The National Latin Exam, sponsored by the American Classical League and the National Junior Classical League, is a 40-question, multiple-choice test with a time limit of 45 minutes, offered to students on seven levels: Introduction to Latin Exam, Beginning Latin Exam (previously called Latin I), Intermediate Latin Exam (previously called Latin II), Intermediate Latin Reading Comprehension Exam (replacing Latin III), Advanced Latin Prose Exam (previously called Latin III/IV Prose), Advanced Latin Poetry (previously called Latin III/IV Poetry), and Advanced Latin Reading Comprehension Exam (previously called Latin V/VI+). These exams are not based on any specific textbook series.

On the Introduction to Latin, Beginning Latin, Intermediate Latin, Advanced Latin Prose, and Advanced Latin Poetry exams, there are questions on grammar, comprehension, mythology, derivatives, literature, Roman life, history, geography, oral Latin, and Latin in use in the modern world. The Intermediate Latin Reading Comprehension and Advanced Latin Reading Comprehension exams contain two Latin passages (one prose and one poetry) as the basis for questions on grammar, comprehension, historical background, classical literature, and literary devices.

Take a look at the NLE Syllabus

Nota Bene: Teachers now have greater flexibility to offer exams at the level appropriate to the abilities of their students. Teachers should read the syllabus and find the exam which most closely resembles what has been taught by the teacher so far that year in the classroom.

The philosophy of the National Latin Exam is predicated on providing every Latin student the opportunity to experience a sense of personal accomplishment and success in his or her study of the Latin language and culture. This opportunity exists for all students since, in the National Latin Exam, they are not competing with their fellow students on a comparative basis, but are evaluated solely on their own performance on the exam. The basic purposes of the NLE are to promote the study of Latin and to encourage the individual student.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals has voted to place the National Latin Exam on the Advisory List of National Contests and Activities. This is distributed to all secondary schools in the United States each September.

Dates and Deadlines for the 2022 NLE

  • Postmark deadline for registrations: Friday, January 22, 2022
    • Any postmark received after Friday, January 22, 2022 is considered late.
    • Late postmark deadline: Tuesday, February 1, 2022. Late registrations must include the late fee: an additional $20.00 for orders of 4 or fewer, an additional $50.00 for orders of 5 or more exams.
  • The principal, headmaster, test administrator, or designee should receive the exams via UPS in February.
    • Open and count the exams and answer sheets immediately! If the numbers of exams and answer sheets is incorrect, please call Clement Testing Service at 800-459-9847.
    • If exams have not been received by March 1, please call Clement Testing Service at 800-459-9847.
  • Early Administration Week #1: February 28-March 4, 2022
  • Early Administration Week #2: March 7-11, 2022
  • Regular Administration Week: March 14-18, 2022
  • A packet including awards, certificate of school participation, printout of student scores, national norms, and answer key for all exams will be mailed to the Latin teacher involved by April 20.

Administration of Exams

  • The principal, instructional coordinator, guidance director, the Latin teacher, or any other designee may administer the exams.
  • The time limit for taking the exams is 45 minutes. If the demographic information has been completed before the day of the exam, the time limit is 40 minutes.
  • ALL STUDENTS OF THE SAME LEVEL must take the exam during the same time period. The test administrator should try to seat students of the same level apart from one another. No make-up exams are allowed after the fact.
  • Teacher should call the NLE Office (888-378-7721) before the day the exam is to be given to inquire about students with special needs or for issues regarding scheduling.
  • If you are giving the exams online, please keep in mind that there are many thousands of combinations of devices, operating systems, browsers, security settings, and network configurations. There is no conceivable way that we can guarantee any particular set up will definitely work for this exam. That said, at this point we have not heard of a device or browser that will not work with Chromebooks, phones, tablets, PC devices, and Apple devices of all sorts have been able to test successfully on many different browsers. However, because every device, school, network, and home has its own configuration, we are not able to answer questions regarding your specific device’s suitability. When people have run into trouble (which is uncommon), it has to do with how their particular device and configuration interact with the website. There is no way we can predict that. We thank you for understanding.
  • When exam is over, Administrator should count completed answer sheets, and check test materials for any missing answer sheets.
  • Answer sheets must be returned and postmarked the same day the exam is given, or the last day of administration if different levels are given on different days.
  • No answer sheets mailed separately from the school’s package will be accepted without prior permission.
  • The last day exam may be taken and answer sheets returned is MARCH 18.
  • Exams are not to be seen by the Latin Teacher prior to the day the exams are to be given.

Registering for Exams

  • ONE Latin teacher from a given school fills out registration form completely.
  • Keep a copy of the registration form for your records.
  • Mail the registration form to the NLE office or submit online.
  • Enclose ONE check or money order payable to the National Latin Exam, credit card information, or pay online.
  • Send the registration form and payment to:
‚ÄčNational Latin Exam
University of Mary Washington
1301 College Avenue
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

  • The NLE will send to the Latin teacher a postcard verifying receipt of registration form and payment.
  • The exams will be sent to the PRINCIPAL, HEADMASTER, or TEST ADMINISTRATOR OTHER THAN THE LATIN TEACHR in February. If the exams are not received by the principal or examiner by March 1, write or call the number on the postcard acknowledgment.

Cost of Exams

  • Schools in the United States pay $6.00 USD per exam; $10.00 for ordering only one exam.
  • Schools outside the United States pay $8.00 per exam; $10.00 for ordering only one exam; US funds only, drawn off of a US bank.
  • For orders to a school address, there is a $15.00 shipping and handling charge per registration. For deliveries to a residence or for foreign orders, there is a $30.00 shipping and handling charge. There is also a $5.00 charge for paying by credit card.
  • Purchase orders are NOT accepted in lieu of check or money order.
  • NLE charges schools requesting extra "Instruction Sheets for the Examiners". Some of our participating schools request additional copies of the Instructions for Examiner forms (the “Blue Sheet”) and return envelopes. These schools are often distance or online learning programs with students spread out across the country. The teachers request the extra Blue Sheets and return envelopes so that each testing site will have these materials. The National Latin Exam is happy to fill the request for additional materials; however, in the last year it has come to our attention that the printing and mailing costs for filling these requests have become excessive. Unfortunately, this means that we must begin charging an additional fee for schools that make these requests. Schools that request between 11-50 extra blue sheets and return envelopes will incur an additional $25 fee. Schools that request 51 or more extra blue sheets and return envelopes will be charged an additional $50 fee. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.


Awards on all of the exams are based upon the annual, national average for each separate exam.

  • Perfect paper: a special, colored certificate printed with the name of the winner
  • Gold medal and a summa cum laude certificate awarded to top scorers
  • Silver medal and maxima cum laude certificate to second-place winners
  • Magna cum laude certificate to third-place winners
  • Cum laude certificate to fourth-place winners
  • The names of winners of Perfect Papers and Gold Medals will be published in Torch U.S., the publication of the National Junior Classical League.

Special Awards

The special book awards program is in a transition period. Students who have earned 4+ gold medals or 3+ perfect scores will be recognized by special book awards, to be mailed to the students' schools in late spring.

The special book awards for 2021 include:

  • For 3 Perfects -- Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization
  • For 4 Perfects -- Oxford Latin Dictionary
  • For 5 Perfects - to be determined
  • For 4 Golds -  Ancient Roman World
  • For 5 Golds - Oxford Companion to Classical Literature