The Talon

ACDEC Earns Spot in State Competition

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An impressive run at Regionals for the Richardson High School Academic Decathlon (AcDec) team earned a place for the team at state. “It feels incredible to make to state as we competed in the most competitive Region of the state,” senior Nuha Arefin said. “I’m incredibly proud of the team as we worked hard, and it leaves a good feeling to see it pay off.” Photo Illustration by Chad Byrd and Marian Patterson

An impressive run at Regionals for the Richardson High School Academic Decathlon (AcDec) team earned a place for the team at state. “It feels incredible to make to state as we competed in the most competitive Region of the state,” senior Nuha Arefin said. “I’m incredibly proud of the team as we worked hard, and it leaves a good feeling to see it pay off.” Photo Illustration by Chad Byrd and Marian Patterson

An impressive run at Regionals for the Richardson High School Academic Decathlon (AcDec) team earned a place for the team at state. “It feels incredible to make to state as we competed in the most competitive Region of the state,” senior Nuha Arefin said. “I’m incredibly proud of the team as we worked hard, and it leaves a good feeling to see it pay off.” Photo Illustration by Chad Byrd and Marian Patterson

Deemah Pulak

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An impressive run at Regionals for the Richardson High School Academic Decathlon (AcDec) team earned a place for the team at state.

“It feels incredible to make to state as we competed in the most competitive Region of the state,” senior Nuha Arefin said. “I’m incredibly proud of the team as we worked hard, and it leaves a good feeling to see it pay off.”

The United States AcDec is a ten-event scholastic competition for teams of high school students. The theme for the 2017–2018 AcDec is Africa. There are ten competitive events – seven tests that include Math, Science, Social Science, Art, Music, Economics, Language and Literature (Objective portion) and Speech, Interview and Essay (Subjective portion).

This year’s topic is about Africa, so competitors are studying multiple aspects of the continent. To prepare for the tests, students are given a study guide for each test. All the packets (with the exception of Math) focus on the basics of the subject and then on Africa.

“It took hours and hours of studying and dedication from each team member to ensure the team’s success,” ACDEC coach Michael Hill said. “It takes a ton of brain power.”

Arefin joined AcDec as a senior in high school, which isn’t common. She realized she had knowledge over a broad range of subjects so she realized that AcDec was the place for her.

“I wanted to do something to help me become for open-minded,” Arefin said. “I also saw in previous years how close the team was and supportive they were with one another. Since it is my last year of high school, I wanted to try it out.”

She said that she’s learned how to distill information in a way that will benefit her as she transitions to her next phase of education.

“I’ve learned so much by just being a part of it, such as how to take in an enormous amount of information and then do well on a test over specific parts of the information,” Arefin said. “It’s definitely beneficial for me as I will be going to college next year, and knowing how to study is critical.”

Last semester, the AcDec attended the Highland Park Practice meet, which is only open to teams by invitation.

“This meet was only open to the best Academic Decathlon teams, so you had be invited to participate,” Arefin said. “By being invited meant that we were finally being recognized by the top Academic Decathlon teams and were seen as actual competition. This basically showed that RHS AcDec team has grown and is scoring very well and this is recognized by the competitive high scoring teams.”

Feeling like the AcDec team is poised to accomplish something they never have before, many competitors say they are ready to make the best of the opportunity.

“I want to make sure that I make this upcoming state competition count, especially since I’m a senior,” senior Erika Ralston said. “I’m going to put in my 100 percent and hope for the best for us.”

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ACDEC Earns Spot in State Competition