CIMA stands for “Certificat International de Maîtrise en Arabe”, or International Certificate for Proficiency in Arabic. Developed by the Arab World Institute in close partnership with the International Center for Pedagogical Studies (CIEP), it is the first internationally recognized certification that assesses your proficiency in modern standard Arabic.

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Introducing cima

CIMA, the International Certificate for Proficiency in Arabic, is the first internationally recognized certification that assesses your proficiency in modern standard Arabic.

Whereas there are official certificates for all other languages, for example the TOEIC or TOEFL for English, the TCF for French and the DELE for Spanish, until now there was no certificate for Arabic. A certificate is an important tool for businesses, organizations and training centers, and it is an essential step in structuring and assessing the quality of language teaching.

The Arab World Institute is a unique cultural bridge between France and the Arab nations, and in line with its mission to promote the Arabic language, it created the first comprehensive and meaningful certification in Arabic in 2018, in partnership with the International Center for Pedagogical Studies, the French National Education agency responsible for French language proficiency tests and diplomas.

General overview

CIMA is intended for anyone over the age of 15

cima assesses modern standard Arabic. cima is available in two versions, to ensure an accurate assessment of your proficiency:

  • cima 1 assesses levels A1, A2 and B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL)
  • cima 2 assesses levels B2, C1 and C2 of the CEFRL

cima assesses four key areas of competence required for anyone wishing to interact with today’s Arab world. The test is therefore made up of four mandatory modules totaling three hours in all. These include:

  • listening comprehension: this is a multiple choice test that takes 30 to 35 minutes,
  • reading comprehension: this is a multiple choice test that takes 45 minutes,
  • writing: the test takes 1 hour and consists of writing 4 texts of 30 to 100 words.
  • speaking: the test takes 10 minutes and consists of speaking about 4 topics provided by an examiner.

The Arab World Institute designs and corrects all of the cima tests.

How and where to take the test

It takes less than 3 hours to complete the cima test, including the speaking portion, in exam centers approved by the Arab World Institute on the scheduled dates.

Depending on your level, you can choose to take cima 1 or cima 2. If you’re not sure which test to take, you can take a language level test, for example Ev@lang, to help you decide. Then you can register with the exam center of your choice, which will also inform you of the testing fees.

Today, the authorized centers include:

The Centre d'Etudes Arabes (CEA) in Rabat (a service of the SCAC under the AEFE) is the coordinator for French institutions in Morocco. 

SCAC: Cooperation and Cultural Action Service. AEFE: Agency for French Education Abroad

 

Authorizations are regularly granted to new centers.

Become an authorized exam centerCIMA - Application for approval - 3.6.pdf (547.99 KB)

 

The first cima 1 sessions were held in May-June 2018, and the next sessions are scheduled for:

  • May-June 2019: cima 1 (A1, A2, B1, B2 or higher)
  • November-December 2019: cima 1 (A1, A2, B1, B2 or higher)
  • May-June 2020 (subject to availability): cima 2 (B2, C1, C2)

Inscriptions candidats CIMA.xlsx (22.92 KB)

Additional information

You can consult the Frequently Asked Questions. You can also find out more about cima in the Candidate’s guide: CIMA - Guide du Candidat - 4.1.pdf (1.31 MB)

CIMA - Candidate's Guide - 4.1.pdf (1.41 MB)

Terms and conditionscima CGV France - v1.pdf (120.33 KB)

Data Privacy:  cima - collecte des données - v1.pdf (66.3 KB)

You can also contact cima staff by email at cima@imarabe.org

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