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Tips for the Latin ExCET Exam

prepared by Tim Moore

I. Some general tips from those who have taken the exam

  1. Try to take only the Latin exam on the day you take the test.
  2. Be prepared to paraphrase.
  3. Be prepared to choose the best Latin word in a passage.
  4. Culture is the easiest part.
  5. Be prepared to analyze sentences grammatically (the kind of thing you need to do as a teacher)
  6. Get a good night's sleep.
  7. The Latin text questions take up at least 100 of the 125 questions.  Do not be intimidated by the large amount of Latin on the test.
  8. In preparing, the more time you can spend reading the authors listed below, the better.
  9. As you read, practice by blanking out words and thinking about how to decide which word would fit best in the blank.
  10. Time should not be a problem: you have four hours for 125 questions. Think carefully about each of your answers.
  11. Many have found the vocabulary  on the exam difficult. In addition to reading, you may want to work with vocabulary lists, flash cards, or other techniques. Note in particularly that the vocabulary on the exam is not the same as that in the study guide.
  12. You may want to sneak some food into the exam room, to eat half-way through.
  13. Be prepared to recognize alternate verb forms (e.g., laudasse for laudavisse). 
  14. Use the process of elimination in deciding what answer to choose.

II. Major authors whose works appear on the test: the official list:

Aulus Gellius Horace Sallust
Caesar Livy Tibullus
Catullus Martial Vergil
Cicero Ovid  
Cornelius Nepos Pliny the Younger





III. Useful books

  • Amsco Review Texts for Latin. They have a rather traditional "drill and kill" format, but they have their uses. The publisher's address is: Amsco School Publications, 315 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013-1085. There are three phone numbers: General Information 212-886-6500; Order and Customer Service 212-886-6565; FAX 212-657,7010.
  • Wheelock's Latin, 5th edition, revised by R.A. LaFleur. HarperCollins. Straightforward presentation of grammar; passages in back for practice.
  • Frederick Wheelock. Latin Literature: A Book of Readings. Waveland Press. Selections from several authors with helpful commentary.
  • Jenney's Third Year Latin and Jenney's Fourth Year Latin: A good source of passages which might be on the test.
  • Sally Davis, Review and Test Preparation Guide: Intermediate Latin. Longman Publishers.
  • R. Colebourn, Latin Sentences and Idiom. Methuen. Good composition practice.
  • Moreland and Fleischer, Latin: An Intensive Course. University of California Press.
  • Cambridge Latin Series, Years 3 and 4. Cambridge University Press. Extensive readings in Latin.
  • Humez, Alexander. Latin for people = Latina pro populo. Little, Brown. Humorous readings and review
  • Longman readers, especially that for Sallust. Useful texts and commentary.
  • Latin for Americans, volume 3. Useful source of passages. 
  • Many useful readers are available from Bolchazy-Carducci Press. 
  • Note also the massive amount of material on Latin and Latin pedagogy now available on the web. The TCA New Teachers  page is a good place to start.

IV. Responses to email survey

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Last updated June 6, 2001. This site was re-created September 1998 by Ginny Lindzey, Webmistress, Texas Classical Association. To report problems  please contact Ginny at ginlindzey@lindzey.us