Spanish Club Students Excel at the National Spanish Exam

Well-Trained Mind AcademyWorld Language

This year, Well-Trained Mind Academy Spanish Culture Club members participated for the first time in the National Spanish Exam, hosted by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. This competition is not only a great way to test students’ proficiency holistically, but it also allows students to see how they are progressing in their understanding of the Spanish language alongside their peers across the country. Students only compete against students at the same level. They also compete against those with a similar learning experience, whether from solely learning Spanish in the classroom, learning outside of school, or being raised bilingually. It has two parts: achievement and proficiency. The achievement section tests students’ vocabulary recognition and grammatical understanding while the proficiency section tests interpretive communication skills through reading and listening comprehension tasks. 

Not all Spanish class curricula are the same across the country, so club members needed to practice the vocabulary and grammar unique to the competition. Luckily, students had access to an online portal that allowed them to practice this material and regularly did so. Also, the difference in material allowed club members to learn new vocabulary and grammatical concepts yet to be introduced within our curriculum. We even practiced the vocabulary together during club meetings through interactive online games. 

A couple of weeks after the exam closed, students received a report card that broke down their performance not only by their scores on each section but also their percentile amongst all students who took the exam. Additionally, their proficiency score for interpretive communication was broken down by specific skills such as inferencing and identifying the main idea, purpose, tone, point of view, and supporting details of spoken and written texts.

Ultimately, the percentiles are what determine student award levels. There is a gold medal for students who score at or above the 95th percentile, a silver medal for those who score at or above the 85th percentile, a bronze medal for those who score at or above the 7th percentile, and an honorable mention for those who score at or above the 50th percentile. 

Six of our club members competed and the results were as follows: 


Abigail Goggin (Level 3 – 98th)
Joanna Erbaugh (Level 2 – 97th)

Honorable Mention 

Abigail Lee (Level 2 – 58th)

Monica Battles (Level 1 – 70th)

Vivian Brown (Level 1 – 74th) 

Congrats to the Attendees!

We are so proud of these students’ accomplishments and cannot wait to see who will join us in the Spanish Culture Club to compete next year!

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