Students get ready for National Latin exam

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By: Karla Llano Reyes, Staff Writer

Students who are taking Latin this year will have the opportunity to participate in the National Latin exam that will take place on Tuesday, March 8th during second period. All 50 states and 10-15 countries are able to participate in this exam, which is where the students compete with each other and test their knowledge.

The National Latin exam is a special exam that tests what the students have learned in class.

“It’s a 40 multiple choice test that is designed to include all kind of things that Latin kids study,” Latin teacher Donna Dollings said. “It tests Latin grammar, reading comprehension, vocabulary, knowledge of Roman culture, ancient history, Roman and Greek mythology.”

This exam also is a way to learn new things because the exam’s curriculum doesn’t always match up with Chesterfield’s Latin curriculum.

“It’s not bound by the county’s curriculum and pushes us to go outside those bounds and to learn more in order to be competitive,” Dollings said.

Even though this is something the students are able to enjoy, it’s also used as a way to review.

“I use this as an opportunity to push us forward, [and] give us a focus and a guide for learning new things we haven’t learned yet or to review things we may have forgotten,” Dollings said.

The teacher doesn’t get to see how the students do or get to grade it either.

“I don’t see the test, [the] test goes to Mr. Dietz and then he mails them to the National Latin exam office in Fredericksburg, Virginia [at the] University of Mary Washington,” Dollings said.

There is a total of 82 students who are participating in this exam.There are also five different levels students are able to place. Fourth place is Cum Laude (with praise), third place is Magnā Cum Laude (with great praise), second place is a silver medal Maximā Cum Laude (with very great praise) and first is a gold medal Summā Cum Laude (with the highest praising) and lastly there is a certificate for the perfect paper.

“It’s been a while since we’ve had a perfect paper; I would like to have one this year,” Dollings said.

Dollings has always been proud of her class and she enjoys getting prepared for this yearly exam.
“I’m always excited to see how my students perform and it’s really fun to open the results together to see how everyone did,” Dollings said.