After years of study you have finally decided it’s time to get an official certification of your Italian level or to start your exam preparation? 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 should have a look at these articles – Cils and Celi; Plida and Cic first. By contrast, 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, it’s important to become familiar with the structure of the exam too.
In fact these types of exams have at least two characteristics that make the completion of exercises really challenging:
– Time constraints
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 wasn’t used 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. For my exam preparation, I had to increase my reading, and writing speed and I had to improve my concentration to complete tasks quickly and accurately.
To do so, I had two options: following a specific course or buying a book to prepare myself for each specific examination’s section. I opted for the second, and more affordable, 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 start the exam preparation 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 or lessons later.
There are very few official editorial options for CILS, CELI, PLIDA and CIC preparation and, for some reasons, the books found on U.S stores seems to be 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.
Concerning CILS only, all the official books dates back to 2006 or 2007, so they’re kind of out of date and some of them are super difficult to buy – I’ll list the one that can still be found below just for reference. So, my suggestion in this case is to use the free samples of past year examinations first and then buy a non official book to prepare for CILS, CELI, PLIDA and CIC.
Here is the titles available:
You can find some free examples of past year examinations on the website of the University of foreigners of Siena.
Or you can buy one of the books listed below, which offer samples of examinations with keys.
Unfortunately, official books are out of date and mostly unavailable. I’m listening here the only one you can still get. However, If I were you, I would honestly buy one of the unofficial books listed below.
Although not created by the University of Siena itself, unofficial books are a great help if you’re planning to take Cils exam.
To study or revise the grammar you need to master to pass the grammatical part of Cils examination, you can buy one of my Italian grammars: Sos Italian grammar A1-A2, Sos Italian grammar B1-B2, Sos Italian grammar C1-C2.
You can rely on free resources, on the website of the University for Foreigners of Perugia.
Or, you can buy one of the following books:
Unfortunately, official books are out of date and, as far as I can see, completely unavailable. If you’re interested to see if you can find one of the official books the title is “Come prepararsi all’esame del Celi 1/2/3/4”.
Luckily, there are some unofficial books you can get to prepare yourself for the Celi exam.
To study or revise the grammar you need to master to pass the grammatical part of Celi examination, you can buy one of my Italian grammars: Sos Italian grammar A1-A2, Sos Italian grammar B1-B2, Sos Italian grammar C1-C2.
You can practice with free samples of past years’ examinations by clicking here.
You can buy the following official books:
Finally, to prepare for CIC, you can buy:
To learn other tips to pass the different sections composing CILS, CELI and PLIDA exams, please refer to:
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Original image by Geralt