What’s the CILS Uno B1? (Italian Language Certification)

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? 

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.

Skills breakdown 

B1 Listening 

At the B1 level, a student of Italian should be able to understand the general sentiment of clear and standard input of everyday conversation about things  like work, family life, leisure, as well as understanding the main idea of television shows or radio stations, when the topics discussed are simple, clear, and don’t deal with complicated topics (e.g. politics, finance, economics, science, etc.).

B1 Reading

At the B1 level, a student is able to read and understand a simple magazine article or blog post on affairs and uncomplicated general topics of general which don’t use advanced or technical language.

B1 Grammar

At this level, the learner should be proficient in both the A1 and A2 levels of Italian, as well as have a firm grasp of the B1 grammar. The standard grammar topics for B1 include:

  • The use of 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 connectors (anche se, perciò, siccome, quindi, etc..)
  • How to use and differentiate the imperfetto from the passato prossimo
  • The use of the pronouns with the imperative and modal verbs 
  • The informal and formal imperative
  • The use of the main Italian connectors (perché, poiché, quindi, etc…) 
  • The future tense and the present conditional 
  • The use of the present subjunctive 
B1 Writing

A student of Italian who has reached the B1 should be able to produce simple essays or emails in both formal and informal settings about personal experiences of interests. Additionally, he or she should be able to write formal emails to request information in general (e.g. to a school of Italian, to a hotel, to a city council, etc..).

B1 Speaking

A student of Italian who has reached the B1 is able to handle the majority of real-word situations. Additionally, he or she is also able to briefly give his or her opinion on topics of interest (such as the environment, education, healthcare, and lifestyle habits) and describe personal events and experiences. He or she is expected to construct Italian sentences with a variety of verb forms (present, past, future, conditional), connectors, and pronouns.

What’s the structure of the CILS UNO B1 exam?

The CILS B1 exam consists of five sections, and it’s a writing and oral exam which lasts about 3.30 h.

Test di ascolto (Listening)30 minutes– Three short listening prompts – Multiple-choice questionnaires about the audio prompts
Test di comprensione della lettura (Reading)45 minutes– Three short reading exercises – Texts to read with gap-filling exercises
Test di analisi delle strutture di comunicazione (Grammar and Vocabulary)1 hour– Four assignments – Fill missing parts in short texts with missing grammar or vocabulary
Test di produzione scritta (Writing)70 minutes– Two short writing prompts to choose from – Topics typically involve describing an event or writing an email
Test di produzione orale (Speaking)10-12 minutes– Brief self-introduction – Role play with an examiner based on a visual prompt – Describe a visual prompt
Tasks breakdown CILS B1

Where to 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.

CILS examinations center around the world


the dates for the CILS B1 Cittadinanza exams in 2024 are:

  1. February 15, 2024
    • Registration Deadline: January 10, 2024
  2. April 11, 2024
    • Registration Deadline: March 05, 2024
  3. June 05, 2024
    • Registration Deadline: April 19, 2024
  4. July 18, 2024
    • Registration Deadline: June 12, 2024
  5. October 17, 2024
    • Registration Deadline: September 12, 2024
  6. December 05, 2024
    • Registration Deadline: October 16, 2024


The cost of the CILS Uno B1 is around 140/180 USD. 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. 

Serena Capilli

I’m the creative force behind both this blog and my collection of short stories in simple Italian for language learners, available on Amazon.

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Ciao, I’m Serena! I’m the creative force behind both this blog and my collection of short stories in simple Italian for language learners, available on Amazon.

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