Which Italian Courses Should I Take for CILS?

Planning to take the CILS exam? This article provides insights into the best Italian courses to prepare you for exam success.

The CILS (Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language) assesses the level of linguistic-communicative competence in Italian as a second language.

Issued by the Università per Stranieri di Siena, it is one of the most sought-after linguistic certifications. 

Internationally recognised for its reliability and quality, the CILS certificate is often required by Italian universities for admission, employers, and academic institutions as evidence of your language proficiency.

Regardless of your reason for obtaining the CILS, successfully passing the relevant exam is a prerequisite.

This article takes a look at the best Italian courses for CILS preparation, ensuring you are well-equipped to pass the test. 

In particular, we will take a look at:

Understanding the Various Levels of CILS Certification.

The CILS is divided into six separate levels of certification (A1-A2-B1-B2-C1-C2), based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). These levels correspond to varying degrees of linguistic-communicative competence.

It is important to note that each CILS level is self-contained and comprehensive. This means that to achieve a higher-level certification, you don’t have to have passed the lower levels.

Crucially, CILS Certification tests are not tied to specific qualifications or types of language courses. Consequently, you have the flexibility to choose your preferred method of preparation. 

Let's explore the various CILS levels:

  1. CILS A1is a basic level certifying elementary knowledge of the Italian language. It requires the ability to interact in simple situations.
  2. CILS A2 demonstrates the ability to understand and communicate in everyday situations.
  3. CILS B1 corresponds to intermediate competence. It demonstrates the ability to communicate effectively in everyday situations, both orally and in writing.
  4. CILS B2 attests to solid language competence and demands the ability to communicate confidently in various situations, including professional and academic contexts.
  5. CILS C1 represents advanced competence, certifying the ability to communicate fluently and appropriately in complex contexts.
  6. CILS C2 is the highest level of certification, indicating a complete command of the Italian language. 

Ensuring you’re well-prepared  to sit the CILS exam is an incredibly useful way to consolidate your language skills and reach the required proficiency level for the certification you aim to achieve.


Which Italian courses are suitable for CILS?

When choosing an Italian course for CILS Certification, it's essential to distinguish between exam preparation courses and those designed to achieve a specific language proficiency level.

Let's elaborate. At Centro Studi Italiani, we not only function as a Certification Centre but also as an examination centre at our Genoa location.

In practice, this means that our in-house teachers also serve as examiners

To break it down, the instructors who guide you through our CILS exam preparation course, tailored to your proficiency level, are also qualified examiners.

This comprehensive approach includes eight hours of classes, spread over two sessions of four hours each, with a specific and focused agenda. Additionally, we conduct mock exams

to familiarise you with the exam methods and structure.

It's important to note that the course has a singular objective: equipping you with the necessary tools to confidently sit the CILS exam. It assumes that you've already reached the level you aim to certify.

If this is not the case, we recommend first enrolling in a course that can bring you up to the required level. Once you've attained the necessary proficiency, you can seamlessly transition onto the exam preparation course.

Since all individual and group courses at our locations (Urbania, Genoa, and Milan) can be tailored to help you reach your desired CILS level, this article specifically highlights courses for the three most sought-after levels: B1, B2, and C1.


Requirements for the CILS B1 Level

At the CILS B1 level, certification indicates your capability to comprehend the key aspects of straightforward linguistic content related to familiar subjects encountered regularly in your work, schooling, free time, and more.

You possess the skills to navigate various situations while travelling in Italy and can produce uncomplicated written texts on topics that are either familiar or interesting to you. Your abilities extend to describing experiences, events, dreams, hopes, ambitions, and providing concise reasons and explanations for opinions and projects.

In essence, the CILS B1 level attests to your effective communication skills, encompassing both oral and written proficiency in everyday situations, coupled with a sound understanding of fundamental Italian grammar.


Steps to Take to Achieve CILS B1 Level

If you haven't yet achieved a B1 level, we recommend enrolling in our BENVENUTO!Introductory Group Italian Language Course at our Genoa location.

This course comprises language and conversation sessions totalling 12 hours per week, distributed over four hours each day.

The morning schedule is designed to allow you the flexibility to use your afternoons for private sessions, exploring the local area, and applying your newly acquired skills in practical scenarios.

