CILS: Italian Language Certification -  Exam and Preparatory Courses

CILS (Certificazione di Italiano come Lingua Straniera)

Our Italian language school is an authorized examination center for the CILS certificate (Certificazione di Italiano come Lingua Straniera), offered by the Università per Stranieri di Siena (Siena University for Foreigners). The CILS certificate attests to proficiency in the Italian language and is recognized by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Widely acknowledged in all fields, this certificate is essential to job searches in Italy or the international labor market. The CILS certificate is recognized by the Italian Ministry of Education, and successful completion of the Livello CILS Due B2 exam exempts international students from the language proficiency admissions test for Italian university.

  • Preparatory courses for CILS in Rome
  • What is CILS?
  • Who is the certificate for?
  • CILS levels
  • Structure of the exam
  • CILS examination centers
  • Exam dates
  • Exam fees
  • Enrollment

Preparatory course for CILS exam

We offer two types of courses providing intensive preparation for the various examination levels, taught by instructors specialized in this area. All courses are taught at the facilities of our italian language school in Rome.

Group intensive preparatory course for CILS

What is CILS?

CILS,  a certificate of Italian as a second language,  measures and assesses the level of competence a student has reached in Italian language. It is useful for those whose work and study put them in daily contact with Italy, or simply for those who wish to evaluate their competence in the Italian language.

Awarded by the prestigious Università per Stranieri di Siena, the certificate is legally recognized as an official certification of linguistic competence. The Foreign Ministry, through various cultural institutions abroad, coordinates examination centers worldwide for those wishing to take the CILS exam.

Who is the certificate for?

All foreigners and any Italian citizens living abroad can take the CILS examination. There are no limits with regard to age and it is not necessary to hold any prior degree or qualification. Nor is it necessary to have first successfully completed a CILS examination at a lower level before proceeding to a higher level. Each candidate is encouraged to prepare for the CILS examination in the way that best suits their needs.

CILS levels

The certification system of CILS follows the guidelines laid out in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: the European standard for evaluating linguistic competence. There are six recognized levels of competence, each of which is autonomous and complete, and adapted to the social, professional and intellectual needs of different students.

CILS A1 and CILS A2 are aimed at those who are taking their first steps in the process of learning Italian. The A1 level indicates that the student has just begun to engage with Italian as a second language, while the A2 level indicates a slightly more involved engagement and increased competencies still in formation. Neither level assumes an autonomous communicative ability. Preparation for both A1 and A2 of the CILS certification process is in modular format, differentiated according to the needs and circumstances of the student. There are modules aimed at the children of immigrants who live in Italy, modules aimed at the adults whose first language is markedly different from Italian (Japanese, Chinese, etc.) and for children of emigrants from Italy who now live abroad. The examination at these levels lasts approximately two hours.

Livello Uno (First Level), which corresponds to the B1 level as indicated in the European Framework, assesses the user's basic level of competence in using Italian with autonomy in authentic everyday contexts. The examination lasts approximately three hours.

Livello Due (Second Level) corresponds to B2 of the Framework and is an intermediate level. Individuals at this level of competence  demonstrate the ability to use the basics of the language in a wide variety of contexts and situations. At this level, users are capable of using Italian to communicate effectively while staying in Italy, be it for study, work or pleasure. Possession of the certificate at this level allows students from outside the EU to register for university courses without having  to undertake further assessment of their Italian. The exam lasts about four hours.

Livello Tre (Third Level) is equal to C1 in the European Framework and represents  superior compentences in using the Italian language. The user at this level is able to use Italian effectively in a much wider range of contexts, including atypical situations, formal contexts, in dealing with public and commercial agencies. The examination lasts about five hours.

Livello Quattro (Fourth Level), corresponding to C2 in Framework, is an advanced level approaching "native speaker". The user has a mastery of Italian in all formal and informal situations and the capacity to effectively use the language in professional contexts. The examination lasts about five and half hours. 

European Framework Levels

CILS Level

Basic User





Independent User


CILS Uno - B1


CILS Due - B2

Proficient User


CILS Tre - C1


CILS Quattro - C2


Examination structure

To obtain a CILS certificate it is necessary to pass the relevant examination. This consists of a listening and reading test, an analysis of the structures of communication, and writing  and speaking tests. All examination papers are produced and evaluated at the Certification Center of the Università per stranieri di Siena according to the guidelines laid down by the EU.

CILS examination centers

Torre di Babele Italian language school is one of a number of recognised centers located world-wide.

Examinations are held twice a year in June and December, on the same dates in all examination centers.

Next examination dates

December 1. 2016

June 8. 2017

December 5. 2017

CILS examination fees


Full exam fee

Fee per section


€ 40

€ 12


€ 40

€ 12

Uno - B1

€ 90

€ 20

Due - B2

€ 105

€ 23

Tre - C1

€ 135

€ 30

Quattro - C2

€ 160

€ 35


Please print the following form, complete in block letters and return it as a pdf file, or  by fax or mail.

CILS Exam enrollment form

For further information please contact us