Academic Decathlon is the highest level of academic competition in the nation that isn’t about a single event but 10 different events that test the decathletes over multiple skills and disciples. This competition is not a sprint to the finish line but a marathon of student learning and development over the course of a year that tests each competitor’s wit, dedication, and their motivation to excel. Each year the events center around a main theme that is announced the year before. This year’s theme is In Sickness and in Health: An Exploration of Sickness and Wellness.
The teams are created by using the student’s GPA to place them in one of three divisions. Three members from each of the three divisions make up a team of nine. VARSITY LEVEL: GPA below 2.999 in core courses over the previous two scholastic years. SCHOLASTIC LEVEL: GPA above 3.0 but below 3.749 in core courses over the previous two scholastic years. HONORS LEVEL: GPA above 3.750 in core courses over the previous two scholastic years. Note: For classification purposes a grade in an honors or AP course do not receive extra points in computation of competitive level.
The team of 9 go on to compete in 5 different types of events that will put their mastery of various subjects and disciplines to the test. These events include: Tests of knowledge These 7 multiple choice tests are from the seven Academic Decathlon subjects that center around their knowledge of the 1960's. SCIENCE: The science topic will be an introduction to the biology of cancer. LITERATURE: The literature curriculum will include critical reading, one long work of literature, and selected shorter works. The long work of literature will be the 1818 version of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. ART: The art curriculum will include a section on art fundamentals and will largely focus on an exploration of illness and wellness in art. MUSIC: The music curriculum will introduce students to various musical works from across the centuries that will allow them to examine the role of mortality in Western art music. SOCIAL SCIENCE: The social science curriculum will introduce students to the history of healthcare. ECONOMICS: The economics curriculum will cover fundamental economic concepts, microeconomics, and macroeconomics and will also include a thematic section on health economics. MATHEMATICS: The mathematics curriculum will cover algebra and trigonometry. Speech In the prepared speech, you'll speak for up to four minutes on any topic you'd like. Afterward, you'll be asked to speak give an impromptu speech for up to two minutes on a topic you haven't seen before with only one minute to prepare. Interview You will be given 7 minutes to answer questions about the most interesting subject, yourself. The judges will ask you various questions pertaining to your background, interests, and goals. Essay You will be given 50 minutes to write the strongest paper possible on one of 3 prompts that you are given that can be from 6 of the 7 Academic Decathlon subjects- excluding math. Super Quiz Relay This is the one Academic Decathlon event that is open to the public. In this event, each division (Varsity, Scholastic, and Honors) will work together to answer 39 multiple choice questions in front of a live audience with only 10 seconds to deliberate among themselves. Each division will answer 13 questions, 2 from each of the 6 subjects and 1 question of math that they can use a calculator on. After the Varsity division completes their 13 questions, they will sit down as the Scholastic division tries to add points to their score, then the Honors division will answer the final 13 questions to end the relay.
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