Certifications are internationally recognized formal qualifications issued by certified bodies recognizing various levels of a modern language proficiency.

You need a certification if, for study or work reasons, you require a universally valid and guaranteed official declaration attesting to your level of knowledge of a language.

The most important certificates of knowledge of the Italian language are CELI, CILS, PLIDA and IT, and are issued by universities or cultural associations.


CELI

CELI (CERTIFICATE OF ITALIAN LANGUAGE) is a certification of knowledge of the Italian language for schooled adults issued by the University for Foreigners of Perugia.

The exam evaluates the linguistic skills of the candidates in general Italian, i.e. the Italian used in social interactions, study, and work.

The examinations are divided into six qualification levels:

  • CELI IMPACT (Level A1 of the CEFR): Basic level, exam duration 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • CELI 1 (Level A2 of the CEFR): Elementary level, exam duration 2 hours 30 minutes
  • CELI 2 (Level B1 of the CEFR): Intermediate level, exam duration 2 hours 35 minutes
  • CELI 3 (Level B2 of the CEFR): Higher intermediate level, exam duration 3 hours 40 minutes
  • CELI 4 (Level C1 of the CEFR): Advanced level, exam duration 4 hours 45 minutes
  • CELI 5 (Level C2 of the CEFR): Complete mastery, exam duration 4 hours 45 minutes

To obtain the certification, it is necessary to pass an exam divided into 4 sections: comprehension of written texts, production of written texts, oral comprehension, and oral presentation. From level B2 it is also necessary to undergo a test of linguistic competence.

The exams take place twice a year, in June and November, at the same time in all the examination offices.

The exam offices, in addition to the University for Foreigners of Perugia, are:

  • In Italy: partner offices, cultural associations, language centres and language schools
  • Abroad: Italian Cultural Institutes

In addition to the traditional CELI, there are two exams aimed at particular categories of people: the CELI Immigrati (immigrants) and the CELI Adolescenti (adolescents).

The Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) recognizes the CELI 3 as a valid certificate of knowledge of the Italian language for the purpose of studying at University in Italy.


CILS

CILS (CERTIFICATE AS FOREIGN LANGUAGE) is a certification of knowledge of Italian as a foreign language, issued by the University of Siena.

There are 6 levels of CILS certifications:

Beginner

  • CILS A1 (Level A1 of the CEFR): Basic level available for adults in Italy, adults abroad, children (8 -11 years), teenagers (12 -16 years)
  • CILS A2 (Level A2 of the CEFR): Elementary level available for adults in Italy, adults abroad, children (8 -11 years), teenagers (12 -16 years)

Indipendent learner

  • CILS One (Level B1 of the CEFR): Intermediate level, exam duration 3 hours
  • CILS Two (Level B2 of the CEFR): Intermediate-advanced level, exam duration 4 hours

Advanced learner

  • CILS Three (Level C1 of the CEFR): advanced level, exam duration 5 hours
  • CILS Four (Level C2 of the CEFR): complete mastery, exam duration 5 hours and 30 minutes

The CILS exam contains tasks that relate to real-life situations, in order to assess the candidates’ ability to use the language in contexts of inter-communication.

Even in this case, the exam evaluates the 4 fundamental competences: listening, written comprehension, oral presentation, and the production of written texts.

The exams take place twice a year, simultaneously all over the world, in June and December.

The offices, in addition to the University of Siena, are:

  • In Italy: partner offices, cultural associations, language centres and language schools
  • Abroad: Italian Cultural Institutes

To obtain the certification, the candidate must reach a minimum score in each test. If this is not reached in all the tests but only in some of them, the failed tests may be repeated in a subsequent examination (within one year).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recognizes the CILS A2 certification module as a valid certificate of competence in the Italian language to obtain the EC Residence Permit for long-term residents.

The University also makes it possible to obtain a special certification (CILS-DIT/C2) for those who want to obtain recognition of professional training qualifications obtained abroad to be able to teach in Italian schools.


PLIDA

PLIDA (PROGETTO LINGUA ITALIANA DANTE ALIGHIERI) is a certification, issued by the Società Dante Alighieri of Florence, intended for native speakers of languages other than Italian who wish to attest to their level of knowledge of the language.

PLIDA divided into six levels:

  • PLIDA A1: basic level, exam duration one hour and 50 minutes
  • PLIDA A2: elementary level, exam duration one hour and 50 minutes
  • PLIDA B1: intermediate level, exam duration one hour and 50 minutes
  • PLIDA B2: intermediate advanced level, exam duration one hour and 50 minutes
  • PLIDA C1: advanced level, exam duration one hour and 50 minutes
  • PLIDA C2: complete mastery, exam duration one hour and 50 minutes

The examination consists of 4 phases: oral comprehension, comprehension of a written text, written production, and oral presentation.

For adolescent students between 13 and 18 years of age, the Dante Alighieri Society has established a special certification, the PLIDA Juniors, whose tests contain texts and communicative situations more appropriate to a teenager.

The exams take place twice a year, in May and November.

The examination offices, in addition to the Dante Alighieri Society of Florence, are:

  • In Italy: cultural institutions
  • Abroad: Italian cultural institutes

The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs recognizes PLIDA as a valid certificate for university enrolment and for obtaining a long-term residence permit.


IT

IT is a certificate, issued by the University of Roma Tre, that attests the knowledge of Italian as a foreign language.

The IT exam is divided into five levels:

  • A1: basic level
  • A2: elementary level
  • B1: intermediate level
  • B2: advanced-intermediate level
  • C2: complete mastery

The exams for levels A1 and A2 are composed of three phases: listening (comprehension of passages), reading and writing.

  • The exam of level B1 is divided into 4 phases: listening, reading and writing, Italian uses (understanding of the uses of Italian language in everyday communicative contexts and production of short and simple written texts), face-to-face communication.
  • The exam of level B2 is composed of listening, reading, composition (production of short texts written for formal and informal contexts) and face-to-face communication (brief interview)
  • The exam of level C2 is composed of listening, reading, composition of written and spoken texts (production of oral texts)

The exams are held several times a year at the University Roma Tre and in the affiliated institutions in Italy and abroad.


Price table

Livello Prezzo CELI Prezzo CILS Prezzo PLIDA Prezzo IT Roma 3
A1 100 Eur 40 Eur 60 Eur
A2 100 Eur 40 Eur 60 Eur 40 Eur
B1 100 Eur 90 Eur 80 Eur 80 Eur
B2 100 Eur 105 Eur 90 Eur 140 Eur
C1 100 Eur 135 Eur 130 Eur
C2 100 Eur 160 Eur 130 Eur 120 Eur