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Academic Decathlon

Academic Decathlon Information

ABOUT

 

The Academic Decathlon is an educational competition designed for high school students from all academic achievement levels. Teams are comprised of 9 students, decathletes, who compete in 10 areas and an academic relay, Super Quiz, to demonstrate their knowledge and proficiency of a specific theme. Students participate in 30-minute objective tests covering Literature, Mathematics, Social Science, Science, Art, Economics and Music separately. There is also a 50-minute essay, 3.5-4-minute prepared speech, a shorter 1.5-2-minute impromptu speech and a 7-minute interview for each student. A new topic of study is selected by the United States Academic Decathlon each year.

 

Founded in 1968 by the late D. Robert Peterson, a former Orange County Superintendent of Schools, the Academic Decathlon continues to be an asset for all students involved. It provides a platform for students to utilize 21st century skills while challenging themselves and each other to be creative, think critically, communicate and collaborate to be a winning team. The program teaches practical life skills such as time management, organization, and interviewing.

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), has been involved with Academic Decathlon since 1981, hosting both state and national competitions at various times. LAUSD has sent the greatest numbers of high scoring teams to state competition, 14 in 2018, and holds the record for the most state titles with twenty-three. District schools have won the National title nineteen times as well.  

The success of the Academic Decathlon is shared by the students, their coaches and teachers, the supportive administrators at their schools and the understanding and flexibility of their families. Countless hours are spent learning, researching and practicing for the competitions.

The competitions are coordinated by LAUSD central office personnel. They are dependent on hundreds of volunteers to serve as speech and interview judges, essay readers, test and Super Quiz proctors. Schools are responsible for recruiting volunteers and central office works with alumni, District staff, community, and educational groups to ensure enough volunteers are present at each event. Schools are expected to recruit 4 volunteers, including one school administrator to serve as a volunteer during the 2 days of competition.

 

PURPOSES OF THE ACADEMIC DECATHLON

 

  • To encourage students to develop a greater respect for knowledge
  • To promote wholesome inter-school competition in academic areas of study and interest
  • To stimulate intellectual growth and achievement
  • To encourage public interest and awareness of outstanding programs in American schools

 

THE TEAM

 

Each school is to have a team consisting of nine members, all of whom are to be full-time students (four or more classes) from the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and/or twelfth grades.  The members are to include three students from each of the categories listed below.

 

Category

Grade Point Average

Honor

3.75  - 4.00

Scholastic

3.00  - 3.74

Varsity

2.99  or below

 

 

COMPETITION EVENTS

 

All nine team members will compete in all of the following academic events:

 

1. Objective tests:

  • Art
  • Economics
  • Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Science
  • Social Science

2. Essay

 

3. Speech

 

4. Interview

 

5. Super Quiz Relay
If a Decathlete does not compete in the essay, interview, and speech events on Day 1 of the competition, he/she will not be eligible to compete in the objective tests and Super Quiz on Day 2. The only exceptions will be granted for illness or family emergency. A written excuse from the parents/guardians and signed by the Coach will be required.

Join the 2019-2020 Academic Decathlon Team