U.S. Academic Decathlon Events

Since it is a decathlon, there are ten events. These events typically include the following: language & literature, art, music, social science, economics, mathematics, science, written essay, interview, and speech (prepared and impromptu).

The topics of the events are known a year in advance of the national competition. For instance, language & literature typically focuses on several books or poems, art and music have selected pieces that students must be familiar with, social science might focus on the geography of a particular part of the world, economics might be limited to macroeconomics or microeconomics, etc. Essay, interview, and speech do not change from year-to-year, although some essay topics are related to other events.

As the competition has evolved, more of the events have been tied into a central theme. For example, in 2006, the theme is "The Renaissance" and some of the event themes are:

* Language & literature will be based on the Elizabethan dramas, such as William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra and Much Ado About Nothing, as well as other shorter selections written during that time period
* Economics is focused on economies during the Renaissance
* Science is focused on anatomy and physiology
* Art emphasized Renaissance artwork
* The Super Quiz (see below) is focused on the "European Renaissance: Renewal and Reform"
* The essay is written from three possible prompts: either one of two language and literature based prompts or a Super Quiz based prompt, and is therefore based on the theme