Take a look at this year's presentation at the 2021 American Classical League Institute: test results, changes to the exams, and how challenges were met.

2021 ACL Presentation (ppt)


The National Latin Exam has been made aware of several ways we can improve our question writing to reflect the diverse populations of students taking the exam. Some ways we can “change” an existing question:

  • Naming female characters as often as we name male characters
  • Expanding the roles and activities of women, while still maintaining cultural authenticity (i.e. Roman women did more than shop for dresses!)
  • While acknowledging that slavery did exist in ancient times, and that warfare and conquest were part of the history of ancient Rome, balancing questions that include references to slavery and warfare with the many other culturally authentic activities of the Romans, as well as including non-Roman views of the Romans
  • Avoiding portrayals of rape in mythology and avoiding euphemisms of rape (i.e. referring to Jupiter as “appearing” to Leda  or to Apollo’s “love“ of Daphne).

VERY IMPORTANT: we do not believe the above topics should never be addressed –  on the contrary, teachers play crucial roles in leading classroom discussions. However, these topics are not suitable as “one-off” questions students may encounter on an exam.


In an effort ot make the National Latin Exam a more meaningful experience for all students and teachers, we have renamed the exams in order to allow teachers to select the exam that most closely matches their curriculum, i.e., a Latin II class is longer required to take the Latin II exam, just because the class is called that. If the class is covering material described in the syllabus for the Beginning Latin Exam, the students should be signed up for the Beginning Latin Exam.

  • Introduction to Latin => Introduction to Latin
  • Latin I => Beginning Latin Exam
  • Latin II => Intermediate Latin Exam
  • Latin III => Intermediate Latin Reading Comprehension Exam
  • Latin III-IV Prose => Advanced Latin Prose
  • Latin III-IV Poetry => Advanced Latin Poetry
  • Latin V-VI => Advanced Latin Reading Comprehension Exam


Download a flowchart which shows the new names and sequence for taking the new National Latin Exams.


What demographic data is the National Latin Exam collecting?

The NLE is collecting data on grade level, race/ethnicity, gender, and the diversity of the Latin classroom compared to the entire school. These data will help the Latin profession understand who is taking Latin in the effort to promote more diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Why is the National Latin Exam collecting this demographic data?

The NLE, at the request of the American Classical League and others, was requested in 2019 to conduct demographic surveys of our participants. In consultation with our own DEI consultant and committees, we put together a list of questions which are attached to the exams, beginning in 2021. These questions are completely optional for the students and, because we compile the information obtained separately from the exam results, are completely anonymous. No student, teacher, or school is able to be identified by these data.

The information from the 2021 and 2022 exams has been collected and is being sent to the American Classical League as part of their ongoing effort to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the fields of Latin, Greek, and the classics. The NLE will be using these results to help us better serve today's Latin students.

Please let the NLE know if you have questions or concerns.


Take a practice version of the new exam.

The traditonal Latin III exam is called the Intermediate Latin Reading Comprehension Exam. This exam is suitable for students who have not yet made the transition to reading and translating authentic Latin literature and are still in the process of learning the concepts typically covered in Latin I and II, or who are in Latin programs that place a great emphasis on active Latin and comprehending Latin texts.

On this new exam, students read and understand Latin passages heavily adapted and simplified from the original authors or    composed specifically for the exam. This test consists of 2 reading comprehension passages - and no stand-alone      grammar/culture questions. Instead, cultural, historical, and mythological knowledge will be assessed within the context of the passages.

Download the practice Intermediate Latin Reading Comprehension Exam and the Answer Key or take the new exam online N.B. The online version of this practice exam may be slightly different than the paper version; students will get the same idea of what this new reading comprehension test is like. On the actual tests, the paper versions and online versions are identical.