Academic Decathlon » 2021-2022 Study Guide

2021-2022 Study Guide


  • Attached is a guide to prepare for the Academic Decathlon diagnostic test. We recognize that there are different age groups and math abilities taking this test so our evaluation will be done with this in mind. Some of the test materials will be plain math.  Please practice this, especially the long division if you are rusty.  And please check your work calculations after you are done.  Attention to detail is critical.  Everyone will need to have a strong math base with the willingness to SHOW YOUR WORK and take the time to check your


  • The remaining problems are a small sample of the types of problems we often work on. The instructions are intended to introduce some of the newer types of problems for everyone’s benefit.


  • Additionally, the OC Register also has puzzle pages that are quite helpful. To the extent interested, the cryptogram, work jumble, Sudoku, binary problem and word ladder can be found on a daily basis with answers the following day.  Attached are samples of each of these types of problems.  The level of difficulty varies so a parent or older sibling may be helpful.  Hopefully, these types of problems are fun for the kids to attack to the extent they are the right level of challenge.  The binary problems can be really tough so I would recommend sticking to the 1 and 2 star problems.  Same with the Sudoku.  Please note we don’t expect you to master these problem types.  And the problems get easier as you practice them more.


  • In June, we will administer a logic diagnostic test. It will be one hour so mental stamina and remaining crisp throughout the entire test period are valuable skills.  Oftentimes, problems are missed due to minor calculation errors when it is clear the student understood the concept of the problem.  Candidly, being both proficient in the conceptual material AND also having the precision are equal and critical strengths.


  • Partial credit will be given when evaluating the tests so the more work product that can be shown will be quite beneficial. Please encourage students to write down and show as much work as possible.  Get in the habit during practice.  Oftentimes, the silly math errors occur when students “do the work in their head”.


  • Thank you for your interest in the Decathlon Team. Hopefully, these types of problems are fun and challenging.  Admittedly, some of the materials and pace will be fairly demanding.  Not all decathletes master all of the different problem types, but all are expected to lean into all of the decathlete materials with some “elbow grease”.