The PLIDA Italian Test 

What is the PLIDA Italian exam?

The P.L.I.D.A (Progetto Lingua Italiana Dante Alighieri) is an Italian exam created by the Italian Ministry of Education to test language proficiency at different levels in Italian. It’s intended for people who don’t live or study Italian outside the country, immigrants in Italy or those who apply for Italian Citizenship through marriage or residency. 

There are six levels of the exam: A1 (beginner), A2 (lower- intermediate), B1 (intermediate), B2 (upper-intermediate), C1 (advanced), C2 (natitve). 

The PLIDA B1 for Citizenship 

If you’re planning to take the PLIDA exam for citizenship reason, you should book the PLIDA B1. 

What’s does B1 stand for?

The level B1 is often referred to as the threshold stage, because it’s the point at which an Italian speaker moves beyond the simplest use of language usage and is able to deal with most scenarios that can happen when living or traveling in Italy.

What’s the structure of the PLIDA B1 test?

The PLIDA exam has four parts:

  1. Listening  
  2. Reading 
  3. Writing 
  4. Speaking

Tasks breakdown 

ASCOLTARE – around 30 minutes

The listening part is split into four sections. Each section lasts around between five and seven minutes. The audio input takes the form of an actor-narrated dialogue or messaged. After listening to the audio inputs, you’ll need to complete a multiple choices quiz or matching vocabulary exercises. If you’ve reached the intermediate level, all of the exercises are fairly simple and easy.

LEGGERE – around 40 minutes

The reading part is split into four sections, each one lasting. Each section includes a number of brief texts. You’ll be given multiple choice or matching exercises at the end of each text.

SCRIVERE – around 60 minutes

The writing part is split into two sections consistent of two writing prompts. The first text should be between 110 and 150 words , the second between 70 and 100 words. The first task requires you to create a brief essay based on a visual and written prompt, and the second usually involves writing an official or informal email to request information or voice your dissatisfaction with a service.

PARLARE – around 15 minutes

The speaking portion is divided into three sections. In the first section (about two minutes) you’ll be required to introduce yourself in the first section, telling us where you live, what you do for a living, and why you’re learning Italian. In the second section, you will be paired with another student and required to have a conversation about a given subject. The third and last part will be carried out by students individually and the student will be involved in a conversation with the examiner . Both the second and third part last around 3-4 minutes, plus an additional three minutes reserved for gathering ideas and preparing for the conversations.

How can I prepare for the PLIDA test? 

The Plida B1 (as well as any other B1 exams) will attest your intermediate Italian proficiency. This means that if you are a total beginner, you should first acquire language proficiency in A1 and A2, and only then should you start working on B1.

Regarding the actual exam preparation, I suggest breaking it up into two parts: 

FIRST PART – make sure you have solid grasp of desired level for the exam. You can do this alone, in a school or with a private instructor.  

SECOND PART – prepare for navigating the exam structure. Each exam has a unique format. Being familiar with the structure (e.g. how and where to fill in your answers!) on the day of the exam will help you pass it with easy and prevent some headaches. Work on exam samples or the PLIDA textbooks to accomplish this.

How is the PLIDA B1 for Citizenship different from the CILS UNO B1 or CELI 2?

The PLIDA B1 exam’s structure and input make it more accessible and overall simpler than the CILS and CELI B1 exams, despite the fact that it lacks a citizenship format.

Pros: easier and shorter than the CILS and CELI B1
Cons: There aren’t many PLIDA’s examination centers in the US.


How long does it take get to the B1 level?

There is no simple answer to this. It all comes down to your starting point. If you’re a total beginner, learning a foreign language from scratch can be a fun, but time-consuming task. Getting from zero to an intermediate level of Italian can take anywhere from 6 months to two years of immersive of semi-immersive study. On the other hand, if you have already taken Italian classes and your level is close to the intermediate threshold, all it would take is for you to start working on exam samples for a month or two.

How much does the PLIDA exam cost? 

The cost of the PLIDA is different for every level and might also vary from one country to another. Please, confirm the price with your chosen PLIDA examination centers.  

PLIDA exam centers and dates 

The PLIDA language exams can be taken at Dante Alighieri schools, university or other accredited languages institutions. Just look up on google “PLIDA Italian exams” and your country to find out if there’s any examination center near you. As for the exam dates, you should check it up with your chose examination center. The Dante Alighieri is a well-reputable non-profit organization with over 550 committees all over the world. Use this website to look for a Dante Alighieri centers in your country.

PLIDA B1 preparation textbooks


Can I take a PLIDA B1 preparation course with you?

Yes. I offer three types of courses:

  • 1-on-1 intensive programs from your current level up to the B1 intermediate threshold. 
  • 1-on-1 short programs to focus right on the exam competencies (for those who have already reached the intermediate level or are very close to that point)
  • One time classes with no commitment and tailored to your needs (exam rehearsal, assessment, language coaching)
You can check out my programs in greater detail here.
PLIDA B1 exam samples
You can download a sample of test on their official website here.