CILS Exams

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Certificate of Italian as a Second Language


  • 15 February 2024 (A2 Integrazione; B1 Cittadinanza). Deadline for applications: 18 January 2024. 
  • 5 June 2024 (A1 standard/bambini/adolescenti/integrazione*; A2 standard/bambini/adolescenti/integrazione; B1 adolescenti; B1 cittadinanza; B1 standard; B2; C1; C2). Deadline for applications: 26 April 2024.
  • 17 October 2024 (A2 standard; A2 integrazione; B1 cittadinanza). Deadline for applications: 17 September 2024.
  • 5 December 2024 (A1 standard/bambini/adolescenti/integrazione*; A2 standard/bambini/adolescenti/integrazione in Italia; B1 Standard; B1 adolescenti; B1 cittadinanza; B2; C1; C2). Deadline for applications: 26 October 2024.

*A1 level exams are available only at request of the Examination Centre  


Examinations take place in official centres across the globe and these centres also deal with registration for the exams. The Department of Italian, UCC is the CILS Outreach Examination Centre for Ireland and the UK.


CILS measures and assesses the level of competence a student has reached in Italian. It is awarded by the Università per Stranieri di Siena and it is legally recognised as an official certification of linguistic communicative competence. The CILS Centre in the Università per Stranieri di Siena is an institutional member of the European Language Testing Association (EALTA) and an affiliated member of the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE). These are two associations whose aim is to promote knowledge of testing and language assessment practices in Europe. With these affiliations, the CILS Centre is committed to ensuring that all stakeholders are ethically managed in the evaluation process. In 2004, CILS A1 and A2 Certification Modules for Integration in Italy, received the European Language Label, a quality certificate that rewards the most significant and innovative projects in the field of language teaching.




The certification system of CILS follows the guidelines laid out in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment, the European initiative in evaluating linguistic competence. As such there are ten recognised levels of competence, each of which is autonomous and complete in itself.

Levels CEFR

Levels CILS


Basic learner



Modulo Bambini

Modulo Adolescenti

Modulo per l'Integrazione in Italia

Modulo Adulti




Modulo Bambini

Modulo Adolescenti

Modulo per l'Integrazione in Italia

Modulo Adulti


Independent learner



CILS UNO - B1 Adolescenti

CILS UNO - B1 Cittadinanza






Competent learner









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 attests to a competence which is still in the stage of being formed.  Both A1 and A2 of the CILS certification process are modularly structured and differentiated according to the needs 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 Livello Uno (First level), which corresponds to the B1 level as indicated in the Framework, assesses the users basic level of competence needed to use Italian with autonomy in authentic everyday contexts.The Livello Due (Second level) corresponds to B2 of the Framework and is an intermediate level. At this level, users are capable of using Italian to communicate effectively in a wide variety of contexts and situations.whilst staying in Italy, be it for reasons of study, work or pleasure. Possession of the certificate at this level allows students from outside the EU to register at university courses without having first to undertake an assessment of their Italian.The Livello Tre (Third level) is equal to C1 in the Framework. 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 bodies.The Livello Quattro (Fourth level) – C2 in the Framework – At this level the  user has a completely independent use of Italian in all formal and informal situations and the capacity to effectively use Italian in professional contexts. 



Italian citizen who reside abroad and non-Italian can take the CILS examinations. There are no limits with regards to age and it is not necessary to hold any educational qualification. Furthermore, it is not necessary to have first successfully completed a CILS examination at a lower level than that being studied for.



To obtain a CILS certificate it is necessary to pass the relevant examination. All examinations cover what are viewed as the most important elements in language acquisition: speaking, reading, written composition, analysis of structures of communication, and listening. 

All the exam papers are produced and evaluated at the Certification Centre of the Università per Stranieri di Siena according to the guidelines laid down by the EU. Certificates are granted when a student reaches a minimum score on each paper. When retaking the examination in cases where the minimum score was not achieved in all papers, candidates take only those papers where the score was insufficient. 



All applications will be made online via the UCC Shop - please click here: 

Important: To complete your application please email and with the details below:

Country of residence (if not Ireland)
Telephone number
Copy of passport


For further information regarding CILS, please contact:

Department of Italian, UCC - CILS Coordinator:  Gabriella Caponi - 

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Department of Italian


First Floor Block A West, O' Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Ireland