Academic Decathletes take 30 minute multiple choice tests in the subjects of Art, Economics, Music, Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science, and Social Science. In addition, each team member gives a planned 4 minute Speech and a 2 minute impromptu Speech, participates in a 7 minute Interview, and has 50 minutes to write an Expository Essay.
The Super Quiz Relay, the final event, is open to the public and features questions from subject matters including Art, Economics, Music, Language and Literature, Science, and Social Science.
The Academic Decathlon season involves 4 rounds of competition. The United States Academic Decathlon publishes the curriculum in the Spring. Round 1 is a non-scoring scrimmage typically held in November. Round 2 consists of regional competitions held on the first Saturday in February. The winners of Round 2 plus a limited number of invited teams then compete in Round 3 which is the State Championship held in mid-March in Sacramento. As a result of the State Championship, California sends the top two winners onto Round 4, the USAD Nationals held in late April.