Wisconsin Academic Decathlon



Wisconsin Academic Decathlon (WIAD) is an outstanding non-profit extracurricular program entering its 39th season of providing a rigorous curriculum and competitive academic challenges to the public and private high school students of our state, through its charter with USAD (United States Academic Decathlon), which is entering its 54th season. USAD provides the study materials for purchase by teams and provides our competition materials. And the Wisconsin State Champion earns the chance to participate in the USAD National Competition.

Arguably, having a successful Wisconsin Academic Decathlon program and team at your high school is more valuable than test scores, even, at showing your community all that is going well with and for kids at your high school. Wisconsin has the fourth largest program in the nation!

WIAD provides opportunities for students to excel as individuals yet to progress only as a team, wholly gaining from productive cooperation and collaboration. USAD Founder Dr. Robert Peterson felt that “spunk and stamina are at the heart of every champion, and that there is a champion in the heart of every student.” The benefits of program participation include:

  • the academic growth of students

  • challenging multi-disciplinary learning

  • teamwork as a means to achieve self-knowledge and life skills development

  • equal opportunities for students of varying achievement levels

  • the inclusion and diversity of students that enrich the human experience

  • development of communication skills for college, work, and citizenship

  • high standards of honesty and integrity

  • excellence in our programs, services, and activities

  • respect for diverse points of view

  • the promotion of inter-school academic competition

WIAD challenges students to identify their own strengths and weaknesses and then push themselves beyond what they thought academically possible. Each high school’s nine-member team consists of:
3 Honor students (3.80 - 4.00 GPA)
3 Scholastic students (3.2 - 3.799 GPA)
3 Varsity students (0.00 - 3.199 GPA) 

This team concept creates a positive school image and academic role models, changes students’ attitudes, and encourages public interest in and awareness of outstanding programs in Wisconsin schools.


LOCAL COMPETITION – All registered team members take seven objective tests in Art, Economics, Literature, Mathematics, Music, Science, and Social Science.

REGIONAL COMPETITION: 50 teams advance from Local Competition. At this level, the students again take the seven tests and also write an essay (in advance), give a prepared speech, give an impromptu speech, and are interviewed in front of two judges…all on one day at their assigned Regional site of five state-wide.

STATE COMPETITION: 20 teams advance from Regional Competition. At this level, the students again take the seven tests (same as Local and Regional Competitions). They also write an essay (in advance), give the prepared speech and impromptu speech, and are interviewed in front of two judges…over two days. And here, only, they participate in the Super Quiz Relay, the only event of the entire season open to the viewing public.

It takes about 500 volunteers to make a WIAD season go. Volunteers score essays, proctor tests, judge interviews, judge speeches, assist with Super Quiz, and more.


WIAD State Director

(920) 676-6683
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