Certamen is a game of fast recall of facts about classical civilizations and its peoples, languages, and cultures. The matches are supposed to be fun, competitive, and informative. There are two types of Certamen contests for NJCL students at Convention, Open Certamen and Competitive Certamen.

  • Open Certamen provides an opportunity for students to engage in FRIENDLY competition. The designated purpose of Open Certamen is to allow those delegates without much previous practice the chance to experience Certamen on a fun level, without the pressure of Competitive Certamen.
  • Competitive Certamen is for those students who wish to play certamen at a competitive level. These students MUST be cleared to play be their state/provincial chairs. The three divisions of NJCL Competitive Certamen are Novice, Intermediate, Advanced. 
  • Additionally, the World Series of Certamen (WSOC) is available for teachers and those who have graduated. While it does tend to be competitive, it is meant for fun and entertainment.

What does Certamen mean to the players and coaches?

    "Some students have a deep-seated desire to learn more than what is taught in the classroom. No Latin teacher can cover vocabulary, grammar, derivatives, Roman history and daily life, mythology, and the influence of Latin in the modern world with any degree of thoroughness during class. Students who find these areas fascinating and are willing to delve deeper into them find Certamen a fulfilling experience.

    Some students know that they are Latin nerds and revel in the camaraderie of other Latin nerds. Rather than hiding their knowledge, they compete with each other to show it off, and feel good about themselves in the process.

    Winning is always nice, but learning more and developing self-respect are what education is all about."
-- Susan S. Schearer

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Please visit our Vimeo page for some exciting videos of matches.