Academic Decathlon: Always Determined

Vincent Chen, Staff Writer

  On January 25th and February 1st of 2014, West High’s Academic Decathlon team went to Pico Rivera and USC for their first county competition against the other Los Angeles teams consisting of over 50 high schools.

  Academic Decathlon is a rigorous class where athletes study and compete at county, state, and national levels. The students are tested on subjects relating to social science, science, mathematics, language literature, economics, music and art, and a verbal portion that include speeches, interviews, and essays– all which relate to this year’s topic of World War 1. The team is divided into three sections, each section including three members. The first section is the Honors which consists of students that have over a 3.75 GPA. The second is the Scholastic that includes students that have a GPA between 3.00-3.74. Lastly, is the Varsity level of under 3.00 GPAs. The selected students prepare for the competitions by reading and comprehending the materials they will be tested on.

  The first part of the competition began strong on the verbal portion. Team captain Rahul Chandrupalta (12) said that “our team has practiced for hours on end in order to perfect our speeches and essays with the help of Mrs. Fahey. It was a difficult, yet fun and rewarding experience for the newcomers and seniors on the first part of the competition, and I am very confident our team scored spectacular scores on that date.” The verbal portions included 3,000 points of the total 10,000. The verbal portion greatly influenced the team’s overall scores, either making or breaking the final scores. However, since West High’s Academic Decathlon have been practicing public oration from 3 pm to 8 pm, the members are sure that they have done excellent on verbal portion.

  Part two of the competition was composed of the rest of the subjects. The remaining 7,000 points was on the line. Junior Team Member, Melinda Liu (9) said that, “we have been studying for the past 9 months and I am pretty sure we got high scores but the truth comes out in a week.” Senior team member, Aprajita Ahlawat (10) said, “our team is very good this year, we have a very diverse team featuring students that holds a mastery in certain subjects. We’ve been helping each other out on these tests, and I am sure we will win next Wednesday.” Both senior team members and junior team members felt that they fared well on the test.

 However, no one really knows what will happen because the answers will be revealed on how far West High School placed in this year’s competition on February 12th, in Montebello to see if these Warriors will make it to the next level.