If you want to attest your level of Italian as a foreign language, the CILS exam is definitely the next step to make. Released by the University for Foreigners of Siena, it allows you to get an international certification.

Have a look at the general exam structure here.

Today we want to focus on the Grammar Section of levels B1 and B2.

It consists of 4 tasks to be completed in 1 hour, so it is a good challenge!

Let’s go through it and understand more about the different activities:

  • Activity n.1: fill the gaps with articles and prepositions in B1 and with adjectives and pronouns in B2.
  • Activity n.2: candidates have to complete a text with the correct form of the verbs in brackets.
  • Activity n.3: candidates have to fill the gaps in a text choosing one of the 4 options given.
  • Activity n.4: multiple choice questions about 10 expressions given. Candidates have to choose the appropriate communicative situation for each expression.

Apart from the first activity, where the difference between levels is related to the type of words to choose, the others are at a slightly different level of difficulty in respect of the features of each level.

What is the best strategy to be successful in this Section?

The four activities require a good comprehension level and a constant practice. The challenge in this case is also a wise time management as candidates have an average of 15 minutes for each task.

Regarding the first activity, a good method is skimming the text and then going back to each sentence to understand what type of word is necessary in a specific position. A similar method is perfect for the second activity: after the global comprehension it is essential to read wholly each sentence in order to avoid misunderstandings on the time line.

The third activity normally seems to be easier than the first two as having some options helps, but it is important to build a good vocabulary to overcome the frequent ambiguity, which is the main problem in this task.

The fourth activity is focused on the use of the language: being able to distinguish communicative contexts is the result of practicing as much as possible.

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

Ready to try?