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What are the Academic Decathlon and Pentathlon?

The Academic Decathlon is a national scholastic competition designed to stimulate intellectual growth, develop critical thinkers and create lifelong learners. Here in Alaska, both the Decathlon (high school) and the Pentathlon (middle school) programs:

  • Create our state’s future leaders
  • Reward academic achievement
  • Challenge students to do their best as individuals and as a members of a team comprised of students of all GPA levels

Both programs are team competitions where students match their intellects with students from other schools. High school students are tested in ten categories on a common theme and middle schools students compete in five categories. The Academic Decathlon/Pentathlon encourages academic versatility by requiring students to prepare for all events instead of specializing in one subject. 

Each program holds a State Competition where students can earn medals, trophies and scholarships. The winning teams represent Alaska at the U.S. Academic Decathlon and Pentathlon National Competitions. 

Decathletes and Pentathletes with the highest overall scores are eligible to earn thousands of dollars in scholarships, including scholarships specific to the University of Alaska.

2021-22 Theme: Water

The Academic Decathlon State Competition takes place February 17-20 at the University of Alaska Anchorage. 

Learn more about the Decathlon

The Academic Pentathlon State Competition will be online this year!

Learn More about the Pentathlon


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Since 1985, Alaska has participated in the Academic Decathlon on the state and national level. GCI has been the major sponsor since 1996, sponsoring the program along with supplying many of its all-volunteer board of directors who worked tirelessly to create and maintain a robust program and scholarships for high school students throughout the state. Today, the Alaska Academic Decathlon is a program of SERRC – Alaska’s Educational Resource Center.
Alaska Academic Decathlon is a program of

SERRC - Alaska's Educational Resource Center