Promoting Academic Excellence and Developing Life-Long Learning
Students of all achievement levels spend months working together to compete in a ten event contest. Each student or “decathlete” develops not only an aptitude for critical thinking and study skills, but also a serious work ethic by competing against other high schools in the areas of language and literature, art, economics, science, social science, mathematics, music, essay, interview, and speech. Preparating for the rigorous and demanding competition, builds teamwork and a competitive spirit as each team strives to advance to the next level.
Based on a theme, all decathletes participate by taking 30-minute multiple-choice tests based on an annual theme (e.g., Russia, the Great Depression, the History of the Civil War). Furthermore, each decathlete performs a planned 4-minute speech on a topic of their choice, a 2-minute impromptu speech, a 7-minute interview, and write an expository essay within a 50-minute period. Once all test scores are tallied, the overall winning regional team is invited to participate in the statewide California Academic Decathlon.
In only its second year competing, the SMA Academic Decathlon team earned a first-place finish in Division 4 at the SoCal Regional Private School Competition and earned an impressive 16 medals. Go Crusaders!