Thinking about creating an academic decathlon team in your school to compete against other schools?

Below is a few of the most often asked questions and answers:

What is the Academic Decathlon?

The Academic Decathlon ® is a team compettion wherein students (ninth through twelfth grade) match their intellects with students from other schools; participation is voluntary. 
A unique aspect of Academic Decathlon is its design to include students from all academic backgrounds.

Grade point averages are determined according to USAD® guidelines. Often the “C” students, perhaps never academically motivated before, perform the best.

Competition is comprised of ten scholastic events: Art, Economics, Essay, Interview, Literature, Mathematics, Music, Science, Social Science and Speech.  There are competitions at the Local, Regional, State and National levels.

Each high school enters a nine-member team consisting of:

     Three “A” Honor Students = 3.75-4.00 GPA    

     Three “B” Scholastic Students = 3.00-3.74 GPA

     Three “C” Varsity Students = 0.00-2.99 GPA

How did Academic Decathlon begin?

The Academic Decathlon® was first created by Dr. Robert Peterson, former Superintendent of Schools in Orange County, California.


Firmly believing that everyone’s learning potential can be maximized through competitive challenge, Dr. Peterson set in motion the contest that has since come to be recognized as the most prestigious high school academic team competition in the United States. 
The program spread rapidly throughout
the states due to the success and excitement it engendered.  USAD was founded in 1981.

Why should my school have a decathlon team?

Benefits of Academic Decathlon® include:

  • The academic growth of students;
  • Challenging multidisciplinary learning;
  • Teamwork as a means to achieve self-knowledge and life-skills development;
  • Providing equal opportunities for students of varying achievement levels;
  • The inclusion and diversity of students that enrich learning and the human experience;
  • Development of communication skills;
  • Providing students with the skills and preparation for college, work and citizenship;
  • High standards of honesty and integrity;
  • Transparency in our relations and interactions with all of our stakeholders;
  • Excellence in our programs, services and activities; and,
  • Respect for diverse points of view.

Participation in Wisconsin Academic Decathlon (WIAD) stretches minds to reach new heights in academic and social learning.

Experience this unique educational opportunity for A, B and C level students by getting your high school involved today.

Flashing Red BulletNew schools,  or one that has not participated in the past ten years,  might be eligible for a USAD® Supply Grant.

The supply grant provides the majority of study materials needed to start in the program. 

For more information, please contact

The Wisconsin Academic Decathlon Program is an equal opportunity organization.




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