The Italian Language Test for Citizenship 

Due to the amendments to the Italian law in December 2018 is now compulsory to obtain an Italian B1 language text for all the applicants to Italian Citizenship through marriage or residence.  

Anyone applying for the Dual Citizenship under these terms must prove an adequate competence of the Italian Language .

What does the B1 Italian Certification stand for?

The Italian level B1 is the third level of Italian in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), a definition of the different language levels stated by the Council of Europe.

In other words, who has reached a B1 language level has a level of Italian that is beyond the basics, but still not perfect. He or she can interact with the language on a day-to-day basis, can deal with most of the situations on a trip to Italy, can describe personal experiences, events, or aspirations, and can express his opinions briefly. 


List of grammar topics to learn to pass a test at the B1 level in Italian

A1 – A2 Italian grammar topics 

  • Present Indicative 
  • Passato Prossimo Indicative
  • Imperfetto Indicative
  • Imperative
  • Present Conditional

B1 Italian grammar topics

  • Direct and indirect pronouns
  • Double pronouns (me lo, te la..)
  • The pronouns CI and NE
  • The possessive adjectives
  • The use of the imperfect and past tense 
  • The future tense past and present,
  • The correct use of articles, and prepositions 
  • The conditional tense, past, and present
  • Indefinite adjectives (qualche, alcuni, nessuno)
  • Comparatives (più buono, più bello) 
  • Subjunctives (present and imperfect tense) 


List of the topics to learn to pass a test at the B1 level in Italian

  • Talking about your work
  • Talking about your vacations 
  • Talking about your personal life
  • Discuss your education 
  • Talk about your hobbies, like favorite music, film, sport or book
  • Talking about the environment 
  • talk about your television viewing habits and favorite programs.
  • Talking about relationships 
  • describe your education and your plans for future training.


What a B1 Italian language test consist of?

All of the B1 Italian Language Exams consist of 5 parts. 

  • A listening section 
  • A reading section
  • A writing section
  • A speaking section
  • A communication section

However, the specifics and lengths of one task or another may change from one type of exam to another. 



  • CILS – the University of Siena for foreigners
  • CELI – the University of Perugia for foreigners 
  • PLIDA – Dante Alighieri Association 
  • CERT – The University of Roma3

All of the above Certifications can be earned in Italy and Italian foreign institutions and schools worldwide.

Read more here for a detailed overview of the Italian Language Certifications. 


The CILS certification

I would say that the CILS certification is most recognized worldwide as it as the most significant number of examination centers worldwide spread, like Italian schools, universities, or other types of institutions. 

It is also easier to access prep material for the CILS certification online in the shape of courses or books.

The CILS offers the possibility for the citizenship applicants to take a specific certification tailored to their needs, the CILS B1 Cittadinanza.  


How does the CILS B1 for Citizenship differ from the regular CILS?

This exam has been specially designed for all the applicants that need to obtain the Italian Certification for Citizenship. It thus has a focus on the communicative aspects that the potential passport holder might incur in. 

The CILS B1 level for Citizenship includes a reduced number of tasks that the regular CILS B1 exam (two listening tasks, two reading tasks, one speaking task and one writing task) and takes 2 hours instead of 5. 

One thing the CILS B1 for Citizenship differs from the regular B1 is that it has to be passed in full. In fact, in the regular CILS exam, allow the applicants to retake only those parts of the exam that were not passed (e.g., listening and writing).

How much time do you need to prepare for the exam?

It all depends on your level. If you are an absolute beginner in Italian, it might take from 6 to 24 months, depending on your time commitment. If you have already an intermediate level, it might take you a month to get the handle of how the exam work. 

In both circumstances, when it comes to taking a language certification, what matters is not just the knowledge of the required grammar and vocabulary, but a good understanding of how the test is structured.

Usually, it is possible to take the exam in all the CILS centers around the world.

Test preparation material 

To pass the B1 exam successfully, you don’t just have a good command of the topics I above listed, but you need to be acquainted with the structure of the exam. Knowing beforehand in what order the tasks are presented, how much time you will be allowed for every task and what are the specific requirements of each task will make the difference of the day of the exam.

My suggestion is to get as many exam samples as you can. You can find them online on the website of the certification or in the shape of a textbook on Amazon. Just dial your accreditation and your level. 


Dates for the CILS B1 exam for 2020, in Italy.  

– April 23rd 2020

– June 4th 2020

– July 23rd 2020

– October 22nd 2020

– December 3rd