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Academic Pentathlon

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what is academic pentathlon?

Academic Pentathlon is an exciting five-event competition for students in grades 6, 7 and 8. The program engages students of all achievement levels in a variety of challenging academic events, while also preparing them to participate in Academic Decathlon.

Under the guidance of an adult coach, teams of students prepare for competition in subject areas of fine arts (art and music), literature (including essay analysis), math, science, and social science.

Middle schools who are interested qualify for free curriculum, resources, competition registration, and Beyond the Bell support. If interested, please fill out the Intent to Participate form.

For Students and Parents who would like to sign up for the Academic Pentathlon team at your school, please fill out our Student Sign-up Form.

Competition format


An essay will be completed approximately three weeks before the competition and it will count for 40% of the student's Literature grade. The essay is a chance for the student to demonstrate not just what they have learned, but how powerfully they can present an idea.


   Students will take an exam in each of the following topics:

  • Fine Arts (Music and Art)
  • Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Science

2020-21 KEY DATES





February 27, 2021

8:00 a.m - 2:00 p.m.

Scrimmage (TBD)


March 11, 2021

DUE: Team Registration Documents

  1. Team Selection Process
  2. Competition Roster
  3. Student Registration Form
  4. Report Card or Transcripts with Pentathlete GPA and Category
  5. List of Volunteers (Quickbase)
  6. Super Quiz Ticket order form (optional)
  7. checklist 

March 25, 2021

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

LAUSD Regional Competition - Essay (TBD)


April 10, 2021

7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

LAUSD Regional Competition - Objective Tests & Super Quiz (TBD)


April 24, 2021

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

LAUSD Regional Awards Ceremony (TBD)


May 20-22, 2021

Virtual National Competition (TBD)



Academic Pentathlon is designed for students to become more knowledgeable and a stronger all around student.

Survey results of students who participated in the 2017-18 Academic Pentathlon shows that:

  • 94% reported improved skills in critical thinking
  • 82% reported improved skills in communication
  • 87% reported improved skills in teamwork
  • 64% reported improved creativity
  • 77% reported development of stronger character traits


Luis Mora | Enrichment Programs Administrator | Beyond the Bell | LAUSD | 213-241-7900