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TOLC-MED Test structure and syllabus

TOLC-MED test structure

The test structure to access Medicine and Surgery, Dentistry, and dental Prosthetics study courses (for the academic year 2023/2024) as defined by the Ministerial Decree No. 1107 dated 24-9-2022 is the following:


Reading comprehension, Knowledge acquired during your studies 7 15 minutes
Biology 15 25 minutes
Chemistry and Physics 15 25 minutes
Mathematics and Reasoning 13 25 minutes
50 90 minutes


The TOLC-MED score result is calculated from an unequalised score assigned according to the following criteria:

  • 1 point for each correct answer
  • -0.25 points for each incorrect answer
  • 0 points for each answer not given

The score will be equalised by adding a test equalisation coefficient, as described in theAnnex 2 of the Ministerial Decree, to calculate the final test score.


TOLC-MED syllabus

Reading skills and knowledge acquired during your studies

Reading comprehension in Italian for a variety of different texts and communicative purposes constitutes a cross-skill since all questions will be written in Italian including through a symbolic language.
The following skills will also be specifically tested:

  • understanding abstract, uncommon or specialised vocabulary in real contexts
  • identifying the cohesion and consistency in texts
  • extracting and inferring specific information from the text.

These skills will be tested with short texts taken from scientific essays, classic and contemporary fiction, newspapers and generalist or specialised magazines.

Skills acquired in previous studies and knowledge on general culture topics or contemporary discussion topics will also be tested from short texts of various types and topics. In particular, the questions will try to ascertain:

  • the ability to locate relevant historical and cultural phenomena in space and time by orienting oneself in represented space and time
  • knowledge of the main national and international institutions
  • understanding events in the fields of law, economics and citizenship.



  • The chemistry of living beings Water and its characteristics, hydrophilic and hydrophobic substances Chemical composition, structure and function of the main biological molecules.
    Carbohydrates: monosaccharides or simple sugars (glucose, fructose, ribose and deoxyribose); disaccharides (sucrose and lactose), and polysaccharides (glycogen, starch, and cellulose).
    Lipids (fatty acids, triglycerides, phospholipids, and cholesterol).
    Proteins (amino acids, polypeptide chains, primary, secondary tertiary and quaternary structure).
    Nucleic acids (nucleotides, DNA, and RNA)
  • Cell structure Prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells. Eukaryotic cell structure.
    General characteristics and basic functions of plasma membrane, nucleus, ribosomes, endomembrane system (endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, and lysosomes), mitochondria, and cytoskeleton.
    Differences between animal and plant eukaryotic cells: cell wall, chloroplasts and other plastids, and vacuoles.
    References to the evolution of eukaryotic cells: endosymbiontic theory
  • Fundamentals of genetics Mendelian genetics. Chromosome structure in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Genome definition. Encoding of genetic information in DNA and RNA molecules. Genes and the genetic code. Replication, transcription, translation and generalities on the regulation of gene expression.
    Human genetics: mono- and poly-factorial character transmission; autosomal and X-chromosome-related inherited diseases. Heredity and environment.
  • Mitosis and meiosis Gametogenesis, fertilisation and early developmental stages Cell division in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Mitosis and meiosis, cytokeresis and cell cycle. Gametogenesis and fertilisation. Early stages of fertilised egg development (segmentation and gastrulation)
  • Anatomy and physiology of animals and humans Hierarchy of multi-cellular organisation: tissues, organs, systems and apparatuses. Structure and functions of the four main tissues (epithelial, connective, muscular and nervous).
    Structure and function of the main human systems and apparatuses: integumentary, muscular, skeletal, digestive, respiratory, circulatory, excretory, reproductive, and nervous systems. Homeostasis
  • Bioenergetics Energy flows and biological meaning of photosynthesis, respiration, glycolysis, and fermentation.
    The energy currency of cells: ATP Catabolism and anabolism Autotrophic and heterotrophic metabolism. Enzymatic catalysis Energy content of major foods.
  • Elements of biotechnology Traditional biotechnology Innovative biotechnology (recombinant DNA technology). Applications of biotechnology in the medical field. Biotechnology for agriculture and the environment
  • Elements of biodiversity and evolution Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya distinguishing characteristics References to the characteristics of viruses.
    Evolution mechanisms: mutation, genetic variability, natural selection, adaptation; speciation and extinction
  • Elements of ecology Interactions between organisms and between organisms and the environment, at different levels of the biological hierarchy (individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems). Autotrophic trophic chains/primary producers and heterotrophic trophic chains/secondary producers – consumers).
    Biotic interactions: differences between competition, predation, parasitism, mutualism and commensalism



