National Classical Etymology

National Classical Etymology Exam | NCEE

What is the National Classical Etymology Exam?

The National Classical Etymology Exam (NCEE) is designed to test a student's ability to handle both Latin and Greek derivatives and their usage in the English language.  The details of the exam can be found below.

  • Exam registration links and administration dates for exams can be found at HERE
  • Access the NCEE sample set here. 


Exam overview

  • This test is based on English vocabulary words that are derived from Latin and Greek, with emphasis on academic and SAT vocabulary words.
  • 50 questions (45 minutes)
  • Multiple Choice (4 choices)

Question Breakdown:

  • Approximately 37 Latin derivative and 13 Greek derivative questions
  • 20 Easy; 20 Medium; 10 Difficult
  • Greek: common prefixes and suffixes; numbers; basic verbs
  • No knowledge of the Greek alphabet is necessary.
  • Latin: common prefixes and suffixes; numbers; body parts; basic verbs
  • This exam is generally meant for grades 6-12, but students of any grade level are allowed to participate.
  • Awards will be divided into two divisions of three levels each. Students will first be divided into two divisions, those who have taken Latin or Greek in school and those who have not. Each of these divisions will then be separated into Novice (all grades through 8), Intermediate (9 & 10) and Advanced (11 & 12).

Study Sources

Study Guide

N.B. Items listed as TMRC are available from the Teaching Materials and Resource Center of The American Classical League, Oxford, OH 45056 (

Exam Procedures

  • For step by step instructions, see the Exam Guide
  • All students from a school should take the exam at the same time (unless prior approval is given).
  • Any school administrator, counselor, or sponsoring teacher may proctor the exam.
  • Results and awards will be distributed later in the school year.


For more information or for questions about this exam, please e-mail

2023-2024 National Classical Etymology Exam cut off scores are available.

Downloadable NCEE certificates: