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What is the CILS exam like?

Oct 29, 2021

#Certificados CILS

What is the CILS exam like?

The CILS exam certifies the level of Italian as a foreign language of the students who take the test. With the CILS you can certify levels A2, A1, B1, B2, C1, and C2 proposed by the Common European Framework of Reference of the Council of Europe. The CILS certificate is issued by the University of Foreigners of Siena and is one of the most requested and valued to graduate to the level of Italian as a foreign language.

Who can take the exam?

Everyone, foreigners, and Italians living abroad can register with CILS. There are no conditions to meet in order to take the test. Only for the highest levels, it will be required to have previously approved a lower level.

What is the exam?

The CILS exam consists of five individual tests. Depending on the level, the tests will have a different duration. These tests change content depending on the level at which you are going to examine yourself. The difficulty increases exponentially in the higher levels, for which you must demonstrate a high command of the language if you want to pass them.

The tests are as follows:

Auditory comprehension

In this section, a series of questions referring to an audio that will be heard in advance must be answered in writing.

Analysis of the communication structure

This test measures the level of grammar and vocabulary that you have acquired.

Reading comprehension

On this occasion, you will have to read a text and respond in writing to questions related to that text, so they will check that you have understood its content well.


Here you must demonstrate your fluency when writing in Italian. It is important that you know how to express yourself well and clearly and that you use a good variety of vocabulary.

Oral expression

On a topic chosen from among those proposed, you will have to carry out a short monologue and have a conversation, which demonstrates your skill with the handling of the Italian language.

Obtaining the certificate

To get your CILS certificate you must reach at least 11 points in each test that makes up the exam, the tests are evaluated on a total of 20 points. If you fail to achieve the appropriate number of points in any test, you will be able to repeat only that part and not the entire exam again. To do this, you will have up to 18 months to be able to repeat and pass the test, as it is the time that partial passes are saved.

The CILS test takes place twice throughout the year, in June and in December. It is important that you prepare it well if you want to obtain your certificate. Without a doubt, a great opportunity to certify your level of Italian with a recognized and celebrated exam.


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