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Current Issues and Events Contest

All rules in Section 209 apply to this contest.

1. NATURE OF THE CONTEST.

Test Questions.  The 60 minute test will consist of 40 multiple choice questions and a written essay.  The contest will focus on a basic knowledge of current state, national and world events and issues.  “Current events” are defined as those which have occurred during the current school year.  (District Test – August 1 to December 15/State Test – October 1 to March 1. Contestants who fail to write an essay will be disqualified.

2. SOURCES AND ESSAY. ( No materials may be used during the exam)

  • Sources.  National daily newspapers or Texas metropolitan newspapers, business newspapers, specialized periodicals, weekly news magazines, journals of political or social nature, and other periodicals that report, summarize or explain world events shall be considered as contest sources.  “Current events” web pages available via the Internet are also excellent source of information.
  • Essays.  The essay should be of an expository nature.  The essay should be approximately 200 words in length.  Contestants should attempt to substantially develop a full range of points relative to the essay prompt.  All contestants are required to answer the essay question.  Contestants who fail to write an essay shall be disqualified.  A grading rubric will be used to judge the essay question.  The essay will be used in the event of a tie score.

3. CONDUCTING THE CONTEST.

  • Reading the Contest Instructions.  The contest director will read the following directions exactly as they are printed:
    • Turn off your cell phone and any other electronic devices besides permitted calculators and place them on the edge of the table in front of you. You may not use your electronic device(s) in any manner during the contest. If your device(s) make any noise or if you use your device(s) in any manner, you will be disqualified.
    • Put your name, school, and school classification in the directed place on your test and answer sheet. Failure to put your name and school will result in disqualification. (Allow time for this to be done).
    •   Indicate your answers using capital letters on the appropriate blank provided on the answer sheet.  If a Scantron is used, mark your answers in the appropriate spaces.  Only a #2 pencil may be used for Scantron cards. Failure to do so will result in disqualification.  Clean erasures are necessary for accurate Scantron grading.
    • Keep your papers closed until told to do otherwise; this is particularly important while test papers are being distributed and before the signal to begin has been given.
    • During the test, no questions may be asked or answered.  The contestant talking or making distracting noises may be disqualified.
    • Leaving the room with any contest materials will result in disqualification.
    • Transferring information concerning this test to other contestants or coaches is a violation of the Academic Meet Code and subject to penalties up to and including disqualification.
    • You have 60 minutes for this test.  No oral time warnings shall be given.  You are required to turn off any audible signals on any timing devices during the contest.
    • You will receive 1 point for each correct answer. The essay is required, but will be judged only in the event of a tie. Failure to complete the essay will result in disqualification.
    • When the signal is given to stop, you must cease all writing.
    • If you finish the test before the allotted time, you may leave quietly.  No distracting noises will be permitted.  Turn in all your test materials as you leave.
  • Stop and Start Signals. Exactly 60 minutes after the start signal was given, announce that time has expired and that contestants must turn in their test.  If contestants are in the process of writing down an answer, they may finish; they may not do additional work on a test question.
  • Scoring.  Each contestant shall be awarded one point for each question answered correctly and no points will be given or subtracted for unanswered questions on the objective portion of the test.  Each contestant is required to write a short essay. No points will be given for the essay. One or three judges who are not coaches of the tied contestants shall rank the essay sections. The ranking of the judge(s) will break the tie. If three graders are used, the grader should not discuss the scoring of individual papers among themselves. Each contestant is required to answer the essay question. Failure to answer the essay will result in disqualification.
  • Ties.   In the event of a tie, those essays involved in the tie will be judged one against the other to break the tie.