The CILS certification is valid all over the world to attest your Italian language level of competence. It is released by the University for Foreigners of Siena.

If you want to read more about how the CILS exam is structured, read this article.

Regarding the Listening Section of levels B1 and B2, they are quite similar in terms of tasks: they include 3 tracks and 3 activities and last around 30 minutes.

Candidates listen each track twice and have one minute between the two listenings to read the questions. At the end of each part of the listening, they have a couple of minutes to check their answers.

Let’s see the activities in more detail:

  • Activity n.1: it consists of 7 short dialogues and candidates have to answer one multiple choice question for each of them
  • Activity n.2: 7 multiple choice questions about a conversation between two people
  • Activity n.3: candidates have to choose the information that they hear among a choice of 13 sentences

What are the main difficulties and what is the best method to pass this section?

Each activity is different but the method is similar for all of them: listening carefully the full track first is a good way to understand as much as possible without wasting time. The temptation of reading the questions while listening is hard to resist, but it is very dangerous!

In the minute between the two listenings, reading quickly and underlying keywords can help focus on the most important topics of the conversation without getting lost in details that are not relevant.

In addition to that, beyond the specific features of the three tracks and activities, candidates have to go through them without a break: this is definitely difficult in terms of maintaining the right concentration and focusing on the information required. That is why, during the preparation, it is good to do a simulation of the whole section, as it is the day of the exam.

You can have a look at a B1 exam sample here and at a B2 exam sample here.

Ready to try?