GAD Curriculum


The U.S. Academic Decathlon® is excited to announce that the overall curricular theme for 2020–2021 will be The Cold War. Following is some general information on the topics in each of the subject areas. Please visit to purchase curriculum materials.


  • SCIENCE: The science topic will be an introduction to astronomy and will include sections on the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • LITERATURE: The literature curriculum will include critical reading, one long work of literature, and selected shorter works. The long work of literature will be Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
  • Art: The art curriculum will include a section on art fundamentals and will largely focus on an exploration of art during the Cold War.
  • Music: The music curriculum will introduce students to various musical works from the Cold War era.
  • SOCIAL Science: The social science curriculum will introduce students to the history of the Cold War.
  • Economics: The economics curriculum will cover fundamental economic concepts, microeconomics, and macroeconomics and will also include a thematic section on the economics of the Cold War.
  • Mathematics: The mathematics curriculum will cover general mathematics, geometry, and an introduction to differential calculus.*

The full subject area outlines will be posted on the U.S. Academic Decathlon website on May 1 and will also be published in the U.S. Academic Decathlon Study Guide, which will begin shipping on May 15.

* The 2020–21 mathematics curriculum and materials will be the same as were used for the 2017–18 U.S. Academic Decathlon.

Essential Information for Coaches

This section’s title is a link which will direct you to the USAD website for valuable information about the program.

Calculator Policy

This section’s title is a link which will direct you to the USAD website for the most current Calculator Policy.

Curriculum Updates/Corrections

For a current list of curriculum updates, visit the curriculum section of the USAD website.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page, click on “Student Resources” and click on “Curriculum Updates.”

(You may be required to log in to view this information. Please contact USAD if you need login information.)

Practice Test Information

For information on ordering Practice Test materials, go to the USAD website Scroll down to the bottom and click on “Materials Brochure.” Here you will find all of the different materials that are available from USAD, how much they cost, and how to order them.

Reminder: Curriculum, Practice Tests and other study materials are ordered directly from USAD and not through GAD.