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National Memory Master

2019 Curriculum and Competition Update

For the 2019 National Memory Master Competition we will be using the Foundations Curriculum, Fifth Edition for Cycle 1, and we will be using the Foundations Curriculum, Fourth Edition for Cycles 2 and 3.

Since the information for Cycle 3 does not contain significant changes, we will be using only the fifth edition curriculum moving into the 2020 competition. Families interested in competing in the 2020 contest have two years to familiarize themselves with the content.

2019 NMM Rule Book

What is the National Memory Master Competition?

National Memory Master is a nationwide memory competition for Classical Conversations® students, ages 11-12, that culminates in a national championship for 16 finalists on a cruise and a chance to win $10,000. Students interested in entering the National Memory Master competition must complete a Cycle 3 proof with their local licensed community director. Additionally, parents should be certain that their students can accurately recall information from Cycles 1 and 2 at home.


What is the difference between the National Memory Master Competition and the regular Memory Master process?

At the end of each Foundation’s year, students wishing to participate in the Memory Master program recite all of the information they have learned from the following categories: history, geography, English grammar, Latin, math, and science to their parents, another adult, their tutor, and finally to their local licensed community director. They use memorization resources such as the popular audio CD and timeline cards. (For a more detailed description of the Foundations program and associated memory work, please see our Foundations program page.)

Directors in licensed communities bestow the title "Memory Master" on students who successfully recite ALL of the memory facts from the current year's memory work. Students who successfully complete the Memory Master process are awarded the title “Memory Master” and are given a t-shirt to commemorate their success.

Student’s wishing to compete in the National Memory Master competition must complete a proof on the current Foundations cycle with their local licensed community director as the first stage in the national competition. The only difference between this proof and a regular Memory Master proof is that it must take place earlier in the year. Once a student has completed an early proof in order to participate in the National Memory Master contest, they will be considered a memory master for their community.


We are proud to announce the winner of the 2018 National Memory Master Competition!

Zoe Aviles

2018 National Memory Master


View top 16 Finalists


Have More Questions?

Please Read our FAQ  or like us on Facebook for more videos and competition updates.



Parents and students that participated in the 2017 National Memory Master Contest reported the following benefits when they transitioned from the Foundations and Essentials program to the Challenge program:

"Confidence - Doing NMM taught Ivy that she CAN learn/ memorize a large amount of material just by working hard and not giving up. This was HUGE! She is not afraid to tackle any lesson...every lesson seems small compared to learning an entire CC Cycle."

~ April Jirsa

“Mastering the Memory Work- Knowing the memory work very firmly- especially the Latin declensions and conjugations, helped prepare me for Challenge A. The cartography for the world map drawing taught me the basic shapes of many of the countries. It also taught me how to memorize drawing the countries on a grid because I did it over and over again in preparation for the competition.”

~ Elizabeth Pryzbyla

“Family Bonding- I committed to memorizing the timeline backward WITH my son. This helped him emotionally and strategically, as we had to problem-solve together HOW it could be done. Since I have five children (including an extremely active one year old as we prepared), these sessions often occurred in odd segments of time including very late at night, but the bonding of those hours will stay with me a long time”

~ Marcia Ford

“Time management- THIS, in my opinion, is the MOST important skill we gained from National Memory Master. My son, Ethan, and I would sit down and make a plan for what he needed to work on each day, which included his own school work, Essentials, and also National Memory Master work-like the timeline backwards, and he would prioritize his day and work. We would take breaks and I would go over stuff with him during the day, BUT this was his responsibility and he took ownership of this. IT is a huge leap from Foundations/ Essentials to Challenge A and this prepared us for the transition. This experience taught him to work HARD and to tackle HARD things, which is all a part of challenge work.”

~Kimber Morrow


See example videos from 2018


National Memory Master 2018 video submissions from Zoe Aviles (left) and Lance DiMalanta (right).