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AATI National Italian Exam 2020

The National Italian Exam is an official AATI national language contest held among middle and high school students. The NIE is not only as an assessment tool, which provides teachers and students with diagnostic feedback and positive backwash to help inform high school instruction and curricula, it is also as an opportunity for visibility and for promoting Italian programs in North American schools. The AATI is committed to offering an innovative exam that is aligned with the ACTFL Performance Descriptors and the 2012 ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, for this reason AATI encourages instructors of Italian to invite their students to participate in the National Italian Exam, which could help them prepare for the official exams of Seal of Biliteracy, the SAT II and finally, will make them eligible for the Società Onoraria Italica scholarships..
With over 5,000 high school students of Italian taking the exam every year, the NIE provides an excellent opportunity to highlight students’ success. AATI offers an extensive regional and national prize program that consists of monetary prizes, study-trips to Italy, medals and certificates to award students of all different abilities and to celebrate their accomplishment.


  • November 16, 2018 to February 8,2019: registration period.
  • February 15,2019 to February 25, 2019: late registration period. Please note that the late registration fee is $30 per order.
  • February 26,2019 to February 28, 2019: registration closes.
  • March 1, 2020 to March 31, 2020: exam administration period
  • March 15, 2020: payments must reach AATI by this date. If payments are not received by this date, students will be automatically disqualified.
  • April 30, 2020: results are announced.


The AATI NIE levels are defined as follows: Novice Level, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, Level 5. There are specific criteria to consider when selecting the appropriate exam level for your students.


Considering the wide variety of students language background and the impact that it might have on the exam results, the NIE presents a series of categories for each of the exam levels. The correct placement of students in the appropriate category is crucial to obtaining reliable and valid results. Teachers and test administrators are encouraged to verify the accuracy of students’ placement and refer it to the exam director who may elect to verify. Whenever there are borderline cases, the teacher and the administrator will decide on the basis of good judgement and consistency or contact the Exam director.
The Novice Level has only one category (A) while all the other levels have 3 categories: A, B, and C.


The exam is delivered electronically through the platform Quia and presents 6 levels. Each level (except for Novice level which is comprised of 40 items) is comprised of 50 selected-response items (multiple choice, matching, and ordering) divided in an interpretive listening/viewing and an interpretive reading section with 25 questions each. The questions include a variety of authentic short audio /video segments and written texts followed by questions that elicit skills appropriate to each level of performance (ranging from recognition, main idea, text purpose and audience, to supporting details). Teachers can decide to administer the exam in one or in two separate sessions, according to their needs.
For more information on the typologies of the questions, the lexical domains and samples of performance, consult the specifications in the document below.


All students in all levels and categories will receive a medal, a prize and/or a certificate, according to a specific percentile. Each teacher will receive a Results Report that will include students raw scores, as well as their percentile rankings, which will indicate the performance of an individual student.


All students participating in the NIE will be celebrated by AATI! Students who receive a percentile lower than 70% will be awarded a certificate of participation or of achievement.


Students who rank above the 70% percentile will receive an AATI medal.


The value and the criteria for the monetary prizes as well as the prizes assigned by the Società Onoraria Italica will be posted on the AATI website at a later stage.


Italian partner language schools offer a generous scholarship program for the AATI National Italian Exam. Each scholarship consists of a 2-week course with accommodations and tuition expenses included. The flight is at the recipient’s expense, however, AATI will contribute a cash award.


    • AATI Membership. In order for students to participate in this examination, teachers must be a member of the National AATI in good standing during the year in which the exam is taken. To become a member of the AATI, please visit the AATI website.
    • Familiarize with Exam Categories and Levels. Teachersshould establish the proper exam level for their students checking the levels descriptions and categories. Homeschooled students, students who have studied Italian outside the school setting, and college students can participate in the competition, but should contact the NIE director to determine the exam level (l.maiellaro@northeastern.edu).
      Be aware that categories and level descriptions have been modified for the 2020 exam.
    • Familiarize with the Exam Format and Content.
    • Read the Administration Manual. Before administering the National Italian Exam, it is very important that teachers familiarize themselves with the Test Administration Instructions. Each student needs access to a computer or tablet connected to the Internet. AATI strongly recommend reviewing Quia’s technical
      requirements. .
    • Register Students on Quia. Since all exams will be administered electronically using the Quia platform, teachers should register their students on Quia.
    • Pay Exam Order to AATI. The cost per exam is $8.00 per student and to pay your order for the AATI National Italian Exam.
    • Let your student practice the NIE. To allow students to gain familiarity with the Exam and for teachers, to test the Exam’s functionality in advance, it is possible to take Practice Exams that reflect the structure and functionality of the NIE. .

For more information:

→ send an e-mail to Gina Maiellaro at l.maiellaro@northeastern.edu

NIE Brochure

NIE 2020 in detail

Go to AATI website