National Latin Vocabulary

National Latin Vocabulary Exam | NLVE

The NLVE is designed to test a student's knowledge of Latin vocabulary and is based solely on specific lists of Latin vocabulary relevant to a particular student's level of Latin.

  • 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 of proficiency in Latin vocabulary (nouns, verbs, numbers, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, etc.)
  • 70 questions (45 minutes)
  • Multiple Choice (4 choices)

Question breakdown:

  • Approximately one-third will relate to nouns; one-third will relate to verbs; the remaining third will address the other categories of vocabulary
  • Approximately 20 easy, 35 medium, 15 difficult
  • Nouns - questions will test a knowledge of meanings, declension numbers, gender, and the nominative and genitive forms.
  • Verbs - questions will test a knowledge of meanings, conjugation numbers, and principal parts.
  • No knowledge of grammatical usage, derivatives, or other information is necessary. 
  • The administered exams are specific to the level of Latin in which the student is currently enrolled. 
  • Awards will be divided into six levels: Latin ½, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5+

Vocabulary List Source Materials & Methodology

The NLVE will only ask questions related to the words on the official Latin vocabulary lists, which are located below.

  • Latin ½ vocabulary list HERE (PDF) or HERE (Word)
  • Latin 1 vocabulary list HERE (PDF) or HERE (Word)
  • Latin 2 vocabulary list HERE (PDF) or HERE (Word)
  • Latin 3 vocabulary list HERE (PDF) or HERE (Word)
  • Latin 4 and 5+ vocabulary exam will consist of at least 50% of the Latin 3 list with the remainder coming from "The Vocabulary of High School Latin" (see below).
  • The NLVE will only ask questions about words that are on the official lists. Each list has been created to emphasize proficiency in a specific level of Latin. For example, if a student is in Latin 1, that student should download the Latin 1 vocabulary list and memorize the information related to those words, as ONLY words that are on that list will be asked on the Latin 1 exam. Information relating to words from the other lists will NOT be asked of a Latin 1 student.


  • The Latin ½ and Latin 1 lists contain those words which a student is most likely to encounter in any standard first-year Latin program.
  • The Latin 2 list contains those words which a student is mostly likely to encounter in a traditional Latin class that is preparing the student for Caesar or similar Classical authors.The list is based almost entirely on "Latin Vocabulary For The First Two Years" by Elmer Bogart, which is free from Google Books or may be downloaded HERE.
  • The Latin 3, 4, and 5+ lists are based almost entirely on "The Vocabulary Of High School Latin" by Gonzalez Lodge, which is based on the vocabulary of Caesar, Vergil, and Cicero, and is free from Google Books or may be downloaded HERE. Bold and numbered words in the book are used for level 3. Levels 4 and 5+ use all of the words contained in the book.
  • Generally, one may use the above source books to learn the dictionary entries for the vocabulary words on the lists. In the event that more information is needed, we suggest the Perseus Latin Dictionary (based on Lewis & Short and the Elementary Lewis & Short). The Oxford Latin Dictionary will also be considered a source.

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

2024 National Latin Vocabulary Exam cut off scores are available.
Downloadable NLVE certificates