Exploring the CILS exam and preparing for success

Are you gearing up for the CILS exam and eager to learn more about it? This article is your comprehensive guide, covering what the exam involves, how to prepare effectively, and where to equip yourself for it.

The CILS (Certificazione di Italiano come Lingua Straniera) is one of the most sought-after language certifications, verifying language and communication skills in Italian as a second language.

Issued by the Università per Stranieri di Siena, the CILS is a valuable certificate that can be highly beneficial for your career or university studies.

For instance, many of the most prestigious Italian universities require non-EU students to have a B2 certification for admission, and CILS is one such certification.

Likewise, many Italian companies, both in Italy and abroad, may require CILS as a hiring requirement.

There are various situations in which you may need a specific level of language ability formally recognised by CILS. Additionally, you might take the CILS exam to assess your Italian language proficiency for other purposes.

Whatever your motivation for sitting a CILS exam, this article will explain how the process works.

In particular, we will take a look at:

Understanding the CILS Exam

You need to sit the CILS exam to obtain certification. 

The CILS Certification system covers all six levels of language and communication proficiency (A1-A2-B1-B2-C1-C2) as indicated by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, from the lowest to the highest.

It's important to know that each level is standalone, meaning you don't need to have passed previous levels to take a higher-level CILS exam.

Each level certifies a specific degree of language ability in increasingly specific real-life contexts.

The CILS exam includes various tests, depending on the level, aimed at assessing the candidate's abilities in different real-life situations, including:

  • Listening;
  • Reading comprehension;
  • Writing;
  • Speaking;
  • The ability to handle communication structures in Italian.

To prepare for the CILS exam, you can choose the method you find most suitable, as the tests are not tied to specific language courses.

However, if you want to sit the exam well-prepared and increase your chances of success, we recommend taking a dedicated course suited to your language level.

Centro Studi Italiani can definitely help you in this regard, as our language school is a Certification Centre and exam venue.


Preparing for the CILS Exam

If you decide to enrol in a preparatory course for the CILS exam, you should choose your language school carefully.

This will prevent you from wasting time and money and will greatly improve your chances of successfully passing the exam.

As previously mentioned, Centro Studi Italiani is an exam venue and Certification Centre. 

In practice, this means that our teachers are also qualified examiners.

Exam centres often hire external examiners for exam dates.

However, having internal examiners gives our students the undeniable advantage of attending highly targeted preparatory courses for the CILS exam because our teachers are familiar with the different types of tests and exercises and have direct experience.

This means that you will have the opportunity to practice in mock exam situations, gaining familiarity with the exam's format and structure.

Our CILS exam preparation course, just like the exam itself, takes place at our Genoa school and lasts a total of eight hours spread over four hours per week, for a total duration of two weeks.


Preparing for the CILS Exam online

To meet your needs and allow you to adequately prepare for the CILS exam while respecting your commitments and schedule, we also offer a group online CILS exam preparation course.

The duration and teaching methods are the same as our in-person course, but with the added advantage of being able to attend it from the comfort of your own home through our platform.

We will provide you with all the necessary teaching materials, including textbooks, exercises, and additional resources, focused on your specific level's objectives.

In both in-person and online courses, we deliberately keep class sizes small, ensuring that you receive personalised feedback and the necessary support to tackle any knowledge gaps and successfully pass the CILS exam.

Please note that our preparatory courses are exclusively aimed at preparing for the exam.

This means that you should already have reached the required level. If that's not the case, before taking the preparation course, we can work together to determine a learning programme that will enable you to reach a specific level and then prepare for the exam.


Why you should choose Centro Studi Italiani to prepare for and sit the CILS exam

As explained earlier, Centro Studi Italiani, specifically our Genoa school, is a certification centre and CILS exam venue.

Enrolling in our preparatory course (in-person or online) means that you benefit from having just one point of reference for both your preparations and the exam.

Even if you decide to prepare with us but take the exam at a different exam centre in Italy, you will still have the opportunity to learn with qualified teacher-examiners.

This guarantees that you will be perfectly prepared, in line with your level and the types of tests you will sit during the actual exam.

Therefore, you will have the peace of mind of not being met with any unpleasant surprises or being caught off guard by unexpected tests on the day of the exam. Thanks to our mock exam sessions and the support of our teachers, you will reach the standards required for your level of CILS certification in no time!



Learn Italian

Discover our courses

Learn more about our courses, what we offer and our locations

Discover more

Recent posts