Are you going through the CILS Exam C1 or C2? These are the highest levels of the certification released by the University of Siena according to the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

Have a look at the general exam structure here.

Now we are going to see what the Grammar Section of the C1 and C2 exam includes and how to study for it.

In total, candidates have to do 4 activities:

  • The first one is a text to complete with prepositions, adjectives, pronouns, conjunctions and adverbs (20 items).
  • The second is a text to complete with the correct tense of the verbs given (20 items).
  • The third is a text to complete with the correct word to choose among 4 options for each gap (15 items).
  • The fourth consists of sentences taken from a competition announcement to rewrite starting from a different element given (6 items).

This section lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes for C1 and 1 hour and 30 minutes for C2.

Considering the complexity of this part of the CILS exam, it is important to know how to approach it and what strategies are best to put in practice.

In the first activity, for example, a good method is thinking of what type of word is needed for each gap first and then find the correct one to fill the gap.

In the second it is important to skim the text to have a global understanding of the story and be able to conjugate verbs correctly.

The third activity is all about vocabulary and use of the language: even though candidates have options they have to consider the words carefully in the context given to choose the most appropriate.

The fourth activity is also very challenging as rewriting the sentences given is difficult not only in terms of grammar but also of contents: the new sentence’s meaning has to be exactly the same of the former sentences, so it is important to include every single information.

You can find a C1 exam sample here and a C2 exam sample here.

Well, it is time to try the Grammar Section!

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