'Maturità' exams set to start

Half a million young Italians in rite of passage

'Maturità' exams set to start

Rome, June 20 - 'Maturità'' school-leaving exams, a rite of passage for every Italian generation, are set to start Wednesday with some 500,000 young Italians sitting the first exam, Italian language. As many as 70% of the 'maturandi' will spend a sleepless night tonight, said in a survey Tuesday. Some 96.3% of candidates were admitted to the maturità this year, with Sardinia having the lowest rate, 94%, and Basilicata the highest, 98.5%. Top TV chef Alessandro Borghese has sent his recommendations in the education ministry's #NoPanic campaign, which aims to shepherd the candidates along the way with video advice, graphics and posts on the main requirements and dates. "It's important," says the Michelin-starred chef in a clip that ends a string of videos including linguist Luca Serianni and astronaut Samantha - "to eat well and at regular times, and to eat both carbohydrates and proteins, because you need both. "You need them to get your brain to work". Education Minister Valeria Fedeli said that with the #NoPanic campaign "we hope to have accompanied the months preceding the maturità letting them feel the ministry as a closer institution". Speaking at a conference in Bergamo, Fedeli wished the students and teachers well and said: "You get to the end of the school year after they all did so much for our kids, so that's why I'm thanking them above all". She told the young men and women to "keep calm". The drill will be a tough one for this year's half million candidates. After Italian on June 21, the second written test will take place the day afterwards, with different subjects for different schools. On June 26, after a weekend drawing breath, there will be the infamous 'big quiz'. The fourth written test will be on June 27, followed by the nerve-racking oral tests. The maturita' is a test of nerve that may be painful at the time but is mostly fondly remembered, at least by those who cope despite their jitters. It has been celebrated in literature and film, most notably the 2006 teen comedy Notte Prima Degli Esami (Night Before The Exams), set in 1989, written and directed by Fausto Brizzi, and starring Nicolas Vaporidis in a starmaking role, Cristiana Capotondi and Girogio Faletti.

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