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> Academic Decathlon and Top Universities
Guest_Danton_*
post Feb 19 2015, 04:20 PM
Post #21





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QUOTE (macomber_1 @ Feb 15 2015, 10:46 PM) *
I've been curious, how is AD looked upon by places like the Ivies and other top schools? I've heard from some that they've never even heard of it in their life, and even interviewers often won't have a clue about what it entails. I've also seen people on here complaining about their parents not letting them participate because it takes away from other extracurriculars, as if AD is lesser than others. Is this the case for admissions officers as well? It's a big part of my application, as I'm sure is the case for many others, and I wouldn't want for my hundreds of hours studying for it go to waste (not that admissions is the only reason I study, there's a myriad of factors that keep me going). Any thoughts?


A few years ago, I recruited a sophomore to AcDec. I didn't know her - just knocked on the classroom door and introcuced myself. She went home and told her mom what had happened, and wanted mom's input, since she was totally unsure about whether it was a good thing for her resume or not. Mom didn't know anything about AcDec either, but is a professor at SMU. She told her daughter that she would find out for her. According to the student (who went on to being a two year decathlete, and captain her senior year), the mom's friend in the registrars office said that unless her daughter was going to be captain of the football team next year, no extracurricular looks better to them than Academic Decathlon.
One more example: Just this past year, one of my Honors got into Cal Tech. Everyone who gets accepted to Cal Tech gets a hand-written note from the regional recruiter who worked with them. His note read, in part, "I loved the wat you attacked your AcDec packets in your essay . . ." he gave me a copy of the note, and I keep it for recruiting purposes!

Just two examples, but from pretty good schools.
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Guest_TooTall_*
post Mar 3 2015, 03:47 AM
Post #22





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I would say overall, it depends. It depends on how dedicated you are to Decathlon, how successful you are/your team is, and what you take from it. Colleges look for a passion and acadec is something that you have to be truly passionate about if you want to be successful. So passion/dedication and success kind of go hand-in-hand. What you take from it is a little more intangible but equally important I think. Obviously the interviewing skills are something people have mentioned. What I think is more important is the general work-ethic and confidence it develops in students. These are things that come across in interviews and essays and define you as a person more so than just a list of achievements. When you couple those achievements/successes with the qualities you develop as a decathlete, you become a strong candidate in the eyes of admissions officers. Plus colleges tend to like the interdisciplinary approach of acadec. The key thing is to truly communicate to colleges what acadec is, what it meant to you, and how it made you a strong all-around person.

And congrats on UPenn to OP. I'm sure there are more acceptances to come.
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Guest_macomber_1_*
post Mar 3 2015, 09:14 PM
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QUOTE (TooTall @ Mar 2 2015, 08:47 PM) *
I would say overall, it depends. It depends on how dedicated you are to Decathlon, how successful you are/your team is, and what you take from it. Colleges look for a passion and acadec is something that you have to be truly passionate about if you want to be successful. So passion/dedication and success kind of go hand-in-hand. What you take from it is a little more intangible but equally important I think. Obviously the interviewing skills are something people have mentioned. What I think is more important is the general work-ethic and confidence it develops in students. These are things that come across in interviews and essays and define you as a person more so than just a list of achievements. When you couple those achievements/successes with the qualities you develop as a decathlete, you become a strong candidate in the eyes of admissions officers. Plus colleges tend to like the interdisciplinary approach of acadec. The key thing is to truly communicate to colleges what acadec is, what it meant to you, and how it made you a strong all-around person.

And congrats on UPenn to OP. I'm sure there are more acceptances to come.



The interdisciplinary approach is exactly what I wrote about for a majority of the schools I applied too. In fact, I think that's why I got into UPenn, I related their core curriculum of 7 different subjects to what I studied in AD (7 subjects as well).

Thank you Shivam! By the way, I sat right next to you and had the same speech room as you at last year's nationals happy.gif

This post has been edited by macomber_1: Mar 3 2015, 09:17 PM
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