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Essential Information for Coaches 2017-2018

Essential Information for Coaches

  • The U.S. Academic Decathlon® competition is comprised of ten events. There are seven multiple-choice exams—one in each of the following subject areas: art, economics, literature, mathematics, music, science and social science. Students will also take an essay exam and will be judged in a speech event as well as an interview event.
  • The culmination of the competition is the Super Quiz™ relay. The Super Quiz™ relay includes questions (in multiple-choice format) from the following seven subject areas: art, economics, literature, mathematics, music, science, and social science.
  • The multiple-choice exams in art, economics, literature, music, science, and social science each have 50 questions. Coaches can contact their State Director to find out the format that will be used for the Super Quiz™.
  • The U.S. Academic Decathlon® permits students to use calculators, including graphing calculators, for the mathematics exam only, provided they have none of the features listed in Section III of the U.S. Academic Decathlon® Calculator Policy. Coaches can view the U.S. Academic Decathlon’s calculator policy on the U.S. Academic Decathlon® website <> or contact U.S. Academic Decathlon® to receive a copy of the calculator policy.
  • The literature test items will be derived from the selected works of literature and from the information provided in the Literature Resource Guide. The literature test will include a critical reading passage with accompanying test items. The literature test will also expect students to be able to analyze the selected works of literature as well as the critical reading passage and will expect students to be familiar with literary terms and devices.
  • The U.S. Academic Decathlon® competition tests will be written in accordance with the topics and percentages noted in the subject area outlines that are published in the U.S. Academic Decathlon® Study Guide.
  • The U.S. Academic Decathlon® offers Resource Guides and Student Exercise Books in art, economics, literature, mathematics, music, science, and social science. The Resource Guides and Student Exercise Books, and Ready Set Guides will assist students in their study of the topics listed in the subject area outlines. All U.S. Academic Decathlon® competition test items will be derived from the information and concepts presented in the Resource Guides, as well as the selected literature, artworks, and musical works.
  • The 2017–18 mathematics curriculum and materials (including the subject area outline, Resource Guide, Student Exercise Book, and Notebook Divider) will be the same as were used for the 2014–15 U.S. Academic Decathlon®.
  • Test writers have been instructed to construct tests such that at least 10–20% of the questions on each test require the use of higher-order thinking skills.
  • Students will be given 30 minutes to complete each of the written multiple-choice exams. Students will have 50 minutes to complete the essay exam.
  • While the Art Resource Guide includes information relevant to the 18 selected artworks, this guide contains text only and does NOT include images of the artworks.
  • The Art Reproductions Booklet contains reproductions of the 18 artworks that are included in this year’s art outline. However, please be aware that no text beyond the title, artist, date, etc., accompanies these reprints.