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Accounting: This contest will focus on the elementary principles and practices of accounting for sole proprietorship, partnerships, and corporations, and may include bookkeeping terminology, the work sheet with adjustments, income statement, balance sheet, trial balance, account classification, journalizing, posting, bank reconciliation, payroll, and other items related to the basic accounting cycle.  There will be 80 to 100 questions, and competitors will have one hour to complete the contest.

Calculator Applications: This 30-minute contest shall include calculations involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, roots, powers, exponentiation, logarithms, trigonometric functions, inverse trigonometric functions, iterative solutions for transcendental equations, differential and integral calculus, elementary statistics and matrix algebra.  In addition to straightforward calculation problems, the contest shall include geometric and stated problems similar to those found in recently adopted high school algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, pre-calculus and calculus textbooks, previous contests, and UIL materials related to the contest.

Computer Applications: This contest focuses on word processing speed and accuracy, computer skills in database and spreadsheet, and integration of applications.  Contestants will have the opportunity to process two printouts and the mandatory tie breaker.  Each printout will be assigned a weighted point value, which will be so indicated on the contest paper.  The use of spell check/thesaurus functions in a contestant’s software is encouraged.  The following skills may be tested:

  • Word Processing
    • Formatting copy as covered in the UIL Computer Applications Handbook
    • Search/Replace
    • Mail merge
    • Headers/Footers
    • Editing and proofreading
    • Keying from rough draft with proofreader marks
  • Database
    • Create database
    • Edit
    • Sort
    • Query
    • Create report with totals and summary totals
    • Use functions
    • Use formulas
    • Print merge codes
  • Spreadsheet
    • Create spreadsheet
    • Edit
    • Sort
    • Use functions
    • Use formulas
    • Print formulas and functions
  • Integration of all applications

Current Issues and Events: ESSAY REQUIRED.  This contest will focus on a basic knowledge of current state, national