus is based on Italian high school subjects, there is a minimum entry score for every candidate of 20 points. This means that, if you have scored less than 20 as an EU student, there is no possibility of being accepted, irrespectively of the ranking.
The same concept goes for non-EU citizens, but with quite a different threshold: it is enough to score more than 0 points (even 0.1 is enough!) in order to be eligible for admission. It might sound strange, but since there are negative points for incorrect questions there is also the possibility of getting a negative final score if you give too many wrong answers!
As for previous years, English language certifications are not required to enroll in IMAT. They do come into play in case of equal scores between two applicants, but not always!
According to the IMAT test 2021 decree, if two candidates score equally, the single scores for the different test sections will be calculated: the one who has scored higher in the General knowledge and Logical reasoning part will be ranked higher; if this score is the same, they will look at biology. If also the two biology scores are the same, then chemistry will count more, then mathematics and physics at last.
If all the scores for each section are the same, then the candidate who possesses the higher English language certification will prevail. You can see that this possibility is highly unlikely, isn’t that right?
And still, if are in possession of an English language certificate, or have studied at least one year of your high school education taught in English, you can attach your certificate/ proof of education on Universitaly while subscribing for the IMAT. You can find the full of recognized certifications here.
For this year as well, all the applications must be sent through the Universitaly website, again from June 30th, 2021 to July 22nd, 2021. When you subscribe to this website and send in your IMAT application, you will also have to point out your University choices, from the first to the last. Remember that you must also provide at this moment your email address and any English language certification you may possess.
You’re still confused about which university should be your first choice? Feel free to consult our page comparing all the Italian medical schools in English to find out which one suits you best!
Now, a few rules you definitely should keep in mind:
- For Non-EU candidates, pretty much only the first choice matters, because of all the pre-enrollment procedures (don’t know what I’m talking about? click here!)
- During this step, you must also indicate your test location
- If you wish to sit the IMAT in Italy, you will necessarily have to take the exam in your first-choice university
- Here is when you should pay the entrance fee
Feel free to read through the official regulations (including the test rules) which I’m linking here. They’re obviously in Italian, unfortunately, but we’re currently working on a translated version.
If you still don’t have the complete picture of the application procedure, make sure to visit our step-by-step application guide where you will find detailed information and important deadlines, as well as what happens after the IMAT test day.
Finally, if you need help with enrolling to Universitaly, try and watch our updated Youtube video guide from last year.
Conclusion (and a quick summary):
This is it for the IMAT test 2021 decree! A little bit further down the post, you’ll find a small recap of every new and old detail about this decree, but first, remember to subscribe to our email newsletter to remain up to date with all the news about IMAT.
We’d also love to get your feedback, so feel free to discuss with us and with other prospective and current students on our Facebook page. We hope you enjoyed reading this post, and we thank you all for the support this wonderful community is giving us.
Study well, and give it your best.
Summary of important points
- A new medical school in Piacenza (by the University of Parma)
- More seats available for Italian med schools
- The exam will be written (not computer-based)
- The format of IMAT:
- 60 questions (12 General Knowledge, 10 Logics, 18 Biology, 12 Chemistry, 8 Physics and Maths)
- 5 answer options, only one is correct; 1.5 points for a correct answer, -0.4 for wrong, 0 points for not answering
- 100 minutes exam time
- The IMAT test date is 9 September 2021
- Online Enrollment for the exam from June 30th to July 22nd 2021 (until 15:00) in one single central website for all public Universities
- EU candidates must gain at least 20 points at the IMAT, Non-EU candidates have to obtain more than 0 points.
- English Language Certificates are optional (can help in a rare case when two candidates get the same IMAT score and compete on the last position in list – which is an extreme rarity)
Rough translation of the IMAT test 2021 decree point-by-point:
Reporting the articles of the IMAT test 2021 decree in the correct order, the source being the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research:
1. For the 2021/2022 academic year, admission of students to the degree course in Medicine and Surgery in English ( from now on “the course”) is based on the result of the IMAT test.
2. In consideration of the recent measures regarding the containment and management of the epidemic emergency from COVID-19, the foreign country venues where the test is carried out must ensure the physical and social distancing between the candidates as well as performing personal and environmental hygiene measures according to the emergency strategy applicable by the country in question.
Admission Test (IMAT)
1. The entrance examination for the course will be taken by both Italian and foreign candidates.
2. It shall be organized by the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) which uses Cambridge Assessment.
3. The procedures for conducting the test are given in Appendix 1, which forms an integral part of this decree.
4. The admission test consists of 60 questions that have five response options. The candidate must identify the one correct answer, discarding the wrong, arbitrary, or less probable answers.
Based on the curriculum in Annex A, the IMAT exam will contain 12 questions of general culture, 10 of logical reasoning, 18 biology, 12 chemistry; 8 of physics and mathematics.
5. The admission test takes place on September 9, 2021, at the Italian universities, and foreign offices (see below). Registration for the test can be done from June 30th, 2021 until July 22nd, 2021 at 15:00 for all locations.
The duration of the IMAT test is 100 minutes.
On August 30, 2021, the exact addresses of the venues where the IMAT test will be held, including classroom names, will be published on the websites of the Ministry of Education and the universities.
6. The IMAT test will begin in several overseas locations as shown in the following table (the time indicates the local time).
Rankings, minimum threshold score, and evaluation of the exam
1. All EU candidates have to reach a minimum score of 20 points in order to be inserted in the ranking list.
2. For the evaluation of the test, a maximum of 90 points may be given using the following criteria:
a) +1.5 points for each correct answer;
b) -0.4 (negative) points for each wrong answer;
c) 0 points for each not answered question ;
3. Cineca will form a single national list for EU students (including foreign residents that reside in Italy) according to the procedures in Annex 2 (see below). The ranking list for extra-EU foreign residents will be defined by the universities.
4. In case of a tie between two candidates in the ranking, the following criteria apply to resolve the situation (see the original paper in Italian).
5. The condition “suitable non-winner” (idoneo non vincitore) refers only to the selection procedure of the current year: it grants you no rights regarding access to the course in the following years.
1. Testing is administered taking into account students with disabilities.
2. Candidates with a diagnosed disability can benefit during the test from compensating measures or increased available time; for this, they must make a specific request via the modalities provided in this decree.
3. The candidate must present medical certification of the disability and may obtain an increase in the available time of at most 50%; for those who have a specific learning disability, the maximum increase in available time will be 30%; if the learning disability is severe, the university may provide the student with instruments such as a non-scientific calculator or an assistant for reading the test. The disability must have been certified at most 3 years before the test or after 18 years of age.
4. Foreign students affected by disabilities must present their medical certificate with a sworn translation to either Italian or English.
Online Application procedure
The online application will be active from June 30th 2021, until July 22nd 2021 at 15:00.
During the online application, the candidate will select a university preference order. This choice cannot be changed after July 22.