As a former college study skills instructor, I was able to apply what I used to teach my students to studying for the esame di patente. My level of Italian is about an A2, but with the help of Google Translate, I learned the information I needed to pass the test. We started studying using www.patentati.it. The questions from this site were more like the ones on the actual test. Our driving school app was good; it came with a manual and lots of test questions, but they were often more difficult than the website. I was assured that the driving school questions were harder because then when you took the actual test, you would find it very easy. They were correct!
If your Italian language skills are not great, even an A2 level is not really enough, start on the patentati site about a month before starting autoscoula. By the time we started school, I could understand what the instructor was talking about during the lectures. Otherwise, you will be lost and waste money and time. I did this for at least two to three hours a day.
First, I used the section that had all the questions listed by argomento (category). I read all the true questions and took notes as I read. By not reading the false questions, I found that when I came across a questions I didn’t recognize, it was probably false. Some of my notes, for example, the types of licenses, can be found under the How to Study for the Exam tab. I took notes in English, and in my own words as much as possible. I wrote them first and typed them up formally after a few weeks. Writing notes by hand is a proven memory strategy. After I read them through and took notes, I did all the quizzes for each argomento. Some have five, some have twelve; it depends on the importance of the section. The repetition helps so much!
I started making vocabulary lists and posted them above my desk. I revised it several times; it was quick to look up when I needed a translation. Eventually, you won’t need it much as you learn more and more useless (except for the test) words. Again, my vocabulary lists, in alphabetical order, are under the How to Study tab.
On sections that were more complicated, I made flash cards and kept them in places I knew I could review them at various times throughout the day: the bathroom, next to the bed, refrigerator, etc. I also made full size paper signs with the rules and put them up around the television. It helped that my husband was studying too.
Set a date to start school. If you don’t have a date, you keep putting it off. If you study a little here and a little there, you’ll not remember anything. It has to be a month or more of concentrated study. I don’t say this to discourage you, but to help you see what it takes to be successful. I have taken the Graduate Record Exam and the Miller’s Analogies test for graduate school. I have never, ever studied so hard for a test in my entire life, and it was so worth it! I have also never felt such a sense of accomplishment as when I was told “promosso!” The other thing we noticed is that when Italians hear you passed this test, they are very impressed and share their experiences some of the crazy questions.
We still have to do the actual on road driving test, but after 40 some years of driving, I don’t anticipate any issues with it.