The CILS Certification is released by the University for Foreigners of Siena and attests the Italian level of competence.

If you want to know more about the general structure of the exam read this article.

Now let’s focus on the Listening Section of the A1 and A2 Exam for Adults.

This part includes two listening activities:

  • Listening 1: candidates listen to six short conversation about daily life and answer six multiple choice questions.
  • Listening 2: candidates listen to a conversation between two people and answer six multiple choice questions.

The conversations are not authentic and the two native speakers use a Standard Italian.

Candidates listen each track twice and have one minute between the two listenings to read the questions.

The whole section lasts around 15-20 minutes. At the end, candidates have a couple of minutes to copy their answers in the answer sheet provided.

The preparation for this section requires practice as it is not just about comprehension but also answering specific questions about the dialogues.

A good strategy is listening carefully the first time: it is hard to resist, but if you avoid reading while listening you have more chances to catch important information. Then, during the minute before the second listening, read the questions and, when the second listening starts, answer the questions following the conversation and checking the options. Remember that you have a couple of minutes at the end to complete the activity.

You can have a look at a A1 exam sample here and at a A2 exam sample here.

So how does it sound? Try the listening part and let us know how it goes!