Academic Decathlon

2020-21 UPDATE

As we head into to 2020-21 academic events seasons, the Riverside Office of Education realizes that students, teachers, and families are eager to find out what the competition environment will consist of for students. Over the past few months national, state, and county coordinators have been actively discussing, planning, and creating virtual and blended models in response to current public health restrictions. 

In the next few weeks, you can expect to learn about:

    1. RCOE’s event rulebooks with updated procedures for virtual and possibly blended competition settings.
    2. Riverside County student event registration information
    3. State and National Competition Updates

RCOE wants to express gratitude in all those that are working to create the best possible learning environments for all students during the current circumstances and your patience as our staff and event partners put the finishing touches on the 2020-21 Academic Events. We want to ensure you that the safety of our students, staff, and families has been and will continue to be our number one priority.

Grades 9-12

The Academic Decathlon is an academic competition for students in grades 9 through 12.  Students compete as team members in a series of academic tests and demonstrations.  Each team consists of three “A” (Honor), three “B” (Scholastic), and three “C” or below (Varsity) students.  Awards are presented to the top teams as well as the top individual students in each event.

Academic Decathlon is, like its ancient Greek counterpart, a 10-event contest. Participants demonstrate their academic strength by completing seven written tests, writing an essay, delivering a prepared and an impromptu speech, and participating in an interview. The exciting Super Quiz is a team event held before a live audience.

Within Riverside County, the champion of the county event advances to the California Academic Decathlon.  The California Academic Decathlon winner advances to the United States Academic Decathlon competition in April each year.

The theme for the 2020-2021 Academic Decathlon is Cold War.

Important Dates*

September 17, 2020
Academic Decathlon Team Coach Orientation
via Zoom | 4:00 p.m.
November 13, 2020
Team Registration Materials Deadline
Includes: transcripts, team registration and volunteer information.
January 26, 2021
Virtual Academic Decathlon Competition – Essay Writing
2 to 4 p.m. (required Essay start time)
January 30, 2021
Virtual Academic Decathlon Competition – Speeches and Interviews
February 6, 2021
Virtual Academic Decathlon Competition – Written Tests and Super Quiz
February 8, 2021
Virtual Academic Decathlon Competition – Awards Ceremony
4 to 6 p.m.
March 11-13, 2021
California Academic Decathlon State Competition: A Virtual Event
(not an in-person event)
April 29 – May 1, 2021
United States Academic Decathlon Competition
Des Moines, IA (pending as to in-person or virtual event)

California Academic Decathlon
United States Academic Decathlon

*Dates subject to change.

Academic Decathlon Volunteers

If you are interested in volunteering for the Academic Decathlon, please contact Kevin Goodly,

Forms and Documents

2020-2021 Rulebook (will be available September 2020)

2020-2021 Team Registration Form (will be available September 2020)

2020-2021 Required Volunteer Form (will be available September 2020)

2020-2021 Student Participation Form (will be available September 2020)