National Hellenic Civilization

National Hellenic Civilization Exam | NHCE

The National Hellenic Civilization Exam (NHCE) is designed to test a student's knowledge of ancient Greek society. 

  • Exam registration links and administration dates for exams can be found at HERE
  • For additional questions, you can see the FAQ's - coming soon.

Exam Overview

  • This is a test on the history and culture of the ancient Greeks from the Minoan period (c. 2000 BC) to the death of Alexander the Great with a focus on the Hellenic period (776 BC-323 BC)
  • 50 questions (45 minutes)
  • Multiple Choice (4 choices)

Question breakdown:

  • Hellenic history: 2 questions on pre-Hellenic civilization (Minoans, Mycenaeans), 24 Hellenic History 
  • Greek literature: 11 questions
  • Greek alphabet: 3 questions
  • Greek life: 10 questions no more than two questions per topic of:
    • clothing; living arrangement; food & meals; Greek theatre; religion; holidays and festivals; political and public career; roads; military; baths; geography; travel & communication.
  • This exam is generally meant for grades 6-12, but students of any grade level are allowed to participate.
  • Awards will be divided into three levels, Novice (grades 8 and below), Intermediate (9 & 10) and Advanced (11 & 12).

Study Guides and Sources

Study Guide: Word and PDF

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

  • A Handbook to Life in Ancient Greece by Adkins and Adkins (ISBN) (TMRC)
  • History of Greece to the Death of Alexander the Great by J.B. Bury (ISBN) (TMRC)
  • Ancient Greece From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Time by Thomas R. Martin (ISBN) (TMRC)
  • Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, Cultural History by Sarah B. Pomerey, Stanley M. Burnstein, Walter Donlan, and Jennifer Tolbert Roberts (ISBN) (TMRC)

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 Hellenic Civilization Exam cut off scores are available.
Downloadable NHCE certificates