Scoring for U.S. Academic Decathlon

There are three official levels of competition: regional, state, and national, with top finishers advancing to the next level. Regional competitions only exist in states with relatively large numbers of teams competing, and as such some states do not have regional competition. Additionally, many large competition states have school, multi-school, or citywide unofficial competitions for practice.

Each event is worth 1,000 points, with a theoretical maximum individual score of 10,000. The overall team score is composed of the overall scores of the top two performers in each grade category, so a theoretical maximum team score is 60,000 (though it is highly unlikely that either of these scores will ever be achieved). In competitive states, an average individual gold-medal score typically ranges between 7,500 and 8,500, and state winning team scores are usually around 39,000 to 42,000 (6,500 to 7,000 for each member on average). National champion scores typically range between 45,000 and 50,000.

States with large numbers of schools competing may have district and regional competitions, with winners advancing to the state finals competition. State winners advance to the national finals, which are hosted in different states from year to year.

Perfect scores of 1,000 in events are recorded regularly, and in some cases there have been 30+ way ties at the national competition because of perfect and near perfect scores.