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The National Latin Exam

NLE Syllabi

The goal of the National Latin Exam is to provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge of Latin and the Roman world on a test consisting of 40 multiple-choice questions. The exam focuses on the student’s ability to read and comprehend Latin as outlined in the American Classical League’s Standards for Classical Languages.

The first section of the exam tests a student’s knowledge of grammar and vocabulary in the comprehension of Latin. The next section of the exam assesses a student’s knowledge of the Roman world as outlined in the syllabus. The questions on the final section are based on information contained in a passage in Latin. The Latin V-VI exam is based entirely on passages in Latin.

The NLE Syllabus describes in general terms the level of reading comprehension and content included on each level of the exam.

The NLE syllabus was revised in 2017 and is now available to print or view online.

Which Level Exam should my students take?

My Students... Intro Latin I LATIN II Latin III Latin III-IV Prose Latin III-IV Poetry Latin V-VI
In the first year of a two year Latin I program.            
Are in the second year of a two year Latin I program.            
Are in a one year Latin I program.            
Are in Latin II.            
Are in Latin III and have translated primarily adapted Latin passages or stories            
Are in Latin III and have translated primarily authentic Latin literature.          
Are in Latin IV.          
Are in Latin V or beyond.            

Key Points

Please note the following:
• Since the exam is given during the second week in March, the syllabus is not designed to serve as a curriculum for a full year’s work.
• Any level may contain questions based on the content of lower levels.
• In general, the exam is designed to emphasize comprehension of Latin rather than the production of forms.
• Except on the Level V-VI exam, students are not required to identify grammatical constructions.

The National Latin Exam Committee reserves the right to add to and/or delete from this syllabus at any time.



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