Italian OFA


As of academic year 2021/22, an Italian language proficiency test is compulsory for all foreign students admitted:

  • to all English-language Master's Degree courses
  • to the Laurea (equivalent to three-year Bachelor of Science) in Architectural Design - EN
  • to the Laurea (equivalent to three-year Bachelor of Science) in Civil Engineering – EN

Foreign students will therefore have to demonstrate their knowledge of the Italian language before sitting the degree examination and completing their studies.

Who is not required to demonstrate knowledge of Italian language

Those who fall into the following cases are not required to demonstrate knowledge of the Italian language:

  • those with Italian citizenship
  • those who have obtained a baccalaureate or equivalent qualification awarded in the Italian language
  • those who have obtained a degree or equivalent in Italian
  • those who have attended a pontifical school in Italian
  • those who are resident in the Canton of Ticino (official language Italian)

Those who do not fall into any of these cases are enrolled with an OFA additional educational obligations (OFA) in Italian.

What to do to remove the Additional Educational Obligation (OFA) in Italian

Holders of a B1 level certification recognised by the MUR on the basis of the document "foreign students", quality system CLIQ (Certificazione Lingua Italiana di Qualità), may submit their certificates to the Student Secretariats through the following link:

Those who do not have one of the certifications recognised by the MUR can take a free Italian course (the level of which will be determined on the basis of the preliminary level test) organised by the Politecnico di Milano.

For further details about the Italian language course organized by Politecnico di Milano, please refer to:

For this purpose, the student is required to:

  • register and take the assessment test
  • attend at least 75% of the assigned course
  • register and take the exit test, which is considered passed if the student achieves at least A1 level

By passing the exit test, the student has removed the educational obligation in Italian. Those who do not have 75% attendance at the end of the course, will have to repeat the assessment test and  follow the course again in the following semester (by repeating the assessment test) or will be able to obtain independently  one of the certifications recognized by th MUR at level B1. 

Target platform

Students wishing to attend the course, are asked to interact with the Language Course Directory available in Online Services under ‘International Mobility’..

The phases are managed through the platform. In detail and in chronological sequence:

  1. registration and testing
  2. result and programme display, choice of days for lectures and confirmation of registration
  3. final course details displayed, i.e. classroom or link, textbook title

Students are advised to check the dates of the time slots of the course they are interested in.

Course features

  • When: every semester
  • Registration opening: end of August (1st semester) - end of January (2nd semester)
  • Method: online, live lectures
  • Frequency: 2 lectures per week from 18:15 to 20:15 or a 4-hour lesson on Saturday morning for a total of 40 hours per course
  • Days: a choice of two days: Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday or Saturday morning (4 hours)
  • Levels offered:
    • beginner A1
    • basic A2
    • intermediate B1
  • Lectures. Development of the following skills: listening, reading, speaking and comprehension, language structures and grammar. Regardless of the level, lectures aim to improve communication skills useful in working contexts
  • Curriculum objectives:
    • surviving: understanding and processing everyday sentences and expressions to satisfy basic needs (use of goods and services); 
    • socialisation: development of new skills for using the language in a social way (making new experiences); 
    • familiarity: gaining fluency in more elaborate communicative situations and being able to use the language flexibly and effectively for professional and academic purposes. 

Assessment test

It is not a proficiency test, nor does it have official value; is aimed at identifying the starting level of each student with assignment of the relevant course.
It is a  grammatical test and consists of 50 multiple choice questions in ascending order of difficulty, organized into 5 sections.


  • 0 to 17: beginner A1
  • 18 to 34: basic A2
  • 35 to 50:  intermediate B1

Exit test

Those who have 75% attendance on the course will be able to access the exit test.

The available dates and registration methods will be communicated by email from the competent office.

The test consists of three types of tests: listening, reading and language structures.

  • Listening: 3 audios with 7 multiple-choice questions per audio- 21  questions.
    The delivery system stipulates that each listening test is allocated a total of 15 minutes and that the student can listen to the audio again. At the end of the first listening test, the system will offer the next listening test.
  • Reading: 3 sections with 7 multiple-choice questions per section. 21 questions  15 minutes for each sections
  • Language structures: 6 microtexts with 5 cloze questions per microtext - 30 questions , 5 minutes for each  microtexts

A total of 72 questions to be answered in 120 minutes.

For each type of test, the questions are presented in ascending order of difficulty. 


  • from 0 to 11: insufficient
  • from 12 to 21: beginner A1
  • from 22 to 32: basic A2
  • from 33 to 48:  intermediate  B1
  • from 49 to 61: intermediate  B2
  • from 62 to 72: advanced C1

The test is considered passed by reaching at least an A1 level. Each student will have a maximum of 3 attempts to remove the OFA. After reaching the limit of attempts, it will no longer be possible to take the exit test and each student will have to independently demonstrate their knowledge of the Italian language.

Academic Year 2023/2024