Essential Information for WI Coaches


2017-2018 Essential Information for WI Coaches

The Academic Decathlon® competition is comprised of ten events.

At Local Competition, there are seven multiple-choice exams, or Tests of Knowledge, one in each of the following subject areas:  art, economics, literature, mathematics, music, science, and social science. (This is a change with the 2017-18 season, as in the previous several seasons there were only six tests, with the science and social science tests being one.)

There are 50 questions for each of the timed tests — except Math with 35 questions and 25 questions –for a total of 335 questions.   The point value is 1000 points for each test, with a maximum total of 7,000 points per student, or a maximum of 42,000 points per team at Local Competition. 

Students compete in the written exams to determine which 50 teams advance to Regional Competition in January.

At Regional Competition, students take seven written exams ― as well as write an essay and participate in Speech and Interview events before two judges.  Essay writing is done in the local high schools prior to Regional Competition during a specified test writing window; two prompts will be offered, based on the featured novel.

From Regional Competition, 20 teams advance to State Competition, competing in ten Decathlon events and also the Super Quiz™ Relay.  Essay writing takes place in the local high schools, prior to State Competition during a specified test writing window; three prompts will be offered, from the various subjects studied.

The Super Quiz™ Relay will include five multiple-choice form questions from the following six subject areas:  art, economics, literature, music, science and social science, for a total of 54 questions.  In Wisconsin, Super Quiz™ is only at State Competition.

The multiple-choice exams (for Regional and State Competitions) in art, economics, literature, music, science and social science each have 50 questions; the math exam has 35 The point value is 1000 points for each test, with a maximum total of 7,000 points per student – or a maximum of 42,000 points per team at Regional and State Competitions.

Academic Decathlon® test writers construct each test with at least 10–20% of the questions reflecting the use of higher-order thinking skills.

Written multiple-choice exams are timed.  Refer to Wisconsin’s testing schedule for each level of competition.  Students have 50 minutes to complete the Essay exam, given at the local high schools.

The United States Academic Decathlon® permits students to use calculators, or graphing calculators, for the mathematics exam only provided they have none of the features listed in Section III of the Academic Decathlon® Calculator Policy. Policy may be viewed at usad.orgIf using a graphing calculator, competitors are expected to honor the fact that they are not to refer to information stored in the graphing calculator memory during the mathematics test.

 Note:  The 2017-2018 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 2014-2015 United States Academic Decathlon®.

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 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 Study Guide.

The United States Academic Decathlon® offers Resource Guides, Student Exercise Books, and #OfficialReadySet Guides in Art, Economics, Literature, Math, Music, Science and Social Science.

The Resource Guides, Student Exercise Books and #OfficialReadySets 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 #Official ReadySets (available August 1st) include Art, Economics, Literature, Mathematics, Music, Science and Social Science in one comprehensive package.  The sets are specifically designed to provide teams with that last look – a final overview of everything they’ve already studied in the Resource Guides.  The simple layout allows readers to quickly scan and review the most pertinent information teams need to know.  To be used in conjunction with the Resource Guides, the #OfficialReadySets are filled with colorful info graphics, charts and illustrations highlighting and clarifying important concepts from the curriculum.   Electronic download only.

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.

Produced exclusively for USAD, a Music CD will introduce students to the music of Africa.  Also available as an MP3 file for electronic download.

The Practice Test Booklet is the most important coaching tool for understanding Academic Decathlon® tests. Written by the official USAD test writers in each subject area, the PTB contains eight tests, sample essay prompts, speech and interview rules and rubrics — and includes accompanying CD for art questions based on artwork images and music questions based on listening excerpts, and a PowerPoint Slideshow for the Super Quiz Relay. The PTB is also available as a PDF and the CD as an MP3 file for electronic download.

USAD’s Coach’s Handbook is chock-full of advice and information for beginner and seasoned coaches alike. Available as a PDF for download in the Coach’s area of the United States Academic Decathlon® website at

All USAD 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.

Check for curriculum corrections and updates issued by USAD® — as well as the WIAD website for news and weekly updates.

WIAD’s Coaches’ Corner is a secure site intended for coaches’ use only.   Upon registration, coaches are e-mailed the Password needed to access the site.

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