Certamen is a game of fast recall of facts about classical civilizations and its peoples, languages, and cultures. The matches are supposed to be fun, competitive, and informative. There are two types of Certamen contests for NJCL students at Convention, Open Certamen and Competitive Certamen.
- Open Certamen provides an opportunity for students to engage in FRIENDLY competition. The designated purpose of Open Certamen is to allow those delegates without much previous practice the chance to experience Certamen on a fun level, without the pressure of Competitive Certamen.
- Competitive Certamen is for those students who wish to play certamen at a competitive level. These students MUST be cleared to play be their state/provincial chairs. The three divisions of NJCL Competitive Certamen are Novice,Intermediate, Advanced.
- Additionally, the World Series of Certamen (WSOC) is available for teachers and those who have graduated. While it does tend to be competitive, it is meant for fun and entertainment.