  • Macroscopic properties of matter Particle model of matter on a macroscopic scale and the states of matter. Macroscopic properties of gases, liquids and solids and physical transformations (kinetic theory, fixed points, and phase transitions). Homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures and techniques for separating mixtures. Fundamental laws of chemistry (Lavoisier, Proust, Dalton, and Gay-Lussac) and Avogadro’s number Ideal gas laws (Boyle, Charles, and Gay-Lussac)
  • Microscopic properties of matter and the composition of substances Particle model of matter on a microscopic scale: Dalton’s atomic model. Elements, simple substances, and compound substances. Molecules, ions, and chemical formulae Atomic mass and relative atomic mass (Ar), relative molecular mass (Mr)
    Mendeleev’s periodic table of elements: periods and groups. Atomic models and quantum numbers. Electronic configuration of atoms and periodic properties
  • The chemical bond and intermolecular forces  ionic, covalent and metallic bond. Electronegativity Chemical bonds: Lewis model, VSEPR model and molecular geometries. Oxidation number Intermolecular forces and hydrogen bonding
  • Stoichiometry of chemical reactions Balancing reaction patterns. Definition of mole and Avogadro’s constant. Conversion of mass quantities to moles. Relationship between the number of moles (chemical quantity) and mass in reaction patterns
  • Chemical reactions Exothermic and endothermic reactions. Chemical equilibrium. Reaction speed and factors influencing reaction speed
  • Compounds Properties and nomenclature of compounds. Nomenclature of substances and compounds (IUPAC and traditional). Properties of the main inorganic compounds. Properties of metals
  • Properties of solutions Conductivity, colligative properties, and solubility. Units of measure and calculations on concentration (mol dm-3, g dm-3 percentage composition)
  • Acid-base and redox reactions Definition of acids and bases. Common acids and bases. Strength of acids and bases and definition of pH Acid-base reactions and pH indicators. Definition of hydrolysis and buffer solution. Oxidisation and reduction. Identification of oxidant and reductant in a simple redox chemical transformation or reaction scheme. Balancing simple redox reaction patterns
  • Organic chemistry. Origins and characteristics of hydrocarbons. Alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, and cycloalkanes Benzene and aromatic compounds. Carbon hybridisation.
    Organic compounds: structure and nomenclature Isomeria, relationship between structure and properties. Alcohols, aldehydes, ketones and carboxylic acids Amines and amino acids
  • Applied chemistry Chemical transformations in everyday life. Reading of commercial product labels (beverages, food, drugs, and chemicals). Main environmental issues (acid rain, greenhouse effect, and pollution). Safety Standards



  • Physical quantities and their measurement Fundamental and derived physical quantities International System of Units. Multiples, submultiples, and scientific notation. Scalar quantities and vector quantities
    Vectors and operations on vectors: sum, scalar product, and vector product
  • Kinematics Motion description. Average and instantaneous speed and acceleration Uniform and uniformly accelerated rectilinear motion. Motion in a plane
    Uniform circular motion: angular velocity and centripetal acceleration. Harmonic motion: frequency and period
  • Dynamics Forces as interactions between bodies. Forces as applied vectors The principle of inertia. Mass and the 2nd principle of dynamics
    Examples of forces: weight force, elastic force, static and dynamic friction
    Action and reaction: the 3rd principle of dynamics Impulse and momentum Principle of conservation of momentum. Momentum of a force and angular momentum Work and kinetic energy. Conservative forces and potential energy Conservation of mechanical energy principle. Power Practical units of energy and power
  • Fluid mechanics Density and compressibility of fluids
    Gases and liquids Hydrostatics: pressure and Pascal, Stevin and Archimedes principles. Unit of measurement of pressure in common use
    Fluid dynamics: flow, flow rate and continuity equation
    Ideal fluids and Bernoulli’s equation Viscous forces in real fluids
  • Thermodynamics Equilibrium, temperature, and thermometers. Heat and calorimetry. Propagation of heat Heat capacity and specific heat. Phase transitions and latent heat Laws of perfect gases First and second principles of thermodynamics
  • Electrostatics, electrical circuits and elements of electromagnetism. Forces between electric charges and Coulomb’s law Electric field and potential. Electric fields in materials and dielectric constant. Capacitance and capacitors. Equivalent capacitance of capacitors in series and parallel. Electromotive force generators Potential difference, current, resistance and Ohm’s law. Equivalent resistance of resistors in series and parallel. Joule effect and power dissipation. Magnetic field and permanent magnets. Magnetic field generated by an electric current. Force acting on a charge and electric currents in a magnetic field
  • Optics Geometric optics: reflection and refraction. Law of Lenses Image formation Interference and diffraction phenomena.
    Microscopes: magnification and resolving power of a lens
    Spectrum of electromagnetic radiation: from radio waves to X-rays


