Duration of the written exam sections

B1        1.5 hrs

B2         2.5 hrs

C1         3 hrs

LM1      2 hrs

LM2      2 hrs


Sample Exams

Below you can download a sample exam and key for each of the exam levels. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open these:


    B1   B1.pdf   B1 KEY.pdf

    B2   B2.pdf   B2 KEY.pdf

    C1   C1.pdf   C1 KEY.pdf 

For more information about the speaking part of the exam go to the Speaking page, where you can find practice pictures. There are also exercises for B1 and B2 on the Materials page that will help students prepare for the exam


Vecchio ordinamento students in their 1st, 2nd & 3rd years do B1, B2 & C1 exams (reading, writing & listening) respectively. The C1 exam includes an Italian into English translation. There is no speaking exam with lettori. When they pass the lettori written exam, VO students take the oral  literature exam with the literature professors.

VO students in their 4th year do an exam divided into three parts:

  1. Bulletreading comprehension & composition (4 hrs commenting poetry or prose)

  2. Bullettranslation (2 hrs, approximately 150 words of contemporary Italian fiction into English);

  3. Bulletlistening comprehension (1 piece of discourse, heard three times).

Students are allowed to use one monolingual English dictionary for the two written papers, but not for the listening comprehension. For samples of the IV year exam click below:

IV poem.pdf

IV prose.pdf

IV trans.pdf

            VO exam levels

All English language exams are skills exams. This means that they measure how well you use your English when speaking, listening, reading & writing. The exams do not measure how much grammar you know, but how well you perform in the language. See link to European levels to understand what you should be able to do at each level.

B2 & C1 exams include an Italian into English translation for LTI students. For B2 & C1 non-Italian speakers, an Italian/ mother-tongue dictionary is permitted in the translation section/paper only.

Look at the table below to see your “exit” level (exam level). Please note that there is no longer a difference between 1st and 2nd Language, all students start with B1: