For the 2016-2017 Academic Junior High Decathlon, dioceses will have the opportunity of participating in the optional Writing Test. The Writing Test is an individual subject test, consisting of a timed, written essay. The essay competition is held a couple of weeks prior to the diocesan Decathlon competitions. It is an optional test and scores from the test will not count in relation to the total team score for the overall Decathlon competitions. Please check with your diocesan AJHD coordinator to determine if the optional Writing Test is being offered in your area, the date and time of the Writing Test, and information on registering for the test.

It is suggested that those arch/dioceses participating in the Writing Test this year schedule the event about two weeks prior to their local Decathlon Event. Please check with your local diocesan AJHD coordinator for information on date, time, and location of the Writing Test.

Below are general instructions to Decathletes about the format of the test.
Instructions for Decathletes:

Write your name, school, and team number on the test cover sheet and in the top right hand corner of each page of your essay. Number the pages of your essay at the bottom of each page.

Double space (write on every other line) and follow MLA formatting guidelines throughout your paper.

The writing test will last for 90 minutes. Time will be allowed for participants to develop a skeleton/outline of their essay. Participants will be informed of remaining time throughout the test and will be given a 15 minute warning before the end of the test. When time is called, writing will be stopped, pages put in order and stapled with the test cover sheet, with participant’s name, school name, and team number on top of the essay.

Participants--For this timed essay, please concentrate on development of a main idea (thesis statement), topic sentences that support your main idea, body paragraphs containing significant and appropriate concrete detail, complex analysis (commentary), use of elevated vocabulary and sentence structure, as well as use of transitions / bridges and sentence variety for fluency (smoothness). Your introduction should present an opinion that can be supported, and a concluding paragraph that summarizes the main points in your essay and emphasizes your main idea (thesis statement). Allow time to reread your essay and make corrections or changes. If necessary, you may circle paragraphs and draw arrows to reorder parts of your essay. Cross out or erase anything you don’t want scorers to read.

Use of dictionaries, books, spellcheck or any other outside resources is prohibited.