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.
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.