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CILS (Certificazione di Italiano come Lingua Straniera)


is a certification of Italian-language abilities for non-native speakers. It is useful to those who study Italian, who work and study within an Italian context, and to those who want to evaluate their knowledge of Italian.

All foreigners and all Italian citizens living abroad can take the CILS examination. There are no limits in terms of age and it is not necessary to have any qualifications before completing the examination. Each participant may enter the exam in his level-stage, it is not necessary to complete lower-level stages in advance.

There are six different proficiency levels; these are aimed at the certification system of CILS according to the guidelines in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Basic User (CILS A1 and CILS A2)
The examination at these levels takes about 2 hours.

Independent User (CILS Uno – B1 and CILS Due – B2)
The examination for B1 takes about 3 hours and for B2 about four hours. Foreign students who have the certificate CILS B2 can apply at an Italian university without previously pass a language test of their knowledge of Italian.

Proficient User (CILS Tre – C1 and CILS Quattro – C2)
The examination for C1 takes about 5 hours and for C2 about 5 hours and 30 minutes.

The exams consist of a written and an oral part. There are the following five competencies in each independent examination parts checked:

– Listening

– Reading comprehension

– Analysis of communication structures

– Writing

– Oral Expression

The written and oral examinations will be held on the same day. In order to obtain the CILS certificate, a minimum score must be achieved in all parts of the exam. Each of the five sections is worth 20 points, and in each section it is necessary to score at least 11 points. The highest total score possible is 100 points, and the lowest passing score is 55 points. Candidates must obtain at least the minimum score in each section to be awarded the CILS. If a candidate obtains the minimum score in only some sections, then the candidate may take subsequent exams in those sections in which he or she had not obtained the minimum score. The sections of the exam that have been passed are valid for one year from the date of the first exam.

We recommend you to prepare yourself for the CILS-Exam. You have the possibility to participate a language course in Italy specifically made to train you for the CILS-Exam.

You can participate in an Italian language course, specifically made for the preparation for CILS-Exam with the following TANDEM schools in Italy:

Torre di Babele in Rome: www.torredibabele.com

Istituto Venezia in Venice: www.istitutovenezia.com

Centro Machiavelli in Florence: www.centromachiavelli.com

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