The Classical Association of Virginia
 Promoting Classics in The Old Dominion Since 1910



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Tournament and Contests
Awards and Recognition
Teacher Placement Service


All elementary, middle, and high school teachers who are members of CAV are encouraged to have their students
participate in any or all of the contests listed below. Please contact the individual chairs for more information.

CAV Latin Tournament
CAV Classical Essay Contest
CAV Latin Essay Contest


See the Summer 2020 Newsletter for Results

These exams are designed to test the student's mastery of the Latin language
and, in the case of the advanced level exams, some basic literary
matter at that particular level of study. 

N.B. Changes and updates for the Tournament in 2020:

1. The length of the tests will be shorter than in past years, and should be completed in a 90-minute session.

2. On levels 1 and 2, vocabulary lists are made available as a resource to students and test-writers.


There are five tests offered. Read the syllabi for all five exams here.
Latin 1
Latin 2
Intermediate Latin Prose
For students in Latin 1 or 1A For students in Latin 2 For students in Latin 3 or 4, in a course not
primarily focused on reading authentic
Vocabulary List Vocabulary List
60 questions AND sight translation 60 questions AND sight translation 50 questions AND sight translation
vocabulary, derivatives, grammar & syntax, reading comprehension, translation

Advanced Latin Prose
Advanced Latin Poetry
For students reading authentic prose. Includes
passages of Caesar, Cicero, and authors of similar
For students reading authentic poetry. Includes
passages of Vergil, Ovid, and authors of similar
50 questions AND sight translation 50 questions AND sight translation
reading comprehension, translation, grammar & syntax, literary devices

For sample questions and formats, please check out previous years’ exams.


Schools in Virginia may compete in one of three divisions:
• Alpha (secondary and intermediate public schools)
• Beta (independent and private schools)
• Gamma (charter, magnet, and governor’s schools) 


Teachers must submit their registration postmarked by Friday, February
14, 2020. Competition fee is $3.00 per student, non-refundable.  Try the tournament for free your first year!  Your students may compete free of charge if your school is registering for the first time or has not registered in the past five years.

               2020 Reg. Form (pdf)           

All teachers entering contestants MUST be members of the CAV.  Not yet a member? Join today! Non-members may join by sending in dues with the Registration Form. After November 1, dues are $20 per person. If this is your first year teaching Latin in Virginia, you are eligible for one year’s free membership.

By February 20, registrations will be confirmed by email. Tests will be mailed to the address given on your registration by March 11.

The exam will be given at the school of the participants and may be administered by the Latin teacher. Students will have 90 minutes in which to complete their exams. Schedule your administration session during the week of March 16-20, 2020. For scheduling conflicts (such as spring break vacations), please apply for early registration during the week of March 9-13, 2020. All students in the same level of Latin MUST be tested at the same time.

Administration Instructions                  Student Lists


Kevin Jefferson
6072 Kestner Cir
Alexandria, VA  22315

The awards on the Latin Tournament are designed to recognize students who have achieved an outstanding performance on their exam.  First place winners will receive an engraved Jefferson Cup; second and third place winners will receive medals. Certificates of Honorable Mention will also be awarded as the Tournament Director deems appropriate. If there is a large number of students registered on an advanced level of testing, awards may be subdivided by year of Latin. If the number is small, there may be fewer than three awards. Awards will be announced at the spring meeting of the CAV; if for any reason the awards themselves may not be available at that meeting, they will be mailed as soon as possible.

each division (alpha, beta, and gamma): a plaque will be awarded to the
school with the most points for first, second, and third places.

Nota Bene: Please be advised that the CAV will not publish in its newsletter or on its website the names of student winners whose families do not wish to make that information public. If your school or school system maintains data on which students may or may not allow their names to be published, please advise Kevin Jefferson.  It is the responsibility of each individual Latin teacher to inform the tournament director if any students opt out of having their names listed among the winners in the newsletter.

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THE 2020 CAV


Classical Essay Information Available To Print: pdf

  • The CAV Classical Essay Contest is designed to recognize those students who have submitted outstanding essays in English on a topic appropriate to each level or class.
  • The contest is open to students in the public and private middle and high schools of Virginia, and homeschoolers, whose teachers are current members of the Classical Association of Virginia.
  • Essays shall be submitted in English in the following divisions:
    • First Year Latin :  Lion King: The Birth and Ascendance of Romulus  (Division A for students in grade 6-8; Division B for grades 9-12)
    • Second Year LatinMy Fair Lady: the story of Pygmalion and Galatea
    • *Third Year LatinBeauty and the Beast: the myth of Cupid and Psyche
    • Advanced Latin (Latin III and above*):
      • VergilMamma Mia: the role of Venus in the Aenied
      • PoetryHadestown: Orpheus and Eurydice, the power of Orpheus (both Vergil and Ovid's versions accepted)
      • **HistoryHamilton: the life of Publius Valerius Publicola & the founding of the Republic

*N.B.: Students who are in their third year of Latin who choose to do the general third year topic will be judged only with other Third Year students. They may also submit an essay in one of the advanced topics. This is so that we do not prevent students who are in their third year and doing one of the advanced authors from writing on the author they are currently studying. Those essays will be judged in the same pool as the advanced level students.

**N.B.: The history topic is open to both Latin 3 and Latin 4+ students, and will be graded in separate groups.

N.B.: Students at the Third Year and Advanced levels may submit essays in more than one category.

  • Essays should be roughly 1000 words, typed double-spaced on a single side of the page.
  • The first page of the essay may include a title. The student's name should not appear on any page of the essay, and the pages of the essay should be numbered.
  • Each entry must come with a COVER PAGE (Word) | COVER PAGE (.pdf). Please use the form provided here.
  • The cover page shall include:
    • name and home address of the contestant
    • name and address (with city or district) of the school
    • name of the teacher
    • year of Latin studied in 2019-2020 (First, Second, etc., AP is NOT a level)
    • student's grade level
    • essay topic
  • No help may be received from any person in the research, preparation, and/or writing of the essay. Books and electronic sources may (indeed, generally should) be consulted, provided that all research is completed by the student and proper acknowledgement of intellectual property is given. A list of sources and works cited should be provided at the end of the essay on a separate page. A good on-line source for help in the formal preparation of an essay is Purdue's online writing lab (OWL), which can be found at:
  • Teachers, of course, are allowed to guide students toward the types of reference material to consult, and provide general instruction on the writing of a good essay. However, teachers must not provide any editorial feedback to the students. That is, they should not be reading and commenting on their students' essays before the final form in which they will be submitted.
  • Essays should present a clear, coherent synthesis of material researched. A lively and well-organized essay is better than a laundry list of facts. Judges look for verve and imagination in the writing, and not merely quantity of research. To this end, it has been the policy to accept essays that are closer to creative writing exercises than to the traditional expository essay. It is to be understood, however, that the same amount of factual content and critical thought must be in evidence in whatever form the essay takes. It should be noted as well that what appears to be a creative approach to writing an essay begins to look less and less creative when essay after essay is written in the same pattern.
  • The fee is $2.00 per student. Teachers who are not members of CAV should send their dues of $20.00 with the entrance fee. Make checks payable to the Classical Association of Virginia. Ineligible entries will be discarded.
    • Due to COVID-19 and school closure, fees will be addressed in the following two ways:
      • Students may now send thier essays to Nadia Ghosheh directly, paying the $2.00 participation fee out of pocket - the CAV will follow up with teachers/sponsors regarding their membership dues, as necessary.
      • OR students may submit an essay via their teacher/sponsor, and the teacher/sponsor can pay Nadia Ghosheh now or at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year (by September 30th) from their club dues.
  • Please note that by entering this contest you are giving the Classical Association of Virginia consent to publish your name in its official publications. Winners' names will be published on the CAV website and in the CAV newsletter.
  • Note also: the winning essays will be posted on the CAV website in pdf form. If students do not want their names published and/or essays posted, they should please add a note to that effect on their cover page.
  • The contest closes on Friday, April 17, 2020.   Entries may be submitted electronically or sent through US mail.  Those postmarked after the closing date will be discarded. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded at the Spring meeting. All entries should be sent to:
Nadia Ghosheh
Director of CAV Classical Essay Contest
6072 Kestner Cir
Alexandria, VA 22315

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THE 2020 CAV

No submissions will be accepted through the regular U.S. Postal Service.  Submissions must now be sent by the teacher as attachments to an email.  Send them to John Miller at  All other instructions are still in effect.

Print Out a Copy: pdf


1. The contest is open only to students in high schools and preparatory schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia whose teacher is currently a member of the Classical Association of Virginia and whose dues for 2019-2020 school year have been paid in full at the time when the entry is submitted.

2. No fee is charged for essays entered in the Latin Essay Contest.

3. All entries must be submitted through the Latin teacher. No entries sent directly by the student, or received from any other source than the teacher, will be accepted.

4. Each entry must be accompanied by a written statement from the teacher, specifying

a. Both the level of Latin which the student is taking at the time of submission of the essay and the number of years the student has been taking Latin.

b. The author(s) and title of the basic textbook being used in the course which the entrant is taking.

5. All entries must be received on or before Friday, April 17, 2019.

No submissions will be accepted through the regular U.S. Postal Service.  Submissions must now be sent by the teacher as attachments to an email.  Send them to John Miller at  All other instructions are still in effect.

John F. Miller
Director, CAV Arthur F. Stocker Latin Essay Contest
University of Virginia, Department of Classics
B018 Cocke Hall, P.O. Box 400788
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4788

6. Essays must be written entirely in Latin, and must be on the subject prescribed for the level of Latin the contestant is taking. The subjects for this year are:

First Year Latin: De Venere dea amoris (100-200 words)

Second Year Latin: De illo bello magno contra Hannibalem (150-250 words)

Advanced Latin: De ludis in circo et in theatris (200-300 words)

7. If the number of contestants warrants it, there will be separate competitions and awards for students in third-year Latin and for students in fourth- or fifth-year Latin, but this shall be entirely at the discretion of the judges.


1. The first page of each entry shall be blank, except for

a. The full name and home address (including the zip code) of the contestant. Nick-names should not to be used.

b. The full name (including the middle initial) of the contestant's Latin teacher.

c. The name and post office address (including zip code) of the school in which the contestant is enrolled.

2. The contestant's name shall appear in the upper right-hand corner of every page submitted, except for the first page (see Rule #1, above).

3. The name of the Latin teacher and the name of the school shall not appear anywhere except on the first page of the entry, as prescribed in Rule #1, above).

4. Contestants may write only on the subject specified for the level of Latin in which they are enrolled. The limitations on the number of words for each subject should be carefully observed.

5. No help from any person is permitted in the preparation of this essay. Reference books on Roman literature, Roman life, and Roman history, books about Roman religion, Latin dictionaries, and Latin grammars may of course be used, but a bibliography identifying books that have been used should appear at the end of the essay.

6. Judging will be based both upon the content of the essay and on Latin usage, but the correctness of the Latin will be the most important single factor. Contestants should make a conscious effort to incorporate as many as possible of the new syntactical features of the Latin language that they have encountered for the first time on the level of Latin for which they are currently enrolled. The syllabi for Latin I, Latin II, and Latin III that have been prepared for the use of students taking the Latin Tournament examinations should be consulted.

7. The names of the winners in each competition and of those receiving honorable mention will be announced at the spring meeting of the Classical Association of Virginia..

8. All entries become the property of the Classical Association of Virginia, and will not be returned to the writer after judging. Contestants who want to keep a copy should make one for themselves before submittal. The decision of the judges will in all cases be final.

***Nota Bene I: Teachers should inform students that, by entering this competition, they are giving the Classical Association of Virginia permission to publish their names in any of its official publications. This permission is given unless the students make written requests to the contrary.

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