Coaches > Essential Information

Essential Information for Coaches 2018-2019

  • The United States 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 also take an essay exam and are 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.
  • For all Academic Decathlon competitions prior to Nationals, the multiple-choice exams in art, economics, literature, music, science, and social science each have 50 questions. The mathematics exam has 35 questions. Coaches can contact their State Director to find out the format that will be used for the Super Quiz™ relay.
  • At the 2019 Nationals, the mathematics test will have 45 questions; the art, science, and economics tests will have 55 questions; the social science, music, and literature tests will have 50 questions; and the Super Quiz™ Relay will have 54 questions (18 questions each for Honor, Scholastic, and Varsity).
  • 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.
  • The United States 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 USAD Calculator Policy. Coaches can view this calculator policy or contact USAD 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 United States 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 Academic Decathlon Study Guide.
  • The United States 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 will assist students in their study of the topics listed in the subject area outlines. All USAD 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 2018–19 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 2015–16 United States 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.
  • 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 artworks.
  • All U.S. Academic Decathlon materials are copyrighted. USAD materials may not be duplicated or posted to any public or private sites on the Internet for any reason without written permission from USAD. Violators may be prosecuted.