SFS Oral Proficiency Exam


Italian Oral Proficiency Exam Guidelines


The earliest opportunity to take the oral proficiency exam in Italian is at the end of the advanced sequence, i.e., at the end of the Intensive Advanced Italian II. Students, however, are encouraged to take ITAL 231 Contemporary Italy: topics in preparation for the exam. 

Students who do not pass the oral proficiency should not take the exam the following semester but wait at least one semester in order to have sufficient time to prepare.

Exam Dates:

The exam is offered both in the Fall and Spring semesters, usually in November and in April. A schedule of exam times will be published on the Italian Department website under announcements and posted on the cork board in the department in ICC 307.

Prior to the exam: 

The exam will be held in the Italian Department (ICC 307). Students are expected to arrive at least 5 minutes before the scheduled exam time.

The Oral Proficiency Exam: 

  • The Oral Proficiency Exam is a recorded interview with two examiners.
  • The Oral Proficiency Exam determines how accurately a student can perform a variety of functions in Italian such as describing, narrating, and giving opinions in all time frames and on a variety of topics including international affairs and Italian politics.

The following is a brief description of how a student is expected to perform at this level:

  • Speakers participate actively in exchanges on a variety of concrete topics relating to work, school, home, and leisure activities, as well as to events of current, public, and personal interest or individual relevance.
  • They demonstrate the ability to narrate and describe in all major time frames (past, present, and future) by providing full stories and descriptions in elaborate paragraphs of connected discourse.
  • Their speech is marked by substantial flow and their vocabulary is fairly extensive.
  • Speakers contribute to conversations on a variety of familiar topics, dealt with concretely, with accuracy, clarity, and precision, and they convey their intended message and opinions without misrepresentation or confusion.

Learn more about the guidelines.

  • The Oral Proficiency Exam measures what a student can do with the language: students should make every effort to answer all questions as extensively as possible to demonstrate their ability.

Announcement of Results:

  • Following the examination, results will be sent directly to the student’s home program.