Classical Literacy Exam

The testing dates for the 2019 CLE and CSE are February and March, 2019.

Our guiding idea is to include everything that educated people should know about the classical world, even if they have unfortunately never had a Latin class. Students study an official list of classical terms, phrases, and identifications. The test then requires students themselves to provide the term, phrase, or identification from that list that correctly answers a given question. There are a total of fifty questions.

Example: To what goddess is the Parthenon dedicated? Answer: Athena
(The tests from the previous years provide excellent practice.)

Every answer is a term, phrase, or identification from the official lists. When taking the exam, students are not allowed to use the official list or any other list as an aid to their memory. As Athena came from the head of Zeus, so the answers must come solely from each student’s brain.

Each higher level test requires knowledge of terms, phrases, and identifications from lists for the respective lower levels in addition to the official list assigned to that level. The Level I exam includes terms from the Introductory list; the Level II from the Level I and Introductory list; and the Level III from the Level I, II, and Introductory lists.

Teachers may determine for themselves the appropriate level of testing for each student. Teachers will be provided a password that will enable them to download and print out all tests and answers. Each teacher scores the exams of his own students and sends us a report. Though we are happy to offer guidance in particular cases, teachers should feel free to decide for themselves questions of spelling and alternative answers.

We award Perfect, Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Honorable Mention certificates for all levels of the exam. Certificates will be made available in April so that teachers may personalize and print off their own copies.

Teachers may choose any week in February or March, 2019 to administer the test.

 The registration deadline for both exams is February 1, 2019.