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Certificazioni - Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language


Certificazioni - Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language

CILS - upcoming exams:

October 22, 2020: registration CLOSED

- December 3, 2020: registration open for A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2 and B1 Citizenship levels

(details below)

The Certificates of Italian are titles attesting the degree of communication skills in Italian as a Foreign Language. Potential recipients include foreign citizens, Italian citizens residing abroad (of Italian origin), and foreign immigrants in Italy. 

No previous degree is required to take the exams.

For the administration of the exams through the Italian Culture Institutes, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has signed agreements with the following institutions:

The certification is consistent with the parameters set by the European Union's Framework of Reference for Languages.

 Università per Stranieri di
Università per Stranieri di
Università degli Studi di Roma Tre Dante Alighieri
CELI 4 CILS Tre-C1 ------ PLIDA C1          
CELI 3 CILS Due B2 ------ PLIDA B2
Level B1 Cittadinanza* All centers. Required to acquire Italian citizenship only
CELI 1 CILS A2 ------ PLIDA A2
CELI 1 CILS A1 ------ PLIDA A1

* As of December 4, 2018 (Italian law No. 132, of December 1, 2018) an adequate knowledge of the Italian language is required for obtaining Italian citizenship pursuant to art. 5 and 9 of Law 91/1992. Adequate knowledge is defined to be no less than level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
Fulfillment of this requirement is met by the acquisition of a title/certification issued by an institution of public education/educational institution or a certification issued by an authorized/recognized certifying body.


How to take the exams abroad 
Certification exams can be taken abroad. They are administered by the Italian cultural Institutes or other authorized institutions. In New York, the Italian Cultural Institute offers CILS exams (on behalf of the Università per Stranieri di Siena) twice a year - in the first half of June and in the first half of December of each year. A registration fee is required in order to take the exam.  More information are available at the Universita' per Stranieri di Siena web site.

CILS Exams at the Italian Cultural Institute in New York

- October 22, 2020 (only B1 Cittadinanza level only): registration closed.

- December 3, 2020 (all levels):

  • registration open for A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2.
  • registration for B1 Cittadinanza level is reserved to candidates who had signed up for spring and summer sessions which were then cancelled because of Covid-19.

The December session will follow the traditional format (both written and oral).

IMPORTANT: because of Covid-19 restrictions and in compliance with the University of Siena instructions, candidates in each level will take the exam in separate days and according to the following schedule:

- December 1: A1 and A2 levels

- December 2: B1 and B2 level

- December 3: B1 citizenship – reserved to students who had signed up for earlier spring and summer sessions then cancelled because of Covid-19

- December 4: C1 and C2 level,

To comply with New York State local safety regulation, and to assure the protection of everybody involved, a maximum of 5 candidates will be admitted at the same time to take the full test each day. Applications will be accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis.

 - Applicants must send a filled-out Application Form (both pages) with a photocopy of an ID (passport or driver's license). Personal data (e.g. family name, etc.) on the application form must be complete and match the I.D.

- Applicants must include a check or money order for the registration fee corresponding to the level of the exam they wish to take.     Checks or money orders should be made payable to: Istituto Italiano di Cultura. Memo: Cils Exam. The amount varies according to the level, see below at Registration fees.

- Applications materials must be sent to the Italian Cultural Institute, Attention: CILS Exam, 686 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065 and postmarked no later than October 31, 2020

- Applicants will receive an acceptance email once the registration is completed.


Exam dates in 2021:

- B1 Cittadinanza ONLY: February 25 (registration will open on November/December 2020), April 15, October 21.

- All levels A1, A2, B1, B1 Cittadinanza, B2, C1, C2: June 10 and December 2.


Important information for the day of the exam. 

The test will take place at the Italian Cultural Institute (686 Park Avenue) and you must be present in person. Specific details on how to sign up for your time slot will follow by email after the registration is completed.


After the exam.

Results are available to applicants through the Università di Siena site by keying in their "numero di matricola" and their date of birth. It is also possible to access the result by sending a written request to the Italian Cultural Institute of New York. For B1 Cittadinanza level, results will be available in about 40 days, for all other levels results will be available in 3 months.

Certificates will be sent to address written in the registration form. 


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the date and/or format of the exam may change according to either NY State, Consulate General of Italy and/or University of Siena guidelines. Registered candidates will be notified promptly IF changes occur. Additional precautions will be taken to assure the safety of everybody and will be detailed in the instruction email sent before the test.

Registration fees:

Level Fee        Fee for each proficiency **
A1 € 50 ($60.00) € 15 *($18.00)
A2 € 50 ($60.00) € 15 *($18.00)
UNO B1 Cittadinanza € 100 * ($120.00)  
UNO B1 € 100 * ($120.00) € 25 *($30.00)
DUE B2 €110 *($132.00) € 27 *($32.40)
TRE C1 €135 *($162.00) € 35 *($42.00)
QUATTRO C2     €160 *($192.00) € 35 *($42.00)

* current amount in $ according to applicable rate exchange 
** Applicable to test(s) not passed in a previous exam.

Fees are in Euro. For registration to exams administered by the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, applicants should refer to the exchange rate of 1 Euro = 1,2 USD send a check in dollars for the amount calculated on the basis of the same exchange rate. Registration fees are NOT refunded unless the session is canceled due to the lack of a sufficient number of applications. In case of serious and properly proven reason (health, family, work, study, etc.) students who were unable to take the exam may transfer the paid fee to the next session of exams.


Latest update page: October 26, 2020