Victoria! Four Latin I Students Win Medals in the National Latin Exam

(From left to right) Winners Brynne Gomez, Glenna Gomez, Geneva Waynick, and Laura Madler

(From left to right) Winners Brynne Gomez, Glenna Gomez, Geneva Waynick, and Laura Madler

Freshmen Glenna Gomez, Laura Madler, Brynne Gomez, and senior Geneva Waynick earned top awards for their Latin prowess after participating in the National Latin Exam in March. The students won three gold medals and one silver medal, which are the two highest award rankings in the exam program.

The National Latin Exam is a test administered to students in Latin classes of all levels across the world. Last year, 142,000 entrants participated in the exam from the U.S. alone, along with an additional 12,200 students from 20 international countries. There are seven different exams for the different Latin classes, from Intro to Latin to Latin V-VI. Each exam consists of forty different questions about grammar, translation, comprehension, culture, geography, history, mythology of the Latin language and the Roman Empire.

After completion, the exams are sent back and scored for the potential to win an award. A perfect 40/40 will earn the student a “Perfect Paper,” award. Students who score in the first rank, 36/40 or above, win gold medals and suma cum laude certificates, and a score of 32/40 is a silver medal- maxima cum laude. Certificates are also awarded to students in the third and fourth rank, magna cum laude and cum laude, respectively.

The National Latin I Exam was taken by students G. Gomez, Waynick, Madler, and Gomez- all first year Latin students. G. Gomez and Waynick both had scores of 38/40, Madler a 37/40, and B. Gomez scored 35/40. For their efforts, G. Gomez, Waynick, and Madler earned gold medals and suma cum laude rank. B. Gomez won a silver medal and maxima cum laude.

Though the exam questions are based on Latin grade level, there is no way to know what will be covered on the test. To prepare for the exam, the students took multiple practice exams from previous years, memorized different declension, case, and tense charts, and stayed after school to study. They were aided in exam preparation by Latin teacher Kevin Murphy, a past National Exam gold medalist himself. The devoted studying certainly fit with the National Latin Exam Organization’s motto, “Sapere Aude,” which translates to “Dare to know.”

Gomez, B. Gomez, Waynick, and Madler were the sole entrants in the Latin I exam, and all earned top awards. The students also surpassed the overall average score for the Latin I exam, which is around 29/40. In the past few years Murphy has been teaching at Menchville, participating students have brought in a certificate or two and maybe a medal, but four in the same level is fairly unusual. Said Murphy, “Usually there are no more than two [medals] in the same year. We might have ten students enter, but only one or two win gold or silver medals. Four was good.”