Sunday, September 06, 2009

Classical Literacy Exam

News of a new competition, the Classical Literacy Exam, sponsored by the Albuquerque Academy Latin Honor Society, was recently carried in Torch, the official quarterly magazine of the National Junior Classical League. The Classical Literacy Exam is open to students everywhere and will require no specialized knowledge of the Latin language. Exam topics include Classical mythology, history, culture, some vocabulary derivatives, Latin phrases and abbreviations, and literature. The main emphasis is on Roman civilization, but there will be a few questions about Greek civilization and culture (eg. terms such as agora, Parthenon, and Acropolis on Level I and some brief philosophical references on Level II and III.)

According to Hugh Himwich, who is directing this new initiative, the guiding principle is "to include everything that an educated person should know about the Classical world, even if they unfortunately have never had a Latin class." Of course, if they have studied Latin, "the CLE will be a reward and a delight." There are three levels to the examination.

Contact the exam sponsor to be put on the mailing list to receive an application and study guide. The target for administering the exam is the first week in February (but there is some flexibility for schools that need an alternative date.) Award certificates will be sent in March as well as school book awards for outstanding participation and achievement.

Teachers will grade their own tests and send the results to the CLE headquarters.

According to the advertisement in the Torch, the cost for the exam is fifty cents per student. The format is fill-in-the-blank with the term that matches the definition. The application deadline is January 15, 2010.

The Classical Literacy Exam website is currently under construction and more information is forthcoming soon, so keep checking back for complete details to be posted in the next few weeks.