Mathematics and reasoning

  • Numbers Addition and multiplication operations between integer numbers, fractions, and decimal numbers. Sorting Properties of operations and ordering. Subtraction and division Rational numbers. Representation of numbers in different forms (decimal, fractional, percentage, scientific positional notation,…) and on a line Real numbers. Division with remainder between integers. Divisors and multiples of an integer; greatest common divisor (MCD) and smallest common multiple (mcm) of two or more positive integers. Integer power elevation of a number and properties of powers. Positive integer root of a positive number. Power with rational exponent of a positive number. Estimates and approximations. Calculation and transformation of expressions
  • Algebra Literal expressions: manipulation and evaluation. Solution and “set of solutions” of equations, inequality, system of equations and/or inequalities. Equations and inequalities of the first and second degree. Systems of equations and inequalities
  • Geometry Main figures in a plane and in space (segments, straight lines, planes, angles, triangles, quadrilaterals, circumferences, parallelepipeds, prisms, pyramids, cylinders, cones, and spheres): properties and their graphic representations Pythagoras’ Theorem Properties of similar triangles. Elementary language of geometric transformations (symmetries, rotations, translations, and similarities). Measurement of an angle in sexagesimal degrees and in radians Sine, cosine and tangent of an angle, obtained as ratios of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Perimeter and area of principal plane figures Volume of elementary solids Calculation of area and volume by sum and difference of figures. Cartesian coordinates in a plane and description of subsets of a plane using coordinates Midpoint of a segment. Slope of a segment and equation of a line. Equations of parallel lines and lines perpendicular to a given line Intersection of lines and representation of solutions of a system of first degree equations. Distance between two points and equation of a circle with assigned centre and radius
  • Functions and graphs Language and notations for functions Graph of a function. Composition of functions. Existence and uniqueness of solutions of equations of type f(x)=a, invertible functions and inverse function.
    Characteristic properties, graph and behaviour of the following families of functions of a real variable: power functions and root functions; polynomial functions of first and second degree; functions of the type x↦1/(ax+b) with a and b assigned constants; absolute value function; exponential functions and logarithm functions in different bases; goniometric functions. Equations and inequalities expressed by functions, e.g. f(x)=g(x), f(x)>a
  • Combinatorics and probability Representation and counting of finite sets. Disjointed events Independent events. Probability of the event union of disjointed events. Probability of the intersection of independent events. Description of events in simple situations (tossing a coin, rolling a dice, drawing from a container, etc.).Tree Diagrams Conditional probability
  • Averages and variability Qualitative and quantitative variables (discrete and continuous) Absolute and relative frequency. Representations of distributions (tables, bar graphs, pie charts, histograms, etc.). Mean, median and mode
  • Understanding and representing Understanding, also contextually, texts that use languages and different representations. Depending on the situation and goals, using different representations of the same object. Understanding elementary terms such as: element, belongs, subset, union, and intersection
  • Reasoning Determining whether in a certain situation a statement is true or false, given certain premises. Denying a given statement. Understanding and using elementary terms and phrases such as: and, or, not, for each, all, none, some, at least one, if… then…, necessary condition, sufficient condition, necessary and sufficient condition
  • Modelling, problem solving. Formulating a situation or a problem in mathematical terms. Solving a problem, adopting strategies, combining different types of knowledge and skills, making logical deductions and calculations.