Latin Subject Test

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Introduction

If you’ve studied Latin for more than two years, taking the Latin Subject Test is a great way to highlight your achievements and enhance your admission profile.

Online practice will be available later this fall. Learn about other ways you can practice.

Test Basics

Scoring, Timing, Number of Questions
Points Minutes Questions
200–800 60 70–75 (Multiple Choice)
Important:

Important Notes

  • Offered in December and June

Getting Ready for the Test

  • Select appropriate grammatical forms of Latin words
  • Choose Latin words from which English words are derived
  • Translate from Latin to English
  • Complete Latin sentences
  • Choose alternative ways of expressing the same thought in Latin
  • Answer a variety of questions based on short passages of prose or poetry
  • 2–4 years of Latin in high school, or the equivalent
  • Gradual development of your competence in sight-reading Latin over a period of years
CONTENT Approximate % of Test
Grammar and syntax 30%
Derivatives 5%
Translation and reading comprehension
The reading comprehension portion includes three to five reading passages and one or two poetry passages. A set of questions following a poetry passage always includes one question requiring you to scan the first four feet of a line of dactylic hexameter verse or to determine the number of elisions in a line.
65%

 

Download the SAT Subject Tests Student Guide (.pdf/6.3MB) for more information on the topics.

Download for free:

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The Official Study Guide for All SAT Subject Tests, Second Edition

Get the only study guide available for all 20 SAT Subject Tests.

Features include:

  • 20 full-length, previously administered Subject Tests
  • Detailed answer explanations for all test questions
  • The most up-to-date tips and approaches on selecting which tests to take, the best time to take the tests, and how to best be ready for test day
  • The latest versions of the instructions, background questions, and answer sheet
  • Detailed descriptions of every Subject Test, including topics covered and recommended course work
  • Two audio CDs for all six Language with Listening Tests

Buy now.

Note: Free online practice will be available later this fall.

Additional Things to Know

Although macrons do not appear in this online practice, they do appear on the actual test.

Variations of Latin words appear in parentheses on the test. For example: iudicium (judicium).

A set of questions following a poetry passage always includes one question requiring you to scan the first four feet of a line of dactylic hexameter verse or determine the number of elisions in a line.

When should I take the Latin test?

There are a few factors to consider as you decide when to take the test. You should have at least two years of strong preparation in the language, but the more the better.

It is recommended that you take the Latin test as close to the end of the most advanced Latin class that you plan to take, while still balancing college admission and placement requirements. You’re likely not to do as well if you take the test after you haven’t been in a Latin class for several months.

  • For seniors studying Latin: If Latin is a strong subject for you, be sure it’s one of the SAT Subject Tests you take in time for colleges to see your score. If you’re only taking it for placement purposes, and not as part of your application for admission, wait until you’re as far along in your course as possible.

Please note that this test reflects what is commonly taught in high school. Due to differences in high school classes, it’s likely that most students will find questions on topics they’re not familiar with. This is nothing to worry about. You do not have to get every question correct to receive the highest score (800) for the test. Many students do well despite not having studied every topic covered.