The CILS Exam is structured in order to test the Italian language level of competence and is internationally recognised.

You can read more about it here.

In the CILS Exam C1 and C2 candidates have to face a complex test.

Let’s start focusing on the Listening Section!

In C1 and C2 this part lasts around 50 minutes. The tracks are quite long and reproduce a totally authentic listening.

Each of them is played twice and candidates have two minutes between the first and second listening to read the activity.

The Section includes 3 activities:

  • The first and the second consist of 7 multiple choice questions about a radio interview.
  • The third is a radio programme about a specific topic: candidate have to choose all the information that they hear among 15 options.

The main difficulty of these tasks is the ambiguity of the options given. Listening to the tracks and reading at the same time can also be hard to manage without a good reading method as the time is not much.

So what is the best strategy to face this section?

Considering the complexity of the tracks, the first time candidates should listen without reading: trying to understand as much as possible is very important to be able to complete the activity. During the two minutes given between the two listenings, the best thing to do is reading the questions/information quickly, underlying keywords related to what just heard. After that, during the second listening candidates should follow the track and answer at the same time. At the end they have 2 minutes to complete the task and copy the answers in the sheet provided.

During the preparation, after focusing on each task and its features, it is good to try the whole section in order to train properly and be ready for the exam: keeping the concentration is definitely one of the challenges of this section!

Have a look at a C1 exam sample here and at a C2 exam sample here.

And now, start with the first listening!