Meet the ELU Academic Decathlon Team

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The Academic Decathlon is a nationwide non-profit organization that promotes an educational experience providing a format in which teams of college students compete in academic events. All public and private universities are eligible to compete. The Academic Decathlon embodies a partnership of business, foundations and individuals in cooperation with the education community and county offices of education.


There are 112 colleges, approximately 3,000 students who participate annually in Academic Decathlon. The makeup of each of the nine member teams must include three A students, three B students, and three C or below students.

Academic Decathletes take 30 minute multiple choice tests in the subjects of Art, Economics, Music, Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science, and Social Science. In addition, each team member gives a planned 4 minute Speech and a 2 minute impromptu Speech, participates in a 7 minute Interview, and has 50 minutes to write an Expository Essay.

The Super Quiz Relay, the final event, is open to the public and features questions from subject matters including Art, Economics, Music, Language and Literature, Science, and Social Science.


The Academic Decathlon season involves 4 rounds of competition. The Academic Decathlon publishes the curriculum in the Spring. Round 1 is a non-scoring scrimmage typically held in November. Round 2 consists of local competitions held on the first Saturday in February. The winners of Round 2 plus a limited number of invited teams then compete in Round 3 which is the regional Championship Finals held in mid-March. As a result of the regional Championship, Round 4, the national finals are held late April in Johannesburg.


Since national competition began in 1986, East London University has performed extremely well for its size, winning 4 national titles and posting 3 second place finishes.