Registering and Preparing Your Student for the National Latin Exam

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What Is the National Latin Exam?

The American Classical League and the National Junior Classical League cosponsor the annual National Latin Exam. This exam is given to students who are either enrolled in a Latin course or who have completed a Latin course. There are nine different exams available depending upon the level of the student. The National Latin Exam has certificates and medals handed out for achievement on the test. For those participating in the “Introduction to Latin” exam, ribbons and certificates are handed out. For those who have a perfect exam for Latin Exams I-VI, a hand-lettered certificate is issued. Those with top scores are awarded a gold medal and a summa cum laude certificate (again Latin I-VI). Finally, scholarships are available for gold medal winners in Latin III-IV Prose, III-IV Poetry, and Latin V-VI students who are high school seniors. The scholarship applies only if the student agrees to take one course in Latin or Classical Greek while in college.

How Do You Register for the National Latin Exam?

There are a few ways to register for the exam. It costs $4.00 per exam for United States students and $6.00 per exam for foreign students, not including shipping and convenience fees. If you are homeschooling your student and will require only one exam, then the cost is $10.00. It is vital that the person administering the exam is not the Latin teacher. If you are a homeschooling family, then either have the other parent administer the exam or have a neighbor or friend administer the exam to ensure the exam integrity. You can print the registration form from the National Latin Exam website. The exam should be sent out in February and returned to the National Latin Exam office after administrating the exam during the second full week of March.

How to Prepare for the National Latin Exam

Naturally, you will want your student to be well-prepared for the National Latin Exam. Be sure when selecting curriculum for the exam that it covers the topics that will be covered in the exam. You can find out what will be covered on each exam on the NLE website under “syllabi." For example, if your student will be taking the “Introduction to Latin Exam,” then her curriculum will need to cover:

  • Declensions I and II of nouns
  • Subject and predicate nominative
  • Possession
  • Indirect objects and direct objects
  • Objects of prepositions ad, ante, circum, in, per, post, trans

Make sure you go over the syllabi for each exam you will administer to be sure that the curriculum of your choice will cover what the exam covers.

Another great resource for the NLE is the availability of previous exams on the website. By tapping into this resource, you can administer practice exams to your students so they can get a feel for what the real testing conditions will be like—and so you can get a feel for any holes in their knowledge that you can fill in before the exam is administered. Also available on the website are practice questions. You can start out your class period by giving students a couple of questions to work on.

The National Latin Exam can be a great and beneficial experience for your Latin language students.