Aca-Deca Warms up with WWII Quiz


Mikhail Vasilyev, Staff Writer

Academic Decathlon’s first practice tournament of the season against Acalanes took place in the library on October 13. Out of 40 competitors, 5 Campolindo students received ribbons for placing.

Competitors had 30 minutes to complete two 50-question multiple choice tests. Each test addressed a different topic, either World War II era art or World War II era literature, each with an additional section on the required reading, Transit by Anna Seghers.

There are 3 levels of competition in Academic Decathlon determined by Grade Point Average: Varsity, Scholastic, and Honors.  Varsity members have GPAs of 2.99 or lower, Scholastic competitors have GPAs of 3.75 to 3.0, and Honors members have GPAs above 3.75.

Campolindo’s only Varsity competitor, junior Evan Harberson, placed 3rd in Literature. SeniorBenett Coates was the only Campolindo Scholastic competitor who placed in the tournament, claiming 2nd place in the Art category. For the Honors category,  junior and co-captain Athya Uthayakumar placed 3rd in Art, junior Ashley Zhang placed 2nd in Art and 3rd in Literature, and senior Zoe Portnoff placed 1st in the Literature category.

Portnoff put a great deal of effort into preparing for the tournament. “I studied about 2 hours a day in the week before the competition, and Athya and I made a lot of review materials, in which aided in our own preparation, as well as the team’s,” she said.

The studying was rewarding for Portnoff. “Winning first place is always satisfying; I know that my studying paid off and that I’ve learned a lot. It’s a very concrete way to measure your learning progress, and see how you could possibly improve in the future,” she said.

Co-captain Uthayakumar believed the practice tournament was a good way to get used to the format of Academic Decathlon. “Acalanes definitely did well, but it’s something we’re going to learn from. A lot of the team is even more motivated now, we’re going to find what works and what doesn’t and make changes,” said Uthayakumar.

Academic Decathlon coach Paul Verbanszky was happy about the overall performance of the team. “I think my students performed very well in the competition. Their scores were phenomenal considering that we were only a month in. It was disappointing that some Acalanes students outscored our team, but overall I think our performance was incredible,” he said.

Verbanszky’s only concern was Complindo’s lack of Varsity competitors, and he along with the captains are now hoping to recruit more.