Academic Decathlon (Ac Dec) is an academic contest with ten events. Students give a speech, are interviewed, and take multiple-choice exams in seven subjects: Art History, Music History, Mathematics, Economics, History, Science, and Language/Literature. At the state level an essay, the 10th event, is included. Every year the tests are focused on a theme; the 2015 theme is India.
Johnston’s Ac Dec is a very successful program and is one of the largest competitive groups in the state. There are currently 33 students interested in the contest and the group recruits all year. A great aspect of this contest is its reliance on non-traditional students. Each team is made up of nine students and only three of those can be the standard type of student someone would expect to see at an academic contest. The team is created with adjusted GPAs and a team MUST have three students with a GPA above 3.75, three students with GPAs between 3.0 and 3.74, and three students with GPAs below 3.0.
In 2014, Johnston’s Ac Dec placed 2nd in the state competition on the strength of our lower GPA kids. It’s a really diverse, accepting, enthusiastic group of students.
Ac Dec meets once a week from October through January, with the contest in late January. The study sessions are not mandatory, but they do help with preparation since the amount of material can be pretty overwhelming. No student is expected to study all seven subjects, but they each must participate in all events anyway.
Come check out the program!
Sponsor: Sue Cline