The Cisia TOLC Online Test: general information

All the information you need to apply for first cycle degree programmes for which the TOLC is an eligibility requirement for application or for sitting the knowledge test.
TOLC (versione 2016)
What is the TOLC and how to register for the test.

What is the TOLC?

The CISIA Online Test (TOLC) is an orientation tool for the assessment of initial abilities, available on a computerised platform and managed by the Consortium of Inter-University Integrated Access Systems (CISIA). It is an individual test, different for each student and consists of questions that are automatically and randomly selected from the CISIA TOLC database by a software developed and managed by CISIA. All generated TOLCs of the same type are of the same level of difficulty. For further details please consult the CISIA website


Which degree programmes require the TOLC?

Restricted access degree programmes for which a TOLC is required

Non-restricted access degree programmes for which a TOLC is required

Please note: TOLCs do not apply to single cycle degrees in Medicine and Surgery, Dentistry and Dental Prosthetics, Architecture, Construction Engineering-Architecture, Veterinary Medicine, which are disciplined by a national call published by the Ministry.
Please consult calls and enrolment procedures for single cycle degrees which foresee a national level admission test for the academic year 2017/2018 on degree programmes websites.

How many TOLCs are there?

There are two: the TOLC-I, the TOLC-E and the TOLC-F.

Yhe three tests are different in terms of number, type and difficulty of questions as well as time available to answer them.

  • TOLC-I consists of 40 questions (20 maths questions, 5 reasoning questions, 10 science questions, 5 verbal comprehension questions), and total duration is 1 hour 45 minutes
  • TOLC-I consists of 36 questions (13 reasoning questions, 10 text comprehension questions, 13 maths questions), and total duration is 1 hour 30 minutes
  • TOLC-F consists of 50 questions (15 biology questions , 15 chemistry questions, 7 maths questions, 7 physics questions, 6 reasoning questions), and total duration is 1 hour 12 minutes.

Tests also include an English section consisting of 30 questions (15 minutes of additional test time).
This test is compulsory for some degree programmes and the result is assessed as a language entrance proficiency test.
For information on the assessment of the English section see the admission notice for the course that interests you.
In any event, this section constitutes a 'self-evaluation' for the student and will make it possible for him/her to apply for other universities with an English section.

What must I do to register to sit a TOLC?

You must access the CISIA website and enrol for the TOLC required for the degree programme you are interested in:

  • TOLC-I
  • TOLC-E
  • TOLC-F

The TOLC enrolment fee is €30, payable by MAV (payment by notice), or credit card.

Students who already have a high school diploma or who are attending the fourth or fifth year of upper secondary school.

TOLCs taken from 1st January 2016 are valid for applications submitted for 2017/18.

Where and how can I take the TOLC?

You may take the TOLC at any University which is part of CISIA

The TOLC model is followed by several schools and degree programmes of the University of Bologna, based in Bologna or the Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna and Rimini campuses. 
Browse the calendar for TOLC-I.
Browse the calendar for TOLC-E.
The calendar for TOLC-F will be available soon. 

There are additional session venues and dates for TOLC-I,  TOLC-E and TOLC-F at other universities.

You can take the TOLC at any university and submit applications for any degree programmes requiring the TOLC (I, E or F): therefore you do not necessarily have to sit the TOLC at the same university or campus where your degree programme of interest is based.  

The complete calendar of TOLC sessions scheduled at the University of Bologna and other universities is available on relative pages on the CISIA website.

Can I retake the TOLC?

TOLC resits are permitted, however candidates may not retake the exam more than once per month (calendar month).

In all cases, for access to degree programmes at the University of Bologna, the result of the last TOLC taken before midnight of the day before the deadline for applications specified in the call shall be considered.

What to do after the TOLC - For restricted access degree programmes

  1. Carefully read the call for applications of the selected degree programme. You may submit an application for access to any degree programme at the University of Bologna requiring the TOLC I, E or F), in compliance with procedures and terms specified in the call for applications. You must enrol through Studenti Online and pay an enrolment fee of €30. 
    You may submit your degree programme application before taking the TOLC, however you must take the exam no later than midnight of the day before the deadline specified in the degree programme call for applicationsTOLCs taken from 1st January 2016 are valid for applications submitted for 2017/18. 
    Selection procedures do not foresee further tests or exams and candidates' positions on lists are based on their TOLC score, weighed in compliance with criteria which shall be specified in the call.  
  2. Wait for the selection results. 
    For candidates to be included on lists, they must submit their application before the deadline specified in respective calls and, for the first two selections, obtain at least the minimum score required for the call.
    On the date specified in the call a list of candidates who have applied for the selection shall be published, which shall take into account TOLC scores, weighed in compliance with criteria specified in the call.  Lists shall be published in candidates' personal profiles on Studenti Online.  
  3. Degree programme enrolment. 
    If you have achieved a satisfactory placement on the list:
     - you can enrol for the degree programme, in compliance with procedures and deadlines specified by the call, through Studenti Online
    If you fail to achieve a satisfactory position on the list or fail to enrol before deadlines specified in the call:   
     - you can apply for the next selection of the same degree programme (if foreseen) without having to retake the TOLC or having to pay the fee once more;
     - (only for selection in September) you may indicate your interest in the recovery of list places by clicking on the button on Studenti Online and waiting for the outcome. 
    If you fail to achieve a satisfactory position on the list after recovery procedures:   
    you can not enrol for the degree programme unless there are still places available and the School has decided to organise an additional selection. In such cases you are invited to carefully read the terms specified in the call.

What to do after the TOLC - For non-restricted access degree programmes

You can enrol for the degree programme only after taking the TOLC and achieving a satisfactory score through Studenti Online, and before doing so you are invited to check procedures and deadlines in the notice published on the page of the your degree programme of interest.

Please consult specific information on procedures and deadlines in the "enrolment" section of the Degree Programme website. 

Should you fail to achieve minimum TOLC scores required for degree programme entry you can still enrol, however you shall be assigned an Additional Learning Requirement (OFA).

The assignment of Additional Learning Requirements is based on the score achieved in the most recent TOLC taken.

TOLCs taken from 1st January 2016 are valid for applications submitted for 2017/18.

I'm a disabled candidate, or I have a specific learning disorder, are compensatory measures foreseen during the test?

Disabled candidates and candidates with SLDs may submit a specific request, based on their difficulties, for required tools and/or eventual additional time as well as further measures to guarantee equal opportunities when taking the test.
Disabled candidates include: those who are visually impaired, totally blind or with a residual vision that is lower than one tenth for both eyes; deaf candidates, candidates who are deaf from birth or pre-lingually deaf; candidates with a civil disability percentage equal to or greater than 66%; candidates with disability certification pursuant to law n. 104/92. Suitable certification, issued by competent health authorities, must be submitted for the aforementioned conditions. Candidates with SLDs include those who have been diagnosed with: dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dysorthographia, as per specific clinical certification issued within the past three years, or after their 18th birthday, by the National Health Service, by specialists or accredited structures, if foreseen by Regions.
Certifications attesting learning disabilities or special needs, or disorders proven by specialist documentation, confirming the learning difficulties, will also be evaluated.
Additionally, candidates may submit certifications attesting a disorder that may determine learning inability, even if temporary, or a health condition that may justify specific requirements when taking the test.
Candidates are required to report said conditions upon submitting their application on the CISIA site in order to submit the diagnosis and specify any requirements for test adaptations. Candidates shall then be contacted by the Service for Students with Special Needs and SLD (, tel. 0512095943).

Are there any TOLC sessions specifically for non-EU students living abroad?

The University of Bologna has organised an additional TOLC session date (for TOLC-I, TOLC-E and TOLC-F) for non-EU students living abroad. 

This session shall only be open to non-EU students living abroad and who did not attend any other scheduled TOLC sessions.

The TOLC session reserved for non-EU students living abroad will take place on 8 September 2017.

Please contact the International Desk if you have any doubts.