Χαῖρε! The CAMWS College Greek Exam (CGE) is the first and only nationally standardized exam for assessing students in their first year of college-level Greek. In addition to the elementary exam, CAMWS offers an Attic tragedy exam for those in the final phase of the intermediate-level study of Greek or later.
The elementary exam consists of forty multiple-choice questions. The first twenty questions are discrete questions about morphology, grammar, and syntax. The second twenty are based on a brief reading condensed or adapted from an ancient passage in Classical Greek. The grammatical material is not geared toward any specific textbook but is based on frequency of forms and constructions, chosen with the idea that these are fundamental concepts for any beginning reader of ancient Greek (Attic or Koine).
Similarly, the vocabulary is chosen on the basis of frequency across a wide variety of texts and with the idea that the list will constitute a useful core for readers of diverse interests. The Attic tragedy exam consists of forty multiple-choice questions based on an unaltered passage drawn from a play of one of the three main tragedians.
A syllabus that details what the student is expected to know is provided for both exams. Copies of past exams, previous reports, and more are also available. All of these materials are posted at camws.org/cgehistory. A list of institutions who have previously participated may be found at camws.org/cgeparticipants.
There is no fee to participate, although institutions must print out the exams and mail the scantrons back to CAMWS. The scantrons themselves are distributed by CAMWS at no charge. An institution does not need to be a member of CAMWS to participate.
Starting in Fall 2021, the CGE is administered on an academic-year (Fall-Spring) instead of a calendar-year (Spring-Fall) schedule, as it had been in the past. In addition, in order to offer more flexibility to instructors, the period in which to administer the exams has been expanded. If you are administering the elementary exam, we ask that you do so at a time that is as close as possible to the point when you are two-thirds the way though the first-year Greek sequence at your institution. The Attic tragedy exam must only be taken once by each student, but institutions may administer the exam in the Fall, Spring, or both. The dates of administration for the 2023-2024 exams are as follows:
Fall: October 2nd to October 27th
Spring: February 19th to March 15th
All exams must be received by CAMWS no later than November 15th for the Fall and April 1st for the Spring.
The results of the Fall 2023 administration will be combined with those of Spring 2024 and announced in April. Medals and ribbons will be awarded at that time as prizes. In addition, the Ed Phinney Award is bestowed upon any student earning a perfect score (or the highest score) on the elementary exam. The Intermediate College Greek Exam Prize is awarded to the student(s) earning the highest score on the Attic tragedy exam. The medals are provided by Eta Sigma Phi, and the ribbons by the University of Georgia Classics department, which also mails the prizes to the individual institutions.
Please submit this form to request exam administration materials. Requests for Fall administration should be received by September 25th. Those schools teaching the first semester of Greek in fall instead of spring should request administration materials by February 12th.
For questions about this exam, please contact the CGE Chair at email@example.com.
Members of the Committee on the CAMWS College Greek Exam
The chair of this committee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The members of this committee can be reached at email@example.com.
EDWARD PHINNEY BOOK PRIZE
The Classical Association of the Middle West and South has established the Edward Phinney Book Prize, to be awarded to any student receiving a perfect score (or coming closest to a perfect score) on the elementary College Greek Exam.
After receiving his PhD from the University of California Berkeley (1963), Phinney joined the Classics department at the University of Massachusetts in 1969, where he became an important advocate for educational technology and distance learning. With Patricia Bell he was the author of the Cambridge Latin Course. He died in 1996.
Since 2008, the College Greek Exam (CGE) has been providing national exams for college students in Greek courses. The exam is administered in fall and spring. In addition to the Phinney award for the Elementary exam, students compete for medals and ribbons for the Elementary and Intermediate/Tragedy exams. To participate in the exam, fill out the Request to administer the exam.
Recipients of the 2023 Phinney Prize:
- Balin Armstrong (William and Mary)
- Keara Dean (William and Mary)
Previous Recipients of the Phinney Greek Prize
2022 Recipient: Marcel Mazon (University of Georgia)
2021 Recipient: Madeleine Staples (Brigham Young University)
2020 Recipient: Michael Kerr (Brigham Young University)
2019 Recipient: Peter Psathas (William & Mary)
In 2018 four students earned perfect scores and were recipients of the Phinney Prize:
Susanna Emeline McClellan (University of Georgia)
Jacob Gerber (Grinnell College IA)
William Thompson (Tufts University MA)
Peter Rachofsky (Columbia University NY)
This prize was awarded, for the first time, in 2017, to Zebediah Figura (Grinnell College, IA).
If you would like to contribute to the fund for this prize, please go to https://camws.org/donate/phinney.
Intermediate/Tragedy College Greek Exam Prize
This prize is awarded to the student(s) earning the highest score on the Intermediate/Tragedy College Greek Exam.
Recipients Of The 2023 Intermediate Greek Prize:
Elie Aoun (Case Western Reserve University)
Peter Geigle (Brigham Young University)
Jade Simmons (Brigham Young University)
Previous Recipients of the Intermediate Greek Prize
- 2022: Alexander Christensen (Brigham Young University)
- 2021: Anne Rolfe (Hillsdale College)
- 2020: David Sullivan (University of Georgia)
- 2019: Susanna Emeline McClellan (University of Georgia)
- 2018: Yanxin Li (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)