National Spanish or Portuguese Exam

Explanation of the 2021 National Spanish Exam and The 2021 Illinois Chicago Area Chapter 017 NSE Contest

One online exam makes students eligible for scholarship monetary prizes and gold medals! Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Your students take one online exam, but are competing both nationally and locally. When your students complete the exam online, they receive a score out of 100 on each of the four sections, a perfect score being 400 total points. The Chicago Area Chapter looks at the top scores reported by National in the Chicago Area and awards chapter prizes. Schools are sent the list of Chicago area winners via email to one teacher at the school to share with colleagues.

Traditionally our chapter has awarded monetary prizes ranging from $50 to $100 to the top ten scorers in all categories. However, the number and amount of the awards are always determined by the amount of money the chapter receives in registration money. The uncertainty of the pandemic has had its impact, and the 2020 awards had to be delivered through the national office.

National Recognition is determined by percentiles. The National Exam recognizes all students who score in the 50th percentile and above  as Oro, Plata, Bronce, or Mención Honorífica and provides certificates online for teachers to print out and give to their students recognizing their achievement. Teachers receive this information directly from the National Office. The Chicago Area Contest uses the total score to determine the top scorers in the Chicago Area and not the percentile. In many cases the Local Chapter winners are also recognized as Oro in the National contest. Not all students that receive “Oro” nationally, however, are Chicago Area Winners. Chicago Area winners are sometimes Plata or Bronce winners nationally. More information on recognition and scholarships available to students scoring well at the national level is available here.

National Scholarships and Awards

To be eligible for Global Citizen Scholarships and Senior Scholarships, students must have scored at or above the 75th percentile. Information about these awards is available by visiting the NSE website. Please encourage ELIGIBLE students to apply.