“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” — Nelson Mandela
Can you reach someone’s heart with your Italian?
No matter what your reason for learning this beautiful language is, your goal probably involves communicating with Italian speakers in some way.
Speaking even on a beginner level shows people that you care enough to speak in their language.
That’s a sure way to reach a heart or two!
And the better you know the language, the better your words can get through to people.
To choose the right resources for pushing forward your learning, it’s important to know what level to focus your studies on.
But how does one gauge their skill level?
The answer? Take an Italian level test!
Fortunately, there are lots of options for choosing one.
Let’s see what’s available!
What Is an Italian Level Test?
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) proficiency scale defines language levels based on a learner’s competence in the language being learned.
Learners are graded on a scale consisting of six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2, with A1 corresponding to an absolute beginner and C2 indicating advanced proficiency.
Proficiency tests help determine your position on this scale, and that knowledge is useful for a number of reasons:
- It provides proof of competency in Italian for employment opportunities, educational requirements or just personal knowledge.
- Level tests are very useful for determining “trouble spots” and gauging what areas need more intensive study.
- They’re also great for figuring out what study materials you should be using. Once you know your level, you can select level-appropriate resources—or find a resource that’ll grow with you as your skills improve, like FluentU.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons. Videos are conveniently organized into lessons so you can easily work toward a particular objective, topic or skill.
Keep quizzing and testing yourself and push yourself just a little beyond your skill level each time to level up your Italian skills!
8 Italian Level Tests to Pinpoint Your Proficiency
Torre di Babele is an Italian-language school located in the center of Rome. Fortunately for language students, its courses, level tests and other resources can be accessed online.
Torre di Babele offers five level tests, beginning with level A1 and going up to C1. The tests are free and available to everyone. Answer the questions, receive results immediately and gauge your proficiency without ever leaving home!
Please note that at the time of this writing, the A1 level test seems to point at the homepage instead of the test, but the rest are available for learners to use.
These tests use the CEFR scale so individual tests focus on what’s expected of a learner at each particular level.
For example, the A1 test checks your skill in using basic expressions, introductions and question-and-answer abilities. The more advanced B2 test gauges understanding of complex texts and ability to interact with others.
It’s good to note that if you’re interested in immersive learning and are planning to travel to Italy, this is a great place to consider!
BBC Languages is an archived site, so the information is no longer updated—but that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. It offers many language resources that are free to learners so it’s worth checking these options out.
The level test isn’t correlated to any standardized test. There’s no real way to decide which level on the CEFR scale you’re on after taking the test. However, it’s a fun, low-key way to practice your skills.
Answers are provided instantly and the test progresses as long as you answer correctly. Get a question wrong, and the test tells you why your answer was incorrect and ends the session.
The questions test your ability to understand and respond to basic Italian conversations and situations. There are some questions where the answers are similar to each other so you’ll need to discern the differences or nuances between some vocabulary words and phrases.
This test also suggests which of the site’s materials might be particularly beneficial to you considering your test results. It’s a super way to see which resources will help strengthen skills that may need some extra attention!
Online Italian Club’s level test allows learners to answer each question more than once if necessary, until they get the right answer.
For scoring purposes, it shows the number of correct answers and the number of attempts it took to get those answers. Finally, it advises you on how to correctly interpret the results.
There are also some free Italian exercises you can access to help power up your skills once you know how you fared.
Looking for a short, non-threatening way to gauge your Italian skills? This site has a 30-question online test consisting of multiple choice questions that shouldn’t take longer than 20 minutes to complete.
The correct answers are displayed at the end of the test.
While this isn’t as in-depth as some other level tests, it’ll give you a general idea of how solid your skills are.
Italica School offers Italian lessons in Rome, Sardinia or online, so anyone who wants an authentic learning experience will find a program to suit their needs.
Their six level tests adhere to the CEFR scale and each test features level-appropriate questions.
For instance, the A1 test checks the basics, such as comprehension of everyday expressions and questions as well as a basic ability to interact with others in Italian.
This site also provides a solid section on the CEFR scale itself. This is presented as a downloadable document, which you can find on the same page as the test, on the right-hand side. It explains what the scale is, why it’s used and how it benefits learners to know their skill level.
If you’re wondering how your vocabulary skills rate, try this level test. It’s strictly focused on vocabulary!
There are three level tests: basic, intermediate and advanced. Vocabulary in each test is commensurate with that particular skill level.
After the first test, the site provides an initial assessment of your skills. It even gives an estimate of the size of your vocabulary!
The second test, also strictly vocabulary-focused, provides a more in-depth estimate of your core vocabulary. A third test gives a final score that, when added to the first two scores, provides you with an overall assessment of your vocabulary skills.
The site suggests coursework based on the test results so if you want to find a program consistent with your Italian vocabulary, it’s worth taking these level tests.
Parlo Italiano is a fun twist on Italian language learning. It’s actually a cultural organization whose purpose is to promote Italian culture in Spain! They have a school where native speakers teach a diverse curriculum, like cooking, business Italian and more cultural Italian skills—in Spain!
The online level test consists of 22 questions. Scoring is done at the end of the test; you’re graded into levels depending on the percentage of correct answers given. The levels go from A1, beginner, to C1, advanced.
Here’s an interesting tidbit about this test: The questions are in Italian but many pertain to Barcelona or Spain! They’re accompanied by beautiful photographs, so cultural interests are highlighted. It’s a fast, fun test to take!
This Italian level test is quick to take and while it doesn’t provide a rating consistent with the CEFR scale, it does give a baseline assessment of core skills.
There are 30 questions that test basic communication and comprehension skills. The vocabulary used isn’t advanced but the questions aren’t too easy, either. They require a bit of thought: Some answers are closely related so you need to understand exactly what’s being asked in order to choose a correct answer!
A good understanding of pronouns and verb tenses is essential to performing well on this test.
Grading appears at the conclusion of the exam. The correct answers are provided so you can see just how you did as well as what your mistakes were. This allows you to understand your mistakes and, hopefully, learn from them.
If on-site immersion is an option, Sprachdirekt offers Italian courses in five Italian cities.
So if you want to know exactly how you’re doing in your Italian studies, take a test—or two or three, even!—to take the guesswork out of your skill level. Use the results to focus on skills that need improvement, set learning goals or to speak to someone’s heart.
Don’t fret if you don’t like the score on your initial test. Work some more on the language, then test again. Seeing improvement is a positive side benefit of frequent testing!
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