IMAT Books and preparation tips for 2024

Which are the best books to prepare for the IMAT?

What are the best sources for the IMAT exam?

The only solid piece of knowledge we have about IMAT 2024 so far is that Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing (CAAT) will no longer be producing the IMAT test, therefore we can only make cautious assumptions at its difficulty and the structure of its questions and wait for the Italian Ministry (MUR) to publish the Ministerial decree.

However, it’s unlikely that the syllabus will change significantly, so the preparation for the test will probably remain pretty similar to what we’ve become accustomed to over the past few years. 

Planning, theory and lots of practice are key words to a successful preparation for IMAT 2024 and for this reason choosing the best books for MAT prep is a pivotal step in your preparation.

However, navigating the numerous options can be a taxing experience, which is why we have prepared the following list of the best books and tips to help you ace the IMAT. On top of the books you can order from Amazon, we also list some free resources at the end of this article.

Logical Reasoning, Critical Thinking (Text analysis) and Problem Solving books for IMAT

This section of the IMAT test deserves to be covered separately from the other sections as it’s always been the most feared and the most diverse with regard to questions’ structure and difficulty.

It requires understanding abstract, uncommon, and specific vocabulary in real contexts, identifying elements of textual cohesion and coherence, and the ability to extract relevant information from a given text.

Though unpredictable at first glance, a clear pattern has emerged over the years in the style and the nature of the quizzes, making this section much easier to address.

In addition, this section of the IMAT has always had a variable number of questions about general knowledge.

Obviously it would be nearly impossible to be fully prepared for this last section of the test, so the best you can do is try to be up to date on the latest news and, if you’re still in high school, pay close attention to your history and literature lessons. You might take home a few points!

As for all the other subjects, we advise you to look carefully at the previous papers in order to have a better understanding of the kind of questions that might be found in IMAT 2024.

Anyway, the wording of the previous decrees regarding the content of this section has been somewhat vague and fuzzy, as this section covers a wide range of topics, but don’t panic because the following list of books will give you some clarity and help you become even more versed in your logical reasoning and critical thinking abilities.

  • Thinking Skills Coursebook (by Marc Dawes). This one remains the most recommended book throughout the years for the Critical Thinking and Logical Reasoning section. Created by Cambridge, this book provides a thorough explanation of the basics needed to tackle this section of the test. On top of a solid theoretical preparation, it contains many examples and exercises helpful to practice. If you think this section of the test is new and foreign, this book is for you. 
  • Concise Introduction to Logic (by Patrick J. Hurley and Lori Watson). This book is another valuable tool in your pocket. We advise you to focus mainly on the first 200 pages to cover the most important information on logical reasoning and critical thinking; however if you have the time and the curiosity, feel free to read the whole thing, it certainly won’t do any harm!

Don’t want to waste time until books arrive?
Instantly start learning and practicing for IMAT with our Online IMAT Course!

Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics theory books for the IMAT

The scientific part of the IMAT consists of 4 main subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics.

The biology and chemistry sections make up most of the scientific part of the IMAT (and the bulk of the whole test) and therefore must be tackled with time, patience and practice.

If you feel like your knowledge of these subjects is incomplete or you have no scientific background at all, you should consider getting the books below. You should aim to review all material at A-levels / highschool level. Practice is fundamental but can only occur if you’ve studied the theory carefully

Biology books for IMAT

Biology is possibly the most exciting subject to take on for the (hopefully) soon-to-be med student, as it is closest to the subjects that will be studied in much more detail over the course of the six years of med school. However, this section of the test is designed a little differently than the other Scientific Knowledge parts.

While Chemistry, Maths, and Physics require a good understanding of the concepts and the questions don’t vary much in topic from year to year, Biology requires a rather more detailed and diverse approach. Therefore it would probably be best to use a combination of more comprehensive books aimed at acquiring a well-rounded and thorough knowledge of the subject.

It is not essential which book you pick, as long as it fits these requirements. Here are some Biology student-recommended books for you:

  • Biology: For the IB Diploma IB course books are highly recommended for the IMAT exam.
  • Pearson Biology: A Global Approach, Global Edition highly recommended by many students, it is an exceptional tool to develop a deep understanding of biology, complete with images and exercises at the end of each chapter to check what you’ve learnt.
  • Constanzo Physiology this human physiology book will help you revise the functions of different organs and organ systems.
  • AS-level biology and A2-level biology A-level revision books offer a condensed review of most major concepts. They are a good option for the last stages of your preparation but may not be enough as a single source for your Biology preparation.

IMAT Chemistry books

As previously mentioned, A-level books offer a high-yield summary of Chemistry concepts. Use it as a review book prior to the exam or if you already have substantial knowledge of the topics.

  • CGP New Level Chemistry This chemistry book includes the theory and practice questions of all the chemistry topics you will need for the IMAT.
  • IB Chemistry Study Guide IB course books are also highly recommended for the IMAT exam.
  • If you find Chemistry particularly difficult, you might want to consider a more exhaustive resource, such as the Pearson’s Higher Level Chemistry book. This book provides a detailed introduction to chemistry, covering the syllabus of the IMAT. In addition you can find a great deal of exercises to help you check your progress.
  • Oxford IB Study guide: Chemistry for the IB Diploma is another comprehensive tool to understand basic chemistry concepts and cover the topics needed to pass the IMAT exam. 

Don’t want to waste time until books arrive?
Instantly start learning and practicing for IMAT with our Online IMAT Course!

IMAT Physics and Maths books

As for Maths and Physics, we advise you not to choose books that dive into these subjects in too much detail but rather learn the key concepts most repeated in past papers. The reason is that the questions’ topics and structure in this section have rarely changed throughout the years.

Therefore if you master several of those key concepts, with a relatively small time investment, you can get some easy points at the IMAT. Even though the number of questions in this section has varied significantly over the years (for example, going from 8 to 13 last year) and therefore, we can hardly predict what is going to happen in 2024, it is a section that can be easily tackled by understanding the recurring topics and the style of the questions.

IMAT Maths and Physics may seem like the most difficult sections for many students, which is why some even decide not to study them at all. Since they only account for a relatively small part of the test and seem like a big-time investment for little return, this is a huge mistake!

By reviewing key concepts and focusing on practicing as much as you can, you will start to look at maths and physics questions as a true possibility to boost your score. We honestly would NOT recommend the IB diploma books for this section since they’ll make you lose too much valuable time. Ideally, use these instead:

Final tip: practice, practice, practice!

As you have probably understood by now, practice really is the key to ace IMAT.

After all, it is not an oral exam where you have to defend the reasons behind your answers, but the only thing that counts is what you’ve put down on the answer sheet. You can spend months buried in Biology or Chemistry theory books but it won’t do you any good unless you take the time to put this knowledge into practice. So the more quizzes you solve, the better prepared you’ll be. This is why we recommend getting all the practice books you can (and actually using them!) and combining them, as each offers various difficulty levels.

Here are the most recommended books with practice questions for all IMAT topics.

Additional, Free resources for IMAT Preparation

Preparing for the IMAT can be hard, discouraging and lonely, which is why our last advice is to try and make the preparation for IMAT as active and fun as possible: find a study buddy, use flashcards and look for study groups to join so that you won’t be alone in this journey and you will enjoy this crazy ride.

That’s why we have crafted our IMAT Live courses, to help you ace all the IMAT section to enjoy your life as a med student in Italy!

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