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Social Studies Contest

All rules in Section 209 apply to this contest.

  1. Test Questions. The 90-minute test will consist of 45 objective questions and an essay.  Each year the contest will have a theme that focuses on a different, specific facet of Social Studies (people, places, events, and concepts).
  2. SOURCES. The questions will come from the Social Studies Reading Selection List posted on the TAPPS website (
    • 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 90 minutes for this test.
      • You will receive plus one point for each correct answer in Part I, two points for Part II, 3 points for Part III, and one point for Part IV or as indicated on the test.  The essay is required but will only be judged in the event of a tie. Failure to complete the essay  will result in disqualification.  
      • If you are in the process of actually writing down an answer on the answer sheet when the signal to stop is given, you may finish writing that answer.
      • If you finish the test before the end of the allotted time, you may leave the room quietly. No talking or distracting noises will be permitted.  Turn in all your test materials as you leave.
    • Start and Stop Signals. Exactly 90 minutes after the start signal was given, announce that time has expired and that contestants must turn in their test and answer sheet.  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.  Will follow guidelines on test.  A judge or judges will then evaluate the essays of any contestants who are tied.
  4. TIES.  In the event of a tie, three judges will rank those essays involved in the tie.  The tie will be broken by judges’ preference.  The judges’ preference is written, not oral.  See the example for judges’ preference in the Forms Manual.  If a top essay cannot be determined, then a tie exists.