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 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, those who have reached a B1 language level have 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, deal with most of the situations on a trip to Italy, describe personal experiences, events, or aspirations, and 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
- 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, one task’s specifics and lengths may change from one type of exam to another.
What are the most recognized Italian language certifications?
- 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.
The CILS certification
I would say that the CILS certification is most recognized worldwide as it is 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 citizenship applicants the possibility 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.
The CILS B1 for Citizenship differs from the regular B1 because 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 and native labguge. If you already have an intermediate level, it might take you a month to handle how the exam works.
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 exam structure. Knowing beforehand in what order the tasks are presented, how much time you will be allowed for every task, and the specific requirements of each task will make the difference of the exam day.
My suggestion is to get as many exam samples as you can. You can find them online on the certification or in the shape of a textbook on Amazon. Just dial your accreditation and your level.
Helpful textbook for your CILS B1 exam preparation
My favorite textbooks for preparing my students to the B1 citizenship level (providing they have already reached an intermediate level of the language)
Dates for the CILS B1 exam for 2021, in Italy
(Due to COVID-19 the 2021 exam dates have been subjected to many changes, please contact the CILS center of your choice for further information )