AcaDeca Tops District Rivals


Mariel Rossi deVries, Staff Writer

Academic Decathlon competitors trickled into the Library on October 19 soon after school ended. Once the Las Lomas and Acalanes competitors to arrived their exam was administered.

The practice test, with used Scantrons, included 2 sections, art history and science. The exam assessed information provided to the participants in special packets 2 months prior.

Some students, like junior Zoe Portnoff, formed study groups to prepare for the testing. “We made Quizlets, a lot of flashcards, and we do Jeopardy,” said Portnoff. “It’s definitely easier studying in a group because it’s more enjoyable than studying on your own and it’s easier to stay on task when there’s other people around who also want to focus.”

As the test approached, the focus of Academic Decathlon meetings shifted from introducing new material to review. The practice test was set for a Monday so students could practice over the weekend. “I read over all the powerpoints the class made for the material,” said sophomore Elena Koshkin. Others like junior Bennett Coates read over the booklets up until a minute before the test began.

This practice test sets a standard for all future competitions. “I’d like for our team to do well, but I think it is more important to me that people get an idea of what Academic Decathlon is and people feel pride with about what they have done,” said senior team leader Uma Gaffney.

As the competition season progresses, 8 other subjects or disciplines, including essay writing, economics, and literature, will be added to what the team has already learned. “Students tend to do really well, but math is definitely a difficult one for them, and music theory is challenging,” said team coach Paul Verbansky.

Campolindo had the highest scoring students in the competition, besting both Acalanes and Las Lomas.