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U.I.L. Academic Contest
Link to January 23rd Results

Art Grades 6-8

This contest involves the study of paintings from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and paintings or pictures from selected Texas museums. Part A of the contest requires the contestant to identify the names of 15 selected artists and titles of pictures selected randomly by the director from the official list of 40 pictures. Part B consists of 30 questions about art history and art elements characteristic of the 40 art selections.

Calculator Applications Grades 6-8

The calculator applications contest is designed to stimulate the development of mathematical and calculator skills for students in grade 6,7 and 8. Goals are both intellectual and practical: developing mathematical reasoning and knowledge and requiring the application of problem-solving skills toward realistic problems. Students will take a test containing 80 problems in 30 minutes. The contest consists of problems which may include calculations involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, roots, and powers. It also includes straight-forward calculation problems, and simple geometric and stated problems similar to those found in recently adopted textbooks.

Chess Grades 6-8


Chess will take a 30-minute objective test plus a separate 5-minute tiebreaker section. A different test is provided for each of the three divisions. The tiebreaker section is identical for ALL Chess Puzzle test questions are now multiple-choice format, to allow for a broader scope of questions and increase the educational value of the contest. Scoring is simple.  For the main test and tiebreaker sections, contestants receive one point for each correct answer..  There are no deductions for incorrect or unanswered questions.


Dictionary Skills Grades 6-8

Thorough knowledge of the dictionary is a way to increase a student's ability to find the information that is needed for classwork as well as everyday living. Each test consists of 40 objective and short answer questions to be completed in 20 minutes. Contestants use dictionaries during the competition, which may be tabbed. Contest questions cover word origins and histories, parts of speech, pronunciation, variant spellings, plurals, alphabetizing and other such elements. Test questions are also taken from charts, tables and lists contained in the dictionary.

Editorial Writing Grades 6-8

The Editorial Writing Contest is designed to develop the persuasive writing skills of the participants. Students must advocate a specific point-of-view in response to a prompt. Seventh and eighth-grade students have 45 minutes in which to complete their editorials.

Impromptu Speaking  Grades 6-8

Contestants will draw three topics and have three minutes to prepare a speech, which must be presented without any notes. The contest gives participants experience in thinking, organizing, formulating clear thoughts, and delivering those thoughts to an audience effectively. The maximum time limit for each speech is five minutes. There is no minimum time limit. Students who exceed the allotted five minutes shall be penalized one rank.

Sample Topics:
• A good parent...
• A law should be made that...
• Courage is...
• Freedom is like the ocean because...
• If I could only accomplish one thing in my life, I would like to...
• If I wanted to impress someone, I'd tell them about my...
• If I'd known my parents when they were teenagers...
• Little Red Riding Hood should have...
• Loyalty should be given to...

Listening Skills Grades 6-8

Contestants will listen to a script ranging from seven to ten minutes in length, take notes as needed, and use their notes to answer 25 multiple choice, true/false and short answer test questions. A variety of subject matter will be used for the listening tests.

Maps, Graphs, and Charts Grades 6-8

The maps, graphs & charts contest is designed to help students learn to get information from a variety of maps, graphs and charts including world maps, pie charts, bar charts and local area maps. The objective test will measure skills such as using a reference book to locate information, making comparisons, estimating and approximating, using scale and interpreting grid systems, legends and keys. Students will be given an objective test containing approximately 75 multiple choice, true/false, and fill-in-the-blank questions which must be answered in 45 minutes.

Mathematics Grades 6-8

This contest includes problems covering, but not limited to: numeration systems, arithmetic operations involving whole numbers, integers, fractions, decimals, exponents, order of operations, probability, statistics, number theory, simple interest, measurements and conversions. Geometry and algebra problems may be included as appropriate for the grade level. The contest, designed for students in grade 6, 7 and 8, consists of 50 multiple choice problems.

Modern Oratory Grades 6-8

Modern Oratory, the seventh and eighth grade contestants will select one of the topics, determine the critical issues in the topic, and acknowledge both pro and con points citing support discovered in their research. Students will choose a side they will defend and support that side with additional evidence. Along with the skills of analysis, research, note-taking, documentation, evaluation and decision-making come those of delivery and the skill of memorization. Students will deliver a three to six minute speech without the use of notes on their topic. To achieve and maintain the educational goals of the contest activity, the teacher and/or parent may guide the development of the research and writing of the speech, but shall not be permitted to write the speech for the student.

Music Memory Grade 6-8

The focus of the Music Memory contest is an in-depth study of fine pieces of music literature taken from a wide spectrum of music genres to expose students to great composers, their lives and their music. Students will listen to approximately 20 seconds of up to 20 musical selections and identify the name of the major work, selection and the name of the composer.

Number Sense Grades 6-8

Individuals are called upon every day to use their ability to make quick mental calculations to make decisions. The development of such abilities should be an integral part of the math curriculum. Concepts covered include, but are not limited to: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, proportions, and use of mathematic notation. Students will be given a 10-minute, fill-in-the-blank test which they must complete without doing calculations on paper or on a calculator. Erasures and mark-outs are not permitted.

Oral Reading Grades 6-8

Reading literature out loud provides opportunities for students to analyze the text, to grow and to develop as a performer, to communicate a message to an audience and to perform an artistic creation.Students in grade 6 read a selection of poetry. Each selection may be one poem, a cutting of a poem, or a combination of poems. The same selection may be read in all rounds, but different selections are permissible. Selections must be published although the poet may be unknown or anonymous. Students in grades 7 & 8 read selections of poetry. Each may be a single reading, a cutting from a longer selection, or a combination of several selections. The same selection may be read in all rounds, but different selections are permissible. Selections must be published although the author may be unknown or anonymous.

Ready Writing Grades 6-8

Contestants are given a choice between two prompts which defines the audience, and provides the purpose for writing. Students should be encouraged to analyze the prompts for the purpose of writing, the format, the audience and the point of view. The format may be, for example, a letter, an article for the newspaper or an essay for the principal. Various writing strategies may be stated or implied in the prompt. There is no minimum or maximum number of words the contestants must write.

Science Grades 7-8

The contest was designed to test not only memory but the ability to critically think about science and scientific processes and concepts. Such concepts include, but are not limited to: matter and energy, equilibrium, force and motion, physical and chemical properties, the relationship between organisms and the environment, the components of our solar system, the composition of matter and genetics. The contest will build upon the vast body of changing and increasing knowledge described by physical, mathematical, and conceptual models. Each test will consist of approximately 35 multiple choice questions which will be taken from current state-adopted science textbooks and the curriculum.

Social Studies Grades 6-8

Two divisions: grades 5/6, grades 7/8
• 40 questions
• 30 minutes
• test topics defined by a study guide, to be updated yearly  
• based on the TEKS for social studies
• test content taken from state adopted text books and identified primary sources
• types of questions similar to those found on TAKS tests

Spelling Grades 6-8

Students will write down words given by the pronouncer on their paper at a rate of approximately five words per minute.Grade 6: 80 words; tiebreaker, 30 words.Grades 7 and 8: 110 words; tiebreaker, 40 words.The tiebreaker is given to all contestants immediately following the initial test.

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