Exam preparation: CILS, CELI, PLIDA and CIC

After years of study you have decided it’s time to get an official certification of your Italian level? That’s good. But maybe you should know a thing or two first.

If you are still unsure about the certification you want to get, you’d probably be better off having a look at these articles – Cils and Celi; Plida and Cic. Instead, if you already have a pretty clear idea of the exam you want to sit, continue reading.

Many people believe that a good command of the language is the only necessary requirement to pass an exam. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Indeed, at least of the same importance it is being well acquainted with the format of the exam itself.
In fact these types of exams have at least two characteristics that make the completion of exercises really challenging:

– Time constraints
– Multi-tasking

When I had to take IELTS to enroll in an English university some years ago, I already had a bachelor degree in foreign languages and a reasonable knowledge of English. However, when I first tried to complete an example of an IELTS examination found on the web, I scored poorly. That happened because, although I had a linguistic preparation, I was unused both to completing tasks with little time at my disposal and to carrying out different tasks at the same time – i.e. during the listening test.

I soon understood that if I wanted to pass the exam, I had to come up with a study plan. I had to increase my reading, and writing speed and I had to improve my concentration to complete tasks accurately.

To do so, I had two options: following a specific course or buying a book to prepare myself for each specific section composing the examination. I opted for the second, and more economic, choice. I bought the first edition of Barron’s IELTS, I practiced a lot, and when I took the exam, I passed it with good results.

So, here is my advice for everyone who wants to take CILS, CELI, PLIDA or CIC: self-study on a specific book before trying to take the official exam. In case this is not enough, you can always follow a specific course later.

There are very few editorial options for CILS, CELI, PLIDA and CIC preparation and, for some reasons, the books found on U.S stores are generally much more expensive than those found on EU stores  – if I were you, I’d either opt for used books or try to contact directly the publishing house.

Here is the titles available:

 CILS

You can find some free examples of examinations visiting the website of the University of foreigners of Siena.

You can buy one of the books listed below, which offer some other examples of past years’ examinations with keys.

If you live outside Italy If you live in Italy
A1-A2 A1-A2
Quaderni CILS for adults living in Italy Quaderni CILS for adults living in Italy Quaderni CILS for adults living in Italy
Quaderni CILS for adults living abroad Quaderni CILS for adults living abroad Quaderni CILS for adults living abroad Quaderni CILS for adults living abroad
Quaderni CILS for teenagers (12-16) Quaderni CILS for teenagers (12-16) Quaderni CILS for teenagers (12-16) Quaderni CILS for teenagers (12-16)
B1 B2 B1 B2
Quaderni CILSQuaderni CILSQuaderni CILSQuaderni CILS
C1 C2 C1 C2
Quaderni CILSQuaderni CILSQuaderni CILSQuaderni CILS

To study or revise the grammar you need to master to pass the grammatical part of Cils examination A1-A2, you can buy my Italian grammar: Sos Italian grammar A1-A2.

CELI

You can rely on free resources, visiting the University for Foreigners of Perugia’s website.

Or, you can buy one of the following books:

To study or revise the grammar you need to master to pass the grammatical part of Celi examination A1-A2, you can buy my Italian grammars: Sos Italian grammar A1-A2.

PLIDA

You can practice with free samples of past years’ examinations, clicking here.

You can buy the following books:

CIC

Finally, to prepare for CIC, you can buy:

If you live in the U.S.A If you live in Europe
B1 B1
L’italiano al lavoro. CIC – Not available B1 L’italiano al lavoro. CIC
+ +
CD – Not available CD
or Audiotape - Not available CIC Audiotape
C1 C1
L’italiano al lavoro. CIC – Not available L’italiano al lavoro. CIC
+ +
CD – Not available CD
or Audiotape - Not available or Audiotape

To learn other tips to pass the different sections composing CILS, CELI and PLIDA exams, please refer to:

How to prepare for CILS, CELI and PLIDA exams – listening

How to prepare for CILS, CELI and PLIDA exams – reading comprehension

How to prepare for CILS, CELI and PLIDA exams – writing

Italian speaking practice – How to prepare for cils celi and plida exams

5 Comments:

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