What is the CILS Uno B1?
The CILS Uno B1 is an official Language Certificate issued by the University for foreigners of Siena, Italy, to prove the Italian government, an Italian university institution or an employer in Italy a B1 (intermediate) level of competence in the Italian Language.
What does B1 stand for?
A B1 (according to the Common European Framework of Reference, CEFR) level of competency means that you are able to deal with the majority of the situations that may arise when you travel or live in Italy. For instance, describing events, giving opinions or plans in Italian in familiar settings.
The CILS B1 test evaluates the student competencies in listening, reading, speaking, and writing Italian at an intermediate level.
THE CILS B1 Certification will attest that you have mastered the basics of Italian and have now practical language skills for everyday use.
How much do you need to know to pass the CILS B1 test?
You should have a solid background of the fundamentals of Italian grammar and so you should have already reached a B1 level (Italian level B1 is the third level of Italian in the Common European Framework of Reference).
To successfully pass the exam, you will need to have a solid understanding of intermediate Italian grammar and vocabulary.
Specifically, the CILS B1 focuses on
- The correct use of the simple and articulated prepositions (e.g., di, dalla, sulla, etc..)
- The direct and indirect Italian pronouns (e.g. gli dico v lo dico)
- The particules ci e ne (e.g. ne parlo / ci parlo)
- The double object pronouns (e.g. me lo, te lo, glielo..)
- The use of most frequent Italian conjugations (anche se, perciò, siccome, quindi, etc..)
- How to use and differentiate the imperfetto from the passato prossimo.
- The use of the main Italian connectors (perché, poiché, quindi, etc…)
- The use of the present subjunctive in Italian
How is the CILS B1 structured?
The CILS B1 exam consists of five sections.
- Test di ascolto – listening comprehension (30 minutes)
- Test di comprensione della lettura – reading comprehension (45 minutes)
- Test di analisi delle strutture di comunicazione – grammar and vocabulary (1 hour)
- Test di produzione scritta – writing production (70 minutes)
- Test di produzione orale – speaking practise (10 minutes
The TEST DI ASCOLTO (listening part) lasts 30 minutes and consists of three short listening prompts. After listening to the audio prompts, you will complete some multiple choices questionnaires about the audios.
The TEST DI COMPRENSIONE ALLA LETTURA (reading part) consists of 3 short reading exercises with texts to read and filling the gaps exercises.
The TEST DI ANALISI DELLE STRUTTURE DI COMUNICAZIONE (grammar & vocabulary part) consists of four assignments: you will you to fill the missing parts in some short texts with the missing grammar (prepositions, verbs, articles) or vocabulary.
The TEST DI PRODUZIONE SCRITTA (writing part) lasts 70 minutes and consists of two short writing prompts: you will have to write an event concerning your life in prova 1 and you will have to write an email in prova 1. Each text should be 90-100 words long).
Example of a writing assignment for the CILS Uno – B1
- Descrivi una persona della tua famiglia. Devi scrivere da 100 a 120 parole.
- Scrivi una e-mail ad un tuo amico italiano per invitarlo a visitare la tua città. Devi scrivere da 80 a 100 parole
The TEST DI PRODUZIONE ORALE is the speaking part and will last about 10-12 minutes. Your Italian speaking exam will be recorded. The tested is divided into two short sections, and you will need to:
- briefly present yourself
- carry out a role play with the examiner based on a visual prompt (ex. complain at a restaurant, giving a piece of advice to a friend)
- describe a visual prompt – the examiner might ask you questions
How can I take the CILS Uno B1 exam?
You can take the exam virtually worldwide at any accredited Italian Language Centers in the world or in Italy.
Every year there are three sessions in Italy and two in the rest of the world.
You should sign up and pay for the exam with at least one month’s notice.
The cost of the CILS Uno B1 is around 120 euros/130 dollars. It may cost slightly more depending on your chosen center for the exam.
You should also know that…
If you pass just two sections in five, let’s say test di ascolto e di produzione orale – on your next exam you will need to complete just the other three, and the cost of the whole exam will be reduced.
Helpful prep textbooks for the CILS Uno B1 exam