How to pass media examination?

How to pass media examination?


Third-year exams are approaching as always opens with the written test of Italian: the theme. Students will be able to choose between three different types of tracks. Here are some tips to better face this test.

After the school reform, the topic of the third grade exam has taken on a new formula, already tested last year. The MIUR has established that it will be possible to choose between three options:

  • Narrative or descriptive text
  • Argumentative text
  • Understanding and synthesis of a text, also through a request for reformulation
  • We asked Marina Gellona, writer and teacher of creative writing, some advice on how to deal with this test.


The first piece of advice, even if it seems obvious, is very important: we need to read the traces well. At least twice and calmly, so as to familiarize yourself with the proposals, overcome the initial panic and understand what is required.

Then try to think what you do best.

For example: the narrative text is linked to the ability to tell a story, the characters, the emotions. Are you good at this? Then it’s the theme for you.

The descriptive, on the other hand, requires that you bring back with your words what you see (it may be required to describe a painting) or a memory you have lived. Ideal for those who like to dwell on the details and have a good spirit of observation.

For the argumentative theme it is instead fundamental to know well the subject treated because it is required to support the pros and cons of a given topic. So to undertake this track, make sure you have a wealth of knowledge or a topic that you are passionate about.

The third track is a test substantially linked to the understanding of a piece or a poem.

There is nothing to invent here. Ideal if you like to analyze texts and do the work of paraphrasing.

So first think about what you do best, but then leave room for instinct and inspiration.


Once you’ve chosen the theme, drop a concept map with a first bunch of ideas. Then proceed with the ladder.

First, however, re-read the track: inside you will find important starting points. Furthermore, the recipient of the text is almost always specified, for example it could be specified to imagine that this work will be read in class as part of a school project, in which case the style must be simple and conversational.

Then, when you put down the ladder, take into account the connections: thunderstorms, what happens first, what happens next; logic, cause and effect; hierarchical, first the most important things, then the rest.


Now you are ready to write a first draft. After a short pause, read again to see if the links work. Then do a second reading to see if there are any spelling errors (beware of apostrophes, “cqu”, punctuation …). Finally copy in beautiful and if there is time, allow yourself a last re-reading.

Keep in mind the times. You will have three or four hours depending on what your professors decide. Here’s how to break down the work into three hours:

-10 minutes for track selection

-15 minutes for the concept map

-10 minutes for the ladder

-75 minutes for the draft

-20 minutes for re-reading and correction of the bad

-40 minutes for the beautiful copy

-10 minutes for reading the beautiful copy


Before leaving, keep some tips in mind.

Narrative theme: imagine a story, the characters and identify a protagonist. Divide the story into scenes and also put in some dialogue. Keep in mind the topic not to be explained, but that it is important to have in mind and is often suggested by the trace and allows to give coherence to the story: friendship, love, pain, war …

Descriptive theme: try to understand if the trace asks for an “objective”, informative description, or a description aimed at achieving a purpose (persuading, convincing an idea, directing a choice, expressing a personal taste). In the first case: use neutral words, in the second suggestive and freer words.

Give an order to the description: from top to bottom, from inside to outside, from the center to the periphery.

Use the five senses to tell the object to the readers. Talk about measurements, distances and sizes and also make comparisons.

Argumentative theme: express your thesis at the beginning. Bring personal arguments, facts, opinions or experiences in favor of your idea. Also mention books or films (with title and author). Get the consequences and conclusions. Use the style consistent with the recipient indicated on the track.