National Latin Exam Award Ceremony

Jason Chan excited and surprised that he is receiving an award. Pictures by Brandon Wong.

Sapere aude is Latin for “dare to be wise.” This is the National Latin Exam’s (NLE) slogan and in March, Latin students across the United States took the exam with this philosophy in mind. According to the official NLE website, “the NLE is not meant to be a competition but rather an opportunity for students to receive reinforcement and recognition for their accomplishments in the classroom.”

Based on the scores the students received, they could be eligible for certificates, medals, and even scholarships. These students were honored at the National Latin Exam Award Ceremony in the Jenkins Auditorium on May 3.

Julie Fox, Malden High’s Latin teacher, expressed that “every year, [they] hold a ceremony to recognize [their] students’ success on the NLE.” While everyone that takes the exam is invited, a few special people stood out.

There are four levels of awards for the NLE. The awards are centered around the national average score for the exam level. The exam levels include, but are not limited to, Intro to Latin and Latin I/II/III. Cum Laude certificates are given to students who score 1-2 points above average. Magna Cum Laude certificates go to students who score 3-5 points above average. Silver medals and a Maxima Cum Laude certificate go to students 6-8 points above average. Gold medals and Summa Cum Laude certificates go to students 9-10 points above average. These students usually only miss 1-4 questions total.

Silver medals this year were awarded to Jennifer Wong, Ina Liu, Phone Thu, Kenny Nguyen, and Liam Schwab. Gold medals went to Jing Ren, Mayahuel Morse, Olivia Chan, Billy Zeng, and Eugene Yoon. Many students also received Cum Laude and Magna Cum Laude certificates.

Liu, a freshman at Malden High says that “[she] was really surprised when [she] won because [she] didn’t expect to get such a high score.” She won the Maxima Cum Laude medal which means that she scored 6-8 points above average. Even though Liu did well, “[she] feels like [she] could’ve studied more” and “practiced more reading comprehension.”

A group of first, second, and third year and AP Latin students playing Quizlet Live after awards. Photo by Branden Wong.

Nguyen, a sophomore who also won the silver medal, expresses that “the award made [him] feel accomplished,” but he could also work on “the grammar of sentences on the exam.” He hopes that doing so will help him stay on the right path for next year to achieve the gold medal.

Wong, another freshmen states that “although [her] score was pretty high, [she] probably should’ve prepared [her]self better for the exam by sleeping earlier.” She agrees with Liu when she says she could work on her comprehension more.

The ceremony ended with everyone playing several rounds of Quizlet Live consisting of Latin vocabulary that the students studied over the course of the year. Overall, it was a very positive experience for all Latin students and rewarding for them to see the progress they have made.

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