What are these National Competitions?

 The National Spanish Exam, National Spanish Challenge and National Portuguese Exam are motivational contests to recognize student achievements in the studies of Spanish & Portuguese and to stimulate further interest in the teaching and learning of Spanish & Portuguese. 

Suite of National Exams Offered by the NSE

(PDF Comparison of Exams) • (PDF Exams Overview)

  • The National Spanish Exam (NSE) is an online, standardized assessment competition for Grades 6 -12, given voluntarily by about 4,000 middle and high school teachers throughout the United States, to measure performance (interpretive communication) and achievement of students who are studying Spanish as a second language. 
  • The National Portuguese Exam (NPE) is an online, standardized assessment competition for Grades 5-12, given voluntarily by middle and high school teachers throughout the United States, to measure achievement and performance (interpretive communication) of students who are studying Portuguese as a second language. 
  • The National Spanish Challenge (NSC) is an online, motivational contest for Grades 1-6, given voluntarily by elementary and middle school teachers to students who are studying Spanish as a second language.
  • The National Spanish Assessments (NSA) is an online, standardized assessment tool which tests both achievement and proficiency via computer-graded and rater-graded modules for students studying the Spanish language. The NSA is written from the same specifications and standards as the National Spanish Exam (NSE). Like the NSE, the NSA is a valid and reliable assessment of student achievement and proficiency. However, the NSA is not a contest. 


To Register for the National Spanish Exams please visit our NSE Registration page.

Our History

From 1957 until 2005, the National Spanish Exam was administered in a "paper and pencil" format. From 2006 until 2021, the National Spanish Exam had been administered in an online format through the Quia Corporation and was the first National World Language Exam to be administered online. After the 2021-2022 academic year, like many other national exams the NSE switched exam platforms to Lingco Language Labs.

In the meantime, the National Spanish Challenge (NSC) and National Portuguese Exam (NPE) were created to expand and further the NSE's Mission (below).

The National Spanish Exam (NSE) is the most widely used Spanish test in the United States! The NSE is also widely known as "America's largest academic Spanish contest."

For example: In the spring of 2020, a total of 150,000 students registered for the National Spanish Exam, National Portuguese Exam, and/or National Spanish Challenge!

The scores provided through the Suite of Exams offered by the NSE are recognized by numerous administrative and teaching associations and organizations at the local, state, and national levels.

Even the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) had placed this program on the NASSP National Advisory List of Contests and Activities throughout various years.

Our Purpose

The purpose of the National Spanish Examinations (NSE) is:

  1. To recognize achievement in the studies of Spanish & Portuguese
  2. To promote proficiency in interpretive communication in Spanish & Portuguese 
  3. To assess the national standards as they pertain to learning Spanish & Portuguese
  4. To stimulate further interest in the teaching and learning of Spanish & Portuguese

- Many Teachers state that they use the National Spanish Exam & the National Portuguese Exam to, "Prepare students to take other standardized tests," such as the AP, IB, SAT II, and other college placement exams. 

- Many Administrators state that they can, "Use data from the NSE & NPE to create reports to show how their schools have improved over an academic year."

Our Mission

The mission of the National Spanish Examinations (NSE) is to recognize student achievement and to promote language proficiency in the studies of Spanish & Portuguese. 

The NSE is committed to providing Teachers with assessment tools and offering Students opportunities to know their language skill ratings in vocabulary, grammar, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension.