CILS Exam Preparation Courses, in Florence or Online

The CILS Certification of the University for Foreigners of Siena is one of the most requested Italian language certifications which attests to the degree of linguistic-communicative competence in Italian as a foreign language.

Level B1 is necessary to obtain Italian citizenship, while other levels are necessary, or highly beneficial, in the domains of both work and/or study.

Recognized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Education, the CILS Certification is the first Italian certification to have adopted the system of six levels of linguistic-communicative competence proposed by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages of the Council of Europe.

CILS Levels

CILS certificates are divided into 6 different levels of competence of which the CILS B1 Citizenship level is also referred to as a simplified B1:


The CILS A1 is designed for those who are starting their first steps in the study of the Italian language. For this level, the exam lasts two hours.

» Check your Italian language level, take our A1 Italian test


The CILS A2 is the necessary certificate for those who wish to obtain a residence permit to live in Italy. In this case, the exam also lasts two hours.

» Check your Italian language level, take our A2 Italian test

CILS Level One

“Level One” corresponds to level B1 of the European Framework and confirms a basic level of competence, among users of Italian, which is necessary for the autonomous use of the language in everyday contexts. In this case, the exam lasts three hours. The “Level One” certification allows foreign students to be admitted into the Italian high school system.

» Check your Italian language level, take our B1 Italian test

CILS B1 Citizenship

CILS B1 Citizenship corresponds to level B1 of the European Framework, but presents some slight differences compared to “Level One”.  Law n. 132, established in December 2018, requires the possession of a B1 level certificate to obtain Italian citizenship, for this reason, the University of Foreigners of Siena has developed a simplified B1 exam that does not cover language proficiency level for both academic and/or work purposes. The exam duration is the same as the classic B1, three hours.

» Check your Italian language level, take our B1 Italian test

CILS Level Two

“Level Two” – B2 of the European Framework, is considered an intermediate level, in which students are able to demonstrate their ability to use the basic foundations of the Italian language, in a wide variety of contexts and situations. The exam at this level takes about four hours. “Level Two” is required for university admission at an Italian university in Italy.

» Check your Italian language level, take our B2 Italian test

CILS Level Three

“Level Three” – C1 of the European Framework, demonstrates a high level of competence in the use of the Italian language. In confirms the ability to use Italian effectively in a much wider range of contexts. This level is highly beneficial in the workplace. This exam lasts about five hours.

» Check your Italian language level, take our C1 Italian test

CILS Level Four

“Level Four” – C2 of the European Framework, is the most advanced level. This testifies to a use of the Italian language as comparable to that of a native speaker. This certificate represents an excellent added value to an academic curriculum and can be very usable qualification in the workplace. In this case, the exam lasts about five and a half hours.

The exams consist of a listening test, a reading test, an analysis of communication structures, a written test, and an oral test.

To obtain the CILS certification, the candidate must be proficient in all areas.

NOTE: CILS certificates do not expire.

When and where to take the CILS exam

CILS exams usually occur five times a year and take place simultaneously all over the world.



  • In Italy, exams take place at the University of Siena (about an hour’s drive from our school in Florence) and other affiliated locations.
  • Abroad, exams take place at some affiliated centers and Italian Cultural Institutes. Discover the office closest to you.

Attention: In order to take the exam, it is necessary to follow strict deadlines, for example, registration must take place at least 45 days before the exam date.

How to prepare for the CILS Exams

To pass a CILS exam it is not necessary to enroll in a course with some specific contents or a set method, but it is important to be well prepared as per the competence profiles of the different levels.

For this reason, we offer (in Florence and online) a 15-minute consultation where one of our instructors can help you choose the learning path that best suits your needs in preparing for the CILS exam.

We will then help you understand if you just need a refresher or if you are still far from the level you would like to be and therefore need a more intensive course.

While preparing for a CILS exam, you will also have the opportunity to simulate an exam session using old CILS exam papers. This will help you get used to the exam, its sequence, and the amount of time provided during testing. Furthermore, your score can also be checked easily.

Online CILS Preparation

If you are looking for a highly flexible solution, online preparation is unmatched. If you are short on time, you can choose individual lessons.

If you want to take it easy and/or you are on a budget, you can choose our Europass Agile guided self-study course.

If you don’t want to give up the experience of studying together with other students from all over the world, you can choose group courses.

Finally, if you are interested in multiple solutions, you can choose to mix the various solutions (see examples below).

Timetable & Prices

Customize your study path according to your needs.

A few examples:

Pacchetto Ore Prezzo
4 private lessons + 4-week group course 16 260€
16-week group course (2 lessons of 1.5 hours per week) 48 480€
8 private lessons + 8-week group course 32 520€
20 private lessons 20 580€
Europass Agile (self-paced study course) + 8 private lessons + 8-week group course 96 600€

Note: It is not possible to attend CILS exams online.

CILS preparation in Florence

In this case, preparation is also highly customizable. It is also possible to contact one of our expert instructors for a free 15-minute consultation.

Times and prices

We have noted, over time, that the best solution is a combination of group lessons and private lessons.

Every day: Four group lessons + Two private lessons, focused on preparing for the CILS exam.

Monday to Friday.
Classes from 9.00 am to 12.20 pm and 1.10pm to 2.50 pm.
30lessons per week
6lessons per day
50minutes each lesson
Weeks Price
1 500€
2 900€

If you are not sure how many lessons you may need to reach the level you are aiming for, you can schedule a free 15-minute consultation with one of our expert instructors, contact us!

Any questions?
We are here to help.
Contact us

Details & Conditions

No enrolment fee
Courses available all year round
Courses available for all levels
Lesson duration of 50 minutes
Class size: min. 4, max. 12 students*
Free cancelation (with two week notice)
Length of courses: flexible

2022 – 2023 Starting Dates

Non-beginners → every Monday

Beginners → every two weeks

2022: 31/10, 14/11, 28/11, 12/12.

2023: Every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month

More information and details

*If the minimum number of participants is not reached, we reserve the right to transform the group course into a reduced number of individual/ semi-individual lessons (discover more).

Each course includes: evaluation of Italian knowledge level, learning material, certificate of attendance, yoga lessons twice a week at school, one coupon for learning tours, general support during the stay, wi-fi access, DVD & book loan.

Excluded: accommodation, other learning tours, and activities during the week and the weekend.

Discover our Learning Holidays, packages that comprehend courses, tours, and accommodation!

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