The CILS certificate

The FZHB and the language centre at Oldenburg University offer the CILS certificate (Certificazione di competenza di italiano come lingua straniera / Certificate for Italian as a Foreign Language) as part of a collaboration with Siena University for Foreigners. 

What is CILS?

A certificate stating the degree of communicative competence in Italian as a foreign language. CILS certificates are awarded by the University of Siena and officially recognised under an agreement with the Italian Foreign Ministry. The certificates are also recognised internationally. 

Who may take the CILS exam?

Italian nationals living abroad (descendants of Italian emigrants) and non-Italians. There is no age limit and no requirement to have a particular academic qualification. 

For whom is CILS useful?

CILS is useful for anyone wanting to have verification of their Italian language competence, be it for study or professional or personal reasons. Each CILS level provides proof of a specific communicative competence which can be used in different situations. To give some examples: level two (B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference) is the entry requirement for the Italian university system; level four (C2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference) qualifies the holder to take the exam to become an interpreter or translator in the diplomatic service. Many Italian companies with international operations or which want to employ foreign staff, or foreign companies which do business with Italian ones require their staff to have a CILS certificate.

What is the format of the exam?

The exam has several parts which evaluate specific language competences. Candidates can take all or just one of the individual parts: listening comprehension, reading comprehension, written and oral expression, grammar and vocabulary.
There are six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2. For levels A1 and A2 it is possible to take the exam for adults (adulti all'estero) or the exam for young people (ragazzi all'estero, 12 - 15 Jahre). 

Levels A1 and A2: €50,
Level B1: €100                                                                                                                                        
Level B2: €110,
Level C1: €135,
Level C2: €160. 
Each skill costs between €15 and €35. 

All exam questions are compiled and evaluated by the Centro Certificazione dell'Università per Stranieri di Siena. The examination questions are not linked to specific methods or types of language course. Each candidate can prepare for the exam individually as they see fit or take one of the courses offered by the FZHB and the language centre at Oldenburg University. These courses are open to students registered at the university and also to guest students. The FZHB's independent language learning centre at Bremen University (GW2 A 3070) contains past examination papers and other multimedia materials for candidates to use. 

Advice can be obtained from:

The next CILS examination will take place on December 2, 2021.

Registration deadline: October 20, 2021.