Academic Competitions » Academic Decathlon Program Information

Academic Decathlon Program Information

Technology & Humanity
Students Taking Tests


Academic Decathlon is an educational competion for high school students from various academic achievement levels to demonstrate their knowledge, and proficiency of a specific theme. Each year, the United States Academic Decathlon chooses a new theme, with this year's theme being Technology & Humanity.

Since its inception, Academic Decathlon has provided students the opportunity to experience challenging and rigorous team and individual competitions. Designed to include students with varying achievement levels, each 9 member Academic Decathlon team is divided into 3 divisions based on student's GPA: Honors (A's), Scholastic (B's) and Varsity (C's).

Students match wits in several individual and team competitions, culminating in an exciting Super Quiz oral relay, that is open to the public. At the conclusion of the relay, Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals, as well as scholarships are awarded for individual events and total scores. Overall individual winners are recognized as champion teams, and advance to the next level of competition.

The success of the Academic Decathlon is shared by the students, coaches and teachers, the supportive administrators at their schools, and their understandably flexible families. Countless hours are spent learning, researching, and practicing for the competition.

The 2019-20 competition was historic as it was the first time being held online, and Bell High School winning their first ever Academic Decathlon. Unfortunately, State and National Competitions were canceled due to COVID-19.



  • Strengthen students’ self-esteem

  • Improve students’ academic achievement and skills

  • Develop school pride

  • Foster a team spirit and spirit of cooperation

  • Build students’ perseverance and dedication

  • Prepare students for college and life




Each school is to have a team consisting of nine members, all of whom are to be full-time students (four or more classes) from the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and/or twelfth grades.  The members are to include three students from each of the categories listed below.

Category Grade Point Average
3.8 - 4.00
3.2 - 3.79
3.199 and Below





Each team member will compete in the following :


30-minute multiple-choice test in each of the following subjects:

  • Art
  • Economics
  • Music
  • Language and Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Science


  • One 4-minute planned speech on the topic of choice
  • One 2-minute impromptu speech on yet to be chosen topic


  • 7-minute interview on a variety of topics


  • Team members will have 50 minutes for the essay portion to demonstrate their ability to powerfully argue an idea, as well as express what they have learned.


  • A competition open to the public, team members will take turns solving challenges from the subjects studied.

Super Quiz Relay Pictures


Los Angeles Unified School District's accomplishments in the Academic Decathlon are unmatched. The District holds the record for wins with 23 state titles and 19 national championships.
2020: Bell HS first time ever winner of Academic Decathlon. State and National Competitions were canceled due to Covid-19. 
2019: Franklin HS, as the local Academic Decathlon winner, and eight additional LAUSD teams, selected for an at-large berth thanks to their high scores in the regional competition, were invited to make up the 60 schools that competed at the state championship. Grant HS ranked third in the State Division 1 competition, behind Granada Hills CHS and El Camino Real CHS. Bell HS won the State’s Division 2, and Valley Academy of Arts & Sciences won Division 3.
2018: A record fourteen LAUSD teams were invited to the State Championship after being selected for an at-large berth thanks to their high scores in the LAUSD regional competition.




LAUSD's Academic Decathlon Ranking

LAUSD's Regional Scores
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USAD National Champions Ranking
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Academic decathlon INFORMATION

United States Academic Decathlon
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California Academic Decathlon
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Academic Decathlon Scores and Information Center
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Email: [email protected]

Dr. Neena Agnihotri | Academic Decathlon/Pentathlon Coordinator | Beyond the Bell | LAUSD | 213-241-7900