TOLC PSI structure and syllabus
The TOLC-PSI consists of 50 questions divided into 5 sections. The sections are: Reading comprehension, Basic mathematics, Verbal reasoning, Numeric reasoning and Biology.
|SECTIONS||NUMBER OF QUESTIONS||TIME ALLOTTED|
|READING COMPREHENSION (2 EXTRACTS)||10 QUESTIONS||20 MINUTES|
|BASIC MATHEMATICS||10 QUESTIONS||20 MINUTES|
|VERBAL REASONING||10 QUESTIONS||25 MINUTES|
|NUMERICAL REASONING||10 QUESTIONS||20 MINUTES|
|BIOLOGY||10 QUESTIONS||15 MINUTES|
|TOTAL||50 QUESTIONS||100 MINUTES|
|ENGLISH||30 QUESTIONS||15 MINUTED|
|TOTAL INCLUDING ENGLISH||80 QUESTIONS||115 MINUTES
Syllabus of the knowledge required
The syllabi were created by a working team composed by academic professors and researchers who overtime have worked on the access to the Undergraduate degrees in Psychological Science.
The knowledge required to tackle this test is specified in the sillabi. The knowledge is inteded responsing and conscious connected to the fuctional skills and to the problem solving attitude. The capability to recognize and set up problems, selecting the appropriate information, identifying the most proper tools and, if it is necessary, disposing and displaying the data and the cases is mainly the interdisciplinary capability shared by all the subjects mentioned in the syllabi.
The syllabi purposly give only essential references as the aim of the test is to ensure a overall assessment of the partecipant skills. If, in a certain section, the test will give an unsatisfactory result, the partecipant is required to carry out specific activities aimed at revealing gaps more precisely and identifying the appropriate study strategies
The use of calculators of any kind is not permitted during the test; however, this does not mean that it is not important to know how to use calculators. In many situations of university study and work, it may be appropriate to use pocket calculators, spreadsheets, geometry software and specific software for numerical and symbolic calculations or for statistics. This entry test does not, therefore, exhaust the spectrum of skills and competencies required of the high school partecipant, and therefore candidates are discouraged from limiting their test preparation to syllabi content alone.
The questions in the Reading Comprehesion section are meant to test the language profeciency regarding the comprehension and in the relation of different types of use. The extracts can be an essay, a journalistic or scientific text. The questions, on and from them, will test the basic grammatic competencies (morpholigical and syntactic), the possession of a sufficiently wide-ranging vocabulary, the inferetial skills, the ability in understanding hierarchical relationships and establishing formal and semantic relationships among its component parts, as well as sensitivity to decoding the implicit and the presupposed. Non-fiction and journalistic texts may concern phenomena, events, and problems that arise from the study of the humanities and social sciences (e.g., history and philosophical thought) and in current events.
The questions in this section will cover the following topics from the Basic Maths programs typically taught in high school.
Sets and main set operations (union, intersection, difference, complement and Cartesian product).
Numeric sets and their properties, simple operations, sorting and comparison. Absolute value. Prime numbers, decomposition into prime factors. Greatest common divisor and least common multiple. Powers and roots.
Basic Algebra. Algebraic expressions. Operations with monomials and polynomials, remarkable products, decomposition of a polynomial into factors
Equations and inequalities:
First degree equations and inequalities. Notions on second degree equations and inequalities and on systems of linear equations.
Definition of function. Qualitative graphs of elementary functions. Fundamental properties of functions: monotone, limited, periodic. Invertible functions and reverse function. Notion on the following topics: Domain, image and counter-image of an element; function composition; exponential and logarithm.
Most common plane figures and their fundamental properties. Pythagorean theorem. Properties of similar triangles. Criteria for the congruence of triangles. Perimeter and area of the main plane figures (triangles, quadrilateral, regular polygons and the circle). Incidence, parallelism and perpendicularity between straight lines in a plane.
Cartesian coordinates in the plane. Distance between two points and midpoint of a segment. The equation of straight lines. Angular coefficient. Equation of a straight line given one point and the angular coefficient. Equation of a straight line given two points. Conditions of parallelism and perpendicularity. Straight, parallel and coincident lines.
Verbal reasoning (or “logic”) questions intend to highlight the ability to solve problems that require the partecipants to connect data and notions in non immediate ways and to give logical reasonings of some complexity. For example, the partecipant may be asked to determine if a certain statement, or its negation, is a logical consequence of other statements, in which the terms -if, -then, -all, -none, -some, -at least, -one are used.
The proposed problems may also require to identify a rule or a principle and apply it to the problem solution. The questions want to examine: the ability by which, starting from certain conditions, a correct outcome is obtained and the wrong ones are rejected; the capacity to identify a rule or a priciple and apply it to a problem.
The questions may regard the concept of a necessary and sufficient condition. In a given circumastance and according certain data, it could be asked to establish if a statement is true or false.
The questions in this sections are meant to test the candidates’ ttitude in the understanding and processing the numerical, symbolic and formal information rather than check the knowledge in Mathematics achieved in high school.
The questions intend to assess the competences of making calculations for getting the correct answer, deduct a solution in numerical expressions, identify a rule explaining a specific progression of numbers, understanding the relationships among numbers, reasoning with numbers, organizing numerical relationships.
Generally, these questions assess the candidate’s ability to manage numerical concepts and to reason with numbers.
The questions in this section will cover the following topics from the Biology programs typically taught in high school.
Chemical composition of living organisms
Bioelements. Properties of water. Molecules of biological interest: glucides, lipids, amino acids and nucleotides. Structure and functions of macromolecules of biological interest: polysaccharides, nucleic acids and proteins.
Cellular organization. Morpho-functional characteristics of prokaryotic cells. Main cellular constituents: cell membranes, cytoplasm, mitochondria, ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, lysosomes, nucleus.
Cell cycle, reproduction, heredity
Cell reproduction: mitosis and meiosis. Chromosome complement. Reproduction and heredity. Mendelian genetics. Classical genetics: chromosomal theory of inheritance; sexual chromosomes. Molecular genetics: DNA and genes; genetic code and its translation; The chromosome of eukaryotes. Human genetics: transmission of mono- and polygenic traits; hereditary diseases. Mutation.
Basics of human anatomy and physiology
Human orgnism: function of support or movement, nutrion, breathing, circulation, excretion; immune, endocrine and nervous functions. The central nervous system: structural and functional basis.