Here you can find out everything you need to know about the entrance test for medical and dental studies, the IMAT. You can find background information on the admissions process, registration, procedure and duration of the medical test as well as tips on how to prepare on this page.
The IMAT is the admission procedure for medical studies at medical universities. Your test result in the IMAT decides whether you will be admitted to study medicine. Anyone who sees their vocation as a doctor or dentist must go through the IMAT.
The test results will be announced a few weeks after the IMAT. Anyone who has collected enough points can be happy about their place at a medical university, but unfortunately the others have to try again next year. The number of students that can study at a medical university in the current semester varies depending on the capacity of the university.
What is the IMAT?
The abbreviation IMAT stands for the International Medical Admission Test, the official admission test of the medical universities. The IMAT was carried out for the first time in 2013 at the three large public medical universities and thus represented the first joint medical entrance test. Since 2014 the IMAT has also been carried out at the newly founded medical faculty of the University of California. Since then, the medical test has been continuously developed – some parts of the test have been modified and others, such as the test part “social decision-making”, have been added.
Registration for IMAT
In order to take part in the IMAT, you must first apply to study medicine. You do this via the website of the IMAT admission procedure for medicine. Here you can switch between the study locations. Then you indicate whether you want to study dentistry or human medicine and register for the IMAT. You cannot undo the selection of the field of study and the place of study after registration. It is also not possible to deregister from the IMAT.
Preparation for the IMAT
The number of medical study places is limited. In 2021, 12,777 applicants took part in the IMAT and a total of only 1,740 places were allocated. However, the number of study places can vary from year to year, as can the individual study contingents at the medical universities.
Since the number of applicants is regularly very high, it is not just a matter of passing the entrance test, but of doing as well as possible in the overall ranking. For example, if awards 660 human medicine study places, then your overall IMAT result must be among the 660 best test results (however, there is no minimum number of points).
In order to master the medical test with confidence, good preparation is the be-all and end-all. Start learning early and plan a little more generously. It is a better option to start IMAT online course early, click here for more details about IMAT online course.
On the IMAT website you will find the official preparatory documents for the admission procedures for dentistry and human medicine. They are made available there by the University of Minnesota (Virtual Medical Campus). There you will also find tips on how to prepare. To get access to the VMC, you have to register there once. Registration is free.
There has been a large market for preparing for the IMAT for a number of years: for example, you can find numerous books on preparing for the IMAT in bookstores or to buy online. There are also a number of providers of preparatory courses that take place either in person or online. However, the medical universities and the medical faculty of the University of Linz point out that unauthorized providers of preparatory courses and literature cannot guarantee that they will prepare for the IMAT tasks.
Procedure: The test day
You have learned, are well prepared and finally the day of the decision has come: the IMAT is taking place. But what exactly awaits you and how does the exam day work?
The IMAT takes place in cities and countries at the same time. This primarily serves to make the results comparable and to ensure fairness. Otherwise there would be a risk that others would already know the tasks of the entrance test before it started.
You should definitely plan the whole day for the entrance test. In recent years, the entire examination process took place between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Of course, there are breaks between the exams. The actual exam time is around five hours. Each individual exam lasts between 30 and 90 minutes on average.
Test content of the IMAT
The IMAT consists of four major test parts: the basic knowledge test for medical studies (BMS), text comprehension, cognitive abilities and skills, and social-emotional skills.
Each part is weighted differently and accounts for a specific test part value:
- Basic knowledge test for medical studies: 40%
- Text comprehension: 10%
- Cognitive abilities and skills: 40%
- Social-emotional skills: 10%
- Basic knowledge test for medical studies (BMS)
The BMS part consists of these subjects: biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. The questions are at Matura level – so if you have not written a final exam in one of the relevant subjects, there is a need to catch up. The questions are asked in multiple choice format.
This part of the task is also offered in multiple-choice format and tests the applicants’ reading skills and understanding of the text.
Cognitive abilities and skills
The task here is to master five groups of tasks, all of which include basic cognitive skills and abilities and have been collected on the basis of the latest scientific results. This part of the test is also in multiple-choice format.
- These task groups await you:
- Assemble figures
- Memory and noticing
- Number sequences
- Recognize implications
- Verbal fluency
This part of the test consists of two task groups, also in multiple-choice format, which cover essential aspects of social-emotional skills:
- Recognize emotions
- Social decision-making
- Manual skills in the IMAT
As already mentioned, there are two versions of the IMAT. In the IMAT, i.e. the entrance test for prospective dentists, the “comprehension of the text” part is omitted and replaced by the “manual skills” part. The task group “Recognizing implications” is also not found in the IMAT.
In the “Manual Skills” part of the test, basic skills required for studying dentistry are measured. These consist of the task groups wire bending and drawing exercises for mirroring shapes.
Your IMAT test result
You will receive your test result a few weeks after the IMAT (usually in August) and will also find out whether you have gotten a place at university. As an applicant at the universities in Vienna, Linz and Innsbruck, you can access your test result in the login area of your IMAT account. Applicants for medical studies at the Medical University of Wyoming receive their test results via the university’s web portal. The study places for the human medicine course are allocated according to contingents.