Who can save LA’s Academic Decathlon program?

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It was a very good weekend for L.A. public schools at this year’s 33rd annual California Academic Decathlon competition. Los Angeles Unified schools came in first, second and third place out 65 teams representing 550 students across the state. Top honors went to Granada Hills Magnet High, which was also last year’s winner,  followed by El Camino Real and Marshall High. Granada Hills will go on to compete in the National Academic Decathlon next month in New Mexico.

(Listen below as L.A.’s academic decathlon coordinator shares the hard work and dedication it takes to win and the uncertain months ahead for the program.)

But even as some of L.A.’s best and brightest students celebrate their victories, L.A. Unified’s academic decathlon program faces possible elimination due to district budget cuts.

Want to get some idea for the kind of questions that faced decathlon competitors? Sharpen your #2 pencils and take a crack at these sample questions. (Good luck!)


1. Watteau’s reception piece was different from other history paintings in that Watteau’s piece:

a. was much larger in scale than most

b. was a new genre

c. had an unusual color choice

d. focused on the landscape

e. had many more people in it

2. What technique would you MOST probably use if you were an artist working rapidly outside?

a. arabesque

b. alla prima

c. aspara

d. assemblage

e. a` jour


3. How is the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the Enlightenment MOST evident in that era’s music?

a. nationalism

b. programmatic music

c. learned music

d. hybrid of styles

e. doctrine of effects

4. Changing keys is called

a. coda

b. recapitulation

c. modulation

d. polyphony

e. exposition


5. A particle is moving along a parabola y2= 2x + 3 in such a way that its x-coordinate is increasing at the constant rate of 3 units per second. At what rate, in units per second, is its y-coordinate changing as it passes through the point (3, -3)?

a. -1

b. -2

c. 2

d. 3

e. -2/3


6. If the price elasticity of demand equals 0.5 (in absolute value), then a 10% increase in the price of a product will result ina. 0.5% increase in the quantity demanded

b. 0.5% decrease in the quantity demanded

c. 5% increase in the quantity demanded

d. 5 % decrease in the quantity demanded

e. 10% decrease in the quantity demanded

7. If the price level has been rising continuously, then real GDP will

a. always be less than nominal GDP

b. always be greater than nominal GDP

c. be less than nominal GDP in years prior to the base year

d. be greater than nominal GDP in years prior to the base year

e. grow more rapidly than nominal GDP

Language & Literature

8. In Blake’s poem, the phrase, “unbuckled was the shield,”  is an example of

a. inverted syntax

b. juxtaposition

c. onomatopoeia

d. pathetic fallacy

e. synecdoche

9. In amassing her assault on nobility and enlisting support for the common man, Wollstonecraft relies heavily upon the use of

a. anaphora and asyndeton

b. ethos

c. logos

d. pathos

e. rhetorical questions


10. When plutonium -239 decays to uranium -235, which of the following types of radiation is emitted?

a. alpha

b. beta

c. gamma

d. cosmic

e. microwave

11. In the correct Lewis dot structure of a nitrogen atom, how many dots should there be around the N?

a. 2

b. 3

c. 4

d. 5

e. 8

Super Quiz- French revolution

12. According to A. A. Lamourette, what was the single source of troubles of the Assembly?

a. abolitionism

b. colonialism

c. millenarianism

d. possibilism

e. factionalism

13. The 1795 French Constitution contained all of the following elements EXCEPT

a. Council of Five Hundred

b. suffrage for male taxpayers

c. Council of Ancients

d. suffrage for married women

e. collective executive of five directors


1. B

2. B

3. D

4. C

5. A

6. D

7. D

8. A

9. D

10. A

11. D

12. E

13. D