Pentathlon (Middle School)

The rapidly-growing Academic Pentathlon program allows middle school students a chance to start experiencing the benefits of Academic Decathlon® before entering high school. Here in Alaska, the Academic Pentathlon offers small group learning opportunities, fosters a greater respect for knowledge, promotes inter-school academic competition, and further develops student communication skills. Students challenge themselves as individuals and as integral parts of a team while earning medals, trophies and scholarships.


Each student experiences the decathlon challenges of rigorous team and individual competition in five events: 

  • Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Fine Arts
  • Science 
  • Social Science

Academic Pentathlon Benefits for Students

  • Supports team spirit and encourages a sense of belonging
  • Creates an academic vision for the school and community at large
  • Promotes the use of higher-level thinking skills to create excitement and interest
  • Produces a feeling of success and pride
  • Promotes individual accountability while, at the same time, providing the dynamics of group/team interaction
  • Stimulates personal student growth and encourages learning while having fun

Academic Rewards of Pentathlon

  • Students are eligible for up to $12,000 in college scholarships
  • Meets state and national content/curriculum standards
  • Learning beyond the normal curriculum
  • Preparation for high school and life skills
  • S0cialization with peers and community
  • Local, state and national competitions
  • Individual and team medals/trophies

Register a team

Earn scholarships

Thanks to Alaska 529, the Alaska Academic Pentathlon awards $12,000 in scholarships to nine students every year.

Learn more

What constitutes a team?

Pentathlon teams consist of a maximum of nine team members and a minimum of six team members in grades 6–8. Each team must consist of at least two students from each GPA category: honor (3.8-4.00), scholastic (3.2-3.799) and varsity (0.0-3.199). Learn about starting a team here.

State and National Competition Information

All teams will be eligible to participate in Alaska Academic Pentathlon State Scrimmages and the State Competition, an online event. Medals are awarded for the State Scrimmage. Trophies, medals and scholarships are awarded at the State Competition. Alaska’s winning team will represent Alaska in the U.S. Academic Pentathlon National Competition. 

Prior to regional and state competitions, students will write an essay. Forty percent of the overall Literature grade will be based on student essays - an excellent opportunity for students to not only demonstrate what they learned but how powerfully they can present an idea!

All Pentathlon competitions except for the national competition take place online in a virtual testing environment so there is no in-state travel required for teams!

Academic Pentathlon Docs