This educational journey will enable you to understand, speak, read, and write in Italian.

Our intentionally small class sizes ensure that every student gets the attention they require. 

You'll join a group of peers starting at a similar level, all aiming to reach CILS B1 proficiency. 

The course duration spans from one to 48 weeks, accommodating your time availability and learning requirements. Upon completion, you'll sit a final exam to officially certify your language proficiency level.

This process provides the assurance that you've attained the B1 level and, subsequently, prepares you to enrol on the preparatory course for the CILS exam, if you so desire.


Requirements for the CILS B2 Level

The CILS B2 level stands out as one of the most sought-after certifications, serving as the minimum competence level for entry into the Italian university system.

Achieving CILS B2 level is a significant milestone for those aspiring to master Italian as a foreign language. 

This proficiency level demands advanced language skills that enable effective understanding and communication across a broad spectrum of contexts.

At the CILS B2 level, you demonstrate the ability to navigate complex readings and engage in in-depth discussions on specific subjects. Your verbal interaction with native speakers flows with fluency and spontaneity, requiring minimal effort from both parties.

Additionally, the production of written texts is a crucial skill assessed at the CILS B2 level. 

If, after considering these expectations, you’re uncertain about one or more of the required skills, we recommend studying for the Italian language B2 exam before sitting the test.


Haven't Reached CILS B2 Level Yet?

If you're looking for a tailored Italian course to reach the CILS B2 level, we recommend our IMPARIAMO!Intensive Group Italian Language Course at our Genoa location.

This course encompasses language and conversation sessions totalling 20 hours per week, distributed over four hours each day. It's the ideal choice if you want to participate in a group Italian language course that delivers excellent results within a few weeks

Considering you'll have your afternoons free, we suggest complementing the group course with private sessions targeting specific areas for improvement. 

It's worth noting that we provide top-notch online Italian language courses for all our group and individual courses if attending in person isn't feasible. 

Through our dedicated online platform, you'll access digital teaching materials tailored to CILS B2. 

Our highly qualified instructors will guide you through the various language skills required at this level, equipping you with the resources and strategies essential for a successful achievement.


Requirements for the CILS C1 Level

Attaining the CILS C1 level signifies a remarkable accomplishment for those aspiring to excel in the Italian language as non-native speakers. 

Situated in the top band of the CEFR, the CILS C1 level is recognised as an advanced competence level

If you've reached the CILS C1 level, it demonstrates your advanced command of language skills, allowing you to express yourself fluently and spontaneously across a range of contexts.

You've developed the capability to thoroughly comprehend and interpret complex texts, using the language flexibly and appropriately for social, academic, and professional purposes.

Moreover, you possess the ability to produce clear, well-structured, and articulated texts on intricate topics. 


Steps to take if you haven’t yet reached the CILS C1 level

While it's important to emphasise that all our courses can be tailored for specific proficiency levels, for the CILS C1, we recommend our 1 to 1 – Individual Italian Language Course, available at any of our locations. 

This option offers exceptional flexibility, allowing you to choose the course duration and structure according to your preferences. Our instructors will create a personalised learning path aimed at attaining the CILS C1, equipping you with all the essential tools and resources.

The 60-minute lessons are meticulously tailored to your objectives and arranged to accommodate your schedule.


Where to prepare for the CILS Exam

Having covered what CILS entails, its levels, and suitable courses for exclusive exam preparation or skill attainment, choosing the right school for your learning journey is crucial if you intend to meet your level objectives efficiently. 

For a preparatory course genuinely aligned with your level goals, it's essential to be extremely discerning in selecting the school entrusted with your learning journey.

Otherwise, there's a risk of both your time and financial investment going to waste. 

Choosing Centro Studi Italiani offers the advantage of studying Italian in Italy with professionals, providing you with a singular point of contact where you can:

  1. Study to meet the standards of your CILS certification level;
  2. Enrol in the exam preparation course;
  3. Sit the exam.

As mentioned, Centro Studi Italiani functions as a certification and CILS examination centre.

Additionally, you have the flexibility to prepare with us and choose to sit the exam at one of the centres nationwide. In this instance, you will still benefit from preparing with qualified teacher-examiners, receiving instruction tailored to your level, and aligning with the specific types of CILS exams.



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