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ISEB Common Entrance Classics Exam

Introduction

These classics exams are intended to meet the needs of those candidates who may have had only a limited exposure to Latin and/or Classical Greek as well as of those who have reached a more advanced stage. Therefore, the syllabus comprises different levels. In Latin, there are three levels at Common Entrance, plus an additional scholarship level; in Classical Greek there are two levels at Common Entrance. In both languages, Level 1 is intended for candidates who have studied Latin/Classical Greek for 1 to 2 years. Level 2 is for candidates who have studied Latin/Classical Greek for 2 to 3 years. Latin level 3 is for candidates who have a greater depth of learning.


There are four assessment objectives, which are specified for students. Please find a full breakdown of CE Classics, as well as the requisite assessment details and objectives below.

Latin: all levels

Question 1 (15 marks)  Candidates will be asked a series of questions to test comprehension of the first paragraph (45 words or so) of a passage.

Question 2 (30 marks) Candidates will be asked to translate into good English the second paragraph (about 50 words) of the passage.

Question 3 (20 marks) Candidates will be asked a series of questions to test their knowledge of the grammar and their ability to give a simple English derivation based on the final paragraph (about 30 words) of the passage. They will also be asked to perform some simple manipulation of the language and some translation into Latin, using vocabulary provided.

Question 4 (10 marks) This section will offer a choice of eight questions on non-linguistic studies (two from each of the four topic areas). Candidates are to attempt one of these questions.

Classical Greek Level 1

Question 1: transliteration into English (10 marks) Candidates will be asked to write a transliteration of five words from Greek to English.

Question 2: transliteration into Greek (10 marks) Candidates will be asked to write a transliteration of five words from English to Greek.

Question 3: translations and English derivations of words (10 marks) Candidates will be asked to translate and give derivations in English of five Greek words.

Question 4: translation of verbs (10 marks) Candidates will be asked to translate five Greek verbs into English (5 marks) and translate five verbs into Greek (5 marks).

Question 5: translation of sentences into English (25 marks) Candidates will be asked to translate ten sentences into English, five of about three Greek words, and five of about four or five Greek words.

Question 6: translation of sentences into Greek (10 marks) Candidates will be asked to translate three very short sentences into Greek.

Question 7: comprehension Candidates will be asked to answer questions on a passage of Greek.

Question 8: translation (together with Question 7: 25 marks) Candidates will be asked to translate a passage of Greek.

Level 2

Question 1: transliteration into English (5 marks) Candidates will be asked to write a transliteration of five words from Greek to English.

Question 2: transliteration into Greek (5 marks) Candidates will be asked to write a transliteration of five words from English to Greek.

Question 3: translations and English derivations of words (10 marks) Candidates will be asked translate and give derivations in English of five Greek words.

Question 4: translation of sentences into English (15 marks) Candidates will be asked to translate five sentences into English.

Question 5: multiple-choice grammar (5 marks) Candidates will be asked to identify and manipulate verbs (person, number and tense) and nouns and/or adjectives (case, number and gender).

Question 6: translation of sentences into Greek (10 marks) Candidates will be asked to translate three short sentences into Greek.

Question 7: comprehension (10 marks) Candidates will be asked to answer questions on a passage of Greek.

Question 8: translation (40 marks) Candidates will be asked to translate a passage of Greek of approximately 40 words.

Assessment details

The Common Entrance examination in both Latin and Greek will comprise a 60-minute paper. Vocabulary which is not in the prescribed vocabulary list will be glossed.

Assessment Details
Candidates should develop their knowledge and understanding of:

  • AO1 translation from Latin or Greek to English;
  • AO2 translation from English to Latin or Greek at an appropriate level;
  • AO3 manipulation of basic grammar;
  • AO4 (Greek only) transliteration from Greek to English and English to Greek.
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