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Frequently Asked Questions

Anxious for Awards

Q. I am a Latin teacher at a school that has an awards ceremony in April. My results package from NLE did not arrive in time for this ceremony. Is there some way I can help to ensure that my results arrive sooner next year?

A. The NLE cannot guarantee that you will receive your results package prior to April 20; however, if you want to be among the first to receive your package, you need to be among the first to mail in your application and payment. The results packages are sent out in the order in which applications are received and registered in the NLE office.

Registration Rumination

Q. Although I sent in my application in November, I did not receive my post card telling me my students were registered until February. I know there was a mix-up with the payment amount, but I assumed we were still registered. What happened?

A. Applications are registered when received at the NLE office if all information is correct and correct payment is included. If there are any errors, the office staff attempts to contact the teacher, and the application is put in a "Hold Box" without being registered, until the error is corrected. Upon correction of the error, the school is registered and the post card is sent out. Please double check all information you have listed on the application, especially when adding your student and payment totals. The extra minute you spend on the application will save you and the office staff much time and concern later.

Individual Answer Feedback

Q. When I received my results package, there was no indication which questions each of my students had missed. We wanted to go over their mistakes together, but there was no way to do that without seeing this individualized information. Will NLE consider sending this information to the teachers?

A. The NLE cannot send individual reports on each answer that your students gave. We suggest that you have your students write their names and answers on the tests, in addition to the answer sheets, while they are taking the test. If they will do this, when the test are given to the teacher (no earlier that the Tuesday following the last test administration date), the teacher and students can go over what they may have missed.We hope this will help for future exams.

Chaotic Exam Day

Q. The day that my students took the NLE was an absolute disaster! The person who administered the exam for me was new to the school and had difficulty getting the students settled and on task. I have a large number of beginning students who had never taken the exam before, and they had no clue about what to do. I would love to have any suggestions from you about how I can have a smoother NLE day next year.

A. To make things run smoothly on NLE test day, do a little preliminary work yourself. Prepare your test administrator in advance with information about how to give the exam. Make sure that as soon as the package of tests arrives, he or she opens the package and counts the exams. The numbers should be reported to you for verification. Remind the test administrator to read the directions for giving the exam before the test day to make sure that everything is understood clearly. Several days before the exam is to be given, show Latin I-IV students a copy of an OLD exam so that they will understand which of the four exams printed on the folded packet they should take. Review with your test administrator the fact that it is his/her responsibility to insure that the students fill out the answer sheets correctly and take the appropriate exam. If you have a number of students taking the exam in a single room, you may want to help the administrator sort the students out in advance by giving the students different colored 3" x 5" note cards to indicate their specific level. Emphasize to the administrator that it is most important that the exams answer sheets be separated and carefully counted after the exam has been given and before the answer sheets are mailed in. Providing your administrator with this information in advance will go a long way toward giving your students the best and most positive environment possible for success on the exam.

Semester Block

Q. We are on semester block this year and I was wondering if the NLE is addressing this issue. Do you have any suggestions for students who will start Latin II in January and have only ten weeks of Latin before the exam?

A. The NLE has been studying this situation for several years and is trying to compile some statistics to show how semester-block scheduling affects learning and test taking. Theoretically, the semester-block students should be moving twice as fast as the students in a regular curriculum, and we have no evidence that they do not. This would mean that in mid- March, theoretically, they would be at about the same place as the regular students. We are asking teachers to check the semester-block box on the application so we can compile some statistics and comparisons.

Missed Exams

Q: I mailed in my application form with a check well before the deadline of January 17. When my exams did not arrive at the expected time, I called the NLE number to check on my situation. To my dismay, I discovered that NLE had not received my application and check and that my students were not eligible to take the exam. While I understand NLE's stand on this issue, I would like to know how to ensure that this does not happen again. How can I protect myself and my students in this matter?

While we regret that your students were not able to take the NLE this March, we cannot take responsibility for applications and checks that never make it to our office. We advise all teachers who mail in their applications/checks to be on the look-out for the postcard that we send back to them indicating that their application is complete. (Also be sure to check that the number of exams ordered is correct.) A teacher who does not receive such a card should get in touch with NLE to make sure that the application was indeed received. If the application has been lost in the mail and enough time has been allowed by the teacher, the problem can be solved by submitting a second application by the January 17 deadline. We advise all teachers to mail their applications in a timely manner.

Scholarship Information

Q: After going over the exam with my students when the test director at my school released the exams to me, I think that I may have a a senior eligible for an NLE scholarship. What am I supposed to do about that?

You do not have to do a thing! NLE will send a letter to your student, in care of you, informing her that she is eligible to apply for the scholarship. That letter will contain all instructions and deadline information.

Registration Deadline

Q: I missed the registration deadline for this year's NLE. My registration form and check were returned to me even though they were only two weeks late. Why can't the NLE be more lenient about this deadline?

We regret that we are unable to accept exam registrations after the January 27 late fee postmark deadline. While we have on occasion allowed extra time for registrations to come in after bad weather has closed schools in a particular part of the country, the volume of mail we receive does not allow us to do this under other circumstances.

Forgot to Send the Check

Q. My students were not able to take the NLE because I mailed the application at the last minute and forgot to include the check. By the time NLE returned my application, it was too late to resubmit it. Why didn't NLE realize that I had made a mistake and would make good on the money that I owed? Spacey (not Kevin)

A. It is the teacher's responsibility to check the NLE application to make sure that it is correctly filled out, contains a check for the correct amount, and is postmarked by the deadline. You were by no means the only teacher with application problems. Here is a list of the most common problems that we encounter:

  1. No payment with the application
  2. Application not filled correctly and legibly
  3. Purchase orders sent in lieu of payment
  4. Incorrect payment due to math errors.

Because of these problems, we have devised a checklist which will be printed on the back of the envelope in which the application is mailed. It is our hope that this checklist will help teachers avoid the mistake that you made so that their students can participate in the NLE.

Copies of the Exam

Q:My students were not able to take the exam this year. As such, I did not receive the usual packet of exam copies the following week. How may I obtain a copy of the exam for my files?

They are available on our web site.

Forum Romanum Tapes

Q: I have heard about the NLE's Forum Romanum TV show, how can I order videotapes of the show?

Yes, videotapes of the twelve Forum Romanum episodes are available from the American Classical League Teacher Materials and Resource Center (TMRC). Go there to find current prices and ordering information.

More Time Needed

Q: The class periods at my school are not long enough to fit in both the five minutes for filling in all the student/school information and the forty minutes for the test. May I give the students that demographic information section the day before the exam or perhaps even fill it out for the students myself so that they will not feel so rushed on exam day?

The NLE policy allows 45 minutes for the exam, the first 5 minutes for the filling in of information by the student, the last 40 minutes for taking the exam. The examiner is not to give any of the testing materials, including the answer sheets, to the students until test day, and the administrators themselves are not to fill this information in. We hope that you will understand the need for this method of test administration in order to preserve the integrity of the exam.

Special Needs Students

Q. Many thanks to NLE for its support of Latin students with special needs. Since I have one blind student and two students who require extra testing time, I called the NLE office as soon as I received my exam application in order to find out what accommodations could be made for them. These three students did well on the exam and came away from the experience feeling good about Latin and about themselves. Thank you for all that you do for ALL Latin students.

We are pleased that your students felt so good about their experience with the NLE. Any teacher who has a student with special needs should call the NLE office for permission to alter the exam to comply with the student’s IEP. After permission has been granted, it is up to the school to make the necessary adaptations.

Reuse Old Application

Q. I have an extra copy of the application for the 2007 NLE. May I save a lot of hassle and time by using this form to apply for the 2008 exam?

Please do not use old applications since problems always arise when teachers do that. Because the 2007 exam was the first one to feature the shipping and handling charges, registrations on old forms were delayed because they were incomplete. This year we even received (very late!) some applications that were so old that our address was inaccurate. In our attempts to be more efficient, we revise the application each year, so we ask that teachers only use the current application when registering their students.

New Format for NLE

Q.What a shock for me when I was told that the Latin I-IV exams were no longer in booklet form. This meant that I did not have the right number of exams and had to call for add-ons. What a panic at the last minute!

Most responses to the new color-coded exams have been positive. The change was made to allow each exam to be printed larger and more legibly. Exam administrators also seem to feel that the varied colors help their organization and seating procedure on exam day. This new format does require that teachers be careful when applying for the exact number of exams needed at each level. We encourage teachers to remind administrators to let them know the precise count for each exam upon arrival at the school.

Late Fee

Q.I did not receive an application for the NLE this past fall. For a variety of reasons, I was not able to call the NLE office to request an application until after the regular postmark deadline. When I did get the application mailed in, I was surprised to be charged the late fee. Why should I be penalized?

Since the application for the NLE is available online each year starting in the late summer, we encourage teachers who do not receive one from us in the early fall to either print one off our website or call us requesting the form. Please do this early since we must strictly observe the mid-January postmark deadline.