International Certification CILS

The CILS exam (Certificazione di Italiano come Lingua Straniera, Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language) is a proficiency examination and an official recognition of the attained level of linguistic competence of Italian as a foreign language. It is intended for those who study Italian, or who are planning on (or are already) working or studying in Italy, or within an Italian context. As a certificate of proficiency, the exam can be taken at each of the six competency levels as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (from A1 to C2).

CILS can be recognized through different credit systems: ECTS in the European education institutions and CFU in the Italian education system. The CILS exam "CILS Due-B2" is recognized by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research. Students who have obtained CILS Due-B2 are exempt from the language test organized by Italian universities.

The Ca’ Foscari School for International Education (SIE), in agreement with the Università per Stranieri di Siena, is an accredited centre for the CILS examinations and also offers preparation for the CILS exam.

CILS Examinations

The exam can be taken at each of the six competency levels as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages:

  • CILS A1
  • CILS A2
  • CILS UNO-B1 CITTADINANZA (Italian citizenship)*

The CILS exams assess listening, reading, writing and oral skills as well as the use of Italian language (grammar and lexis in context). To obtain the CILS certification candidates must achieve the minimum score in all exam sections. If a candidate achieves the minimum score for only some of the assessed skills, the result is capitalized. The capitalized sections are valid for 18 months from the first exam and applicants only need to take the sections they didn’t pass previously in their following examination.

*The CILS UNO-B1 cittadinanza is intended for candidates who require certification for citizenship purposes. It cannot be used for other purposes (work, study etc.) and it cannot be capitalized.

Examples of previous exam papers [ITA] can be found on the Università per Stranieri di Siena website.

Dates and location

Forthcoming session:

  • 11th APRIL ONLY B1 for the Italian citizenship and B2 - ENROLLMENT OPEN

Sessions 2024:

  • 5 June - all levels
  • 17 October only B1 cittadinanza
  • 5 December - all levels

The above-mentioned sessions and levels may vary according to the number of applications and the space available

The CILS exams will take place at the Ca' Foscari University Venezia.


Level Fee* Capitalized fee for each skill repeated**
CILS A1 e A2 €40 €12
CILS UNO-B1 €90 €22
CILS UNO-B1 cittadinanza €100 not applicable
CILS DUE-B2 €105 €23
CILS TRE-C1 €135 €30
CILS QUATTRO-C2 €160 €35

*Exam fees over €77,47 require a €2 revenue stamp, which will be charged extra

**Cost for each skill that is to be repeated

Please note that SIE is not allowed to refund fees if the candidate cannot sit the exam. In extraordinary circumstances, fees can be transferred to the following session with an extra fee of €10. Extraordinary circumstances will only be granted with appropriate documentation regarding health problems, serious family problems, or the impossibility to postpone study commitments.

In order to enrol:

  1. Check and meet the deadline: 8th of March 2024
  2. Send an email with your personal details, fiscal code and the level of the exam you wish to take to
  3. Attach a copy of your valid ID document.
  4. Wait for an email from the staff with confirmation and payment details.
  5. Pay the fee and send the receipt according to the instructions contained in the email.

If you have already sat a CILS exam, when you enrol, please provide the office with your CILS matricola number. If you have lost it, please inform the staff.

Exams will only be activated if a minimum number of participants is reached.

Attention! For organisational purposes, a limit to the number of participants could be set

Candidates with special needs
If you are a candidate with disabilities, SpLDs or special needs, please contact our office in order to produce the relevant documentation when you enrol.

Results will be published on the Università per Stranieri di Siena website within 2 to 4 months, depending on the level and the number of candidates. Students can access their results through their CILS enrolment number (matricola number), and will be able to collect their certificate from the SIE office.

tel. 0412347367

CILS preparation

The SIE offers lessons to prepare students for the CILS exam at levels B1, B2, C1 and C2. The preparation consists of 4 lessons which are held by a qualified teacher who is also an official CILS examiner.

Lesson contents and outline

CILS preparation lessons are offered shortly before the exam date. They provide students with an in-depth preparation on the different skills involved in the exam. Past papers will be analysed and examined in order to highlight difficult elements. An overview of the different sections of the exam will be given to students and the main features of the test such as test tasks, item types and assessment criteria will be illustrated. Practice tests will be taken under the teacher’s supervision with and without time limits. Exam correction will help students to determine critical issues, to develop strategies and to help students to tackle the exam.    

Last update: 27/02/2024