Iowa Academic Decathlon, a division of United States Academic DecathlonR, is an academic competition comprised of ten events. Students from large and small schools around the state compete for awards, advancement, and scholarships. Preparation usually begins in August at the beginning of the school year and continues through the scrimmage in December, regional competition in January, state competition in March, and national competition in April.
Teams consist of up to 9 students, and each team has three divisions of three students: Honors, Scholastic, and Varsity. Divisions are determined by the grade point averages of the students as calculated from the student's previous two school year grades in core courses, except freshmen, whose are calculated based on 8th grade core grades only. Students with a calculated USAD grade point average of 3.75 - 4 compete in the Honors division against other Honors students, students with a calculated USAD grade point average of 3.00 - 3.74 compete in the Scholastic division against other Scholastic students, and students with a calculated USAD grade point average of 2.99 and below compete in the Varsity division against other Varsity students.
The team score is then calculated from the two top highest scoring individual scores in each grade point division. The top two highest scoring Honors students, the top two highest scoring Scholastic students, and the top two highest scoring Varsity students' points are added together to determine the team score. Teams can be viable with only six students if there are two students competing in each grade point division; however, the best teams are those that have individual students within grade point divisions competing against each other to have their score count.
All team members must participate in all ten events. Of the ten events, seven are objective multiple choice: mathematics, economics, art, music, language and literature, social science, and science. Three are subjective performances: speech, interview, and essay. In Iowa, the essay portion is not conducted until the state competition in March. The remaining nine events are used for the scrimmage and regionals.
The scrimmage is the first week in December and is online. Students compete online and receive scores immediately. Coaches can use these scores for a variety of reasons, but the scores are not used for anything at the state level as part of official competition.
Regional competitions are held the last full week of January. There are four regional competitions in Iowa: Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Emmetsburg, and Waterloo. Schools compete at the location closest to them. Some schools take multiple teams to regional competition. These teams compete separately, and all students are eligible for awards in all events. Schools qualifying for state competition, however, are allowed to take one team. Coaches determine the makeup of the state team as it does not have to be the same team from regional competition that qualified.
State competition is the first full weekend in March. The twelve highest scoring teams, both large school and small school, in the state receive an invitation to participate at state competition. There is no determination based on region. In addition to those twenty-four teams, the highest scoring student from any regional, if he or she is not on a state-qualifying team, is also invited.
National competition is held in various locations around the United States in the month of April. The dates vary depending on the location of the event. The top scoring team from the state competition advances to represent Iowa in the national competition. At this point there is no financial support from Iowa Academic Decathlon for the state team competing nationally.
Awards are given at regional competitions, state competition, and national competition. At regional competitions, ribbons are awarded to students placing first, second, and third in each of the nine individual events by grade point division, both large school and small school. Students placing first, second, or third in each grade point division overall, both large school and small school, are awarded a medal. Teams receive awards as determined by the region where they are competing. At state competition, medals are awarded to students placing first, second, and third in each of the ten individual events by grade point division, both large and small school. Students placing first, second, or third in each grade point division overall, both large school and small school, are awarded trophies. Teams placing first, second, or third overall, both large school and small school, are awarded personalized plaques.
The final event for competition is called Super Quiz. It is the one part of the competition when students within grade point divisions work together to answer questions from the different individual subjects except math. Each grade point division, starting with varsity, answers ten questions collectively. Scores are then added together to get a team score of number correct out of the possible 30. This portion of the competition does not affect individual or team scores for the overall competition. At the state competition, the winning teams, both large school and small school, receive an engraved plaque for this victory and students on the teams receive pendants.
Support Iowa Academic Decathlon every time you order from Amazon!!!
Use our Amazon Smiles link: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/42-1269712