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Intermediate Greek Certificate: Why, When and How to Succeed in Classical Greek

Updated: Mar 1


What is the Intermediate Certificate in Classical Greek (ICCG)?


Until recently, it has not been easy to find an opportunity to learn classical Greek while in secondary education. However, a new kid on the block is revolutionising access to an entry-level qualification in Greek.

The ICCG provides a straightforward scaffold to organise your learning and leads to a recognised certificate that can be used in UCAS applications.


Greek doric temple on a green territory
The temple of Segesta, in Sicily

This post contains affiliate links, which help me keep producing free resources at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, but I only ever recommend products that I use and believe are worthwhile.


Here are the main features of the Intermediate Certificate in Classical Greek:

  • You do not need any previous knowledge of Classical Greek to get started and it can be completed in one year (or more if desired)

  • It takes place every year in June (15-day window is given)

  • As a Level 3 course recognised as a QIP, it will not only be accepted as part of your UCAS application but also add proof of your determination, passion and achievement in the study of an ancient language

  • It is very closely based on Taylor Greek to GCSE 1

  • It can be considered half a Classical Greek GCSE (minus the literature papers), and it is a solid foundation if you want to continue with the study of the language

  • It is graded as Distinction, Merit, Pass or Fail

  • It costs £15 to sit it, and it allows resits if necessary the following year – but not in Autumn, as for some other courses

  • It can be arranged to be taken both on the premises or outside of a secondary school

  • It is endorsed by the Classical Association, Classics for All and JACT Greek Summer School

  • It includes both language and the study of mythology

  • Access arrangements will be taken into consideration, including but not limited to 25% extra time when needed


What is the aim of the ICCG certificate?


As stated on the UCAS website, the certificate aims are the following:


The course is designed to enable candidates to develop:
1. a basic level of competence in the Classical Greek language;
2. a sensitive and analytical approach to language in general;
3. an awareness of the influence of Classical Greek on the languages of today;
4. an appreciation for Classical Greek history and culture, as exemplified in stories about Greek myth and history.

You can find out more directly on the ICCG website, including the full specification, past papers and mark schemes, explanatory videos and additional resources.


Who can take the certificate?


The certificate has been designed for students in Y9-11, but it is also an excellent complement for A-Level and mature learners.


What will the assessment look like?


The following is an extract from the specification:


The examination will consist of one 90-minute paper, with 100 marks available. All the Greek passages printed in the paper will form a continuous narrative or will concern a common theme. The difficulty of the Greek will increase gradually between Sections 1, 2 and 3. The overall difficulty of the passage in Section 3 will be roughly commensurate with that of the passages in Chapter 6 of Greek to GCSE: Part 1 (Taylor). Sections 1-3 will assume knowledge of the accidence and syntax detailed in Appendix 1 of this specification, and the Greek to English Defined Vocabulary List (c. 280 words) as detailed in Appendix 2; other vocabulary and proper nouns not in the DVL will be glossed. Vocabulary and grammar used in the English-to-Greek sentences in Section 4 will be drawn from the words in the English to Greek Restricted Vocabulary List, and the Restricted Accidence and Syntax list, both contained in Appendix 3. No accents will be printed on the examination paper, other than for interrogative τίς.


If this has whetted your appetite, check out some of the activities I use to teach this course on my blog or by following my YouTube channel.



Classical Greek courses

If you are looking for a course to learn Greek from scratch and start working towards the ICCG exam, I offer them in small groups capped at 5 students. Please get in touch to ensure that you enrol on the most appropriate level.

All you will need is your own copy of Taylor's Greek to GCSE 1







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