National Roman Civilization

National Roman Civilization Exam | NRCE

The National Roman Civilization Exam (NRCE) is designed to test a student's knowledge of ancient Roman society.

Exam Overview

  • This is a test on the history and culture of the ancient Romans from 753 BC to the end of the reign of Constantine the Great.
  • 50 questions (45 minutes)
  • Multiple Choice (4 choices)

Question breakdown:

  • Approximately 25 questions on Roman history and 25 questions on Roman civilization (5 difficult, 10 medium, 10 easy for each)
  • Roman History: 5 Monarchy, 10 Republic, 10 Empire
  • Roman Civilization: clothing; living arrangement; food & meals; Roman theater; gladiatorial games; chariot races; religion; holidays and festivals; political and public career; roads; military; baths; geography; Roman slavery; travel & communication. (No more than 2 questions per topic).


  • 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).

Exam Procedures

  • will e-mail the teacher with exam instructions, usernames, and passwords the day before the exam window opens. A second email will follow with additional "day of" instructions and the "secret word."
  • The instructions are very thorough, containing information on how to add students to the exam the day of, how to add extra attempts in case of technical errors, etc. 
  • 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.

Study Guides and Sources

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 Rome (TMRC-B0461) by Adkins and Adkins (ISBN 0195123328)
  • A History of Rome to A.D. 565 by Sinnigen and Boak (ISBN 0024108006)
  • Livy: Stories of Rome translated by Roger Nichols (ISBN 0521228166)
  • A History of Rome by Cary and Scullard (ISBN 0312383959)
  • History of the Roman People by Yeo and Ward (ISBN 0130384801)
  • The Oxford Classical Dictionary, 2nd and 3rd editions
  • The Private Life of the Romans by Johnston (ISBN 1410203506) (ONLINE) (PDF)
  • The Romans: From Village to Empire (TMRC-B0456) by Boatwright, Gargola, and Talbert (ISBN 0195118758)

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

2022-2023 National Roman Civilization Exam cut off scores are available.
Downloadable NRCE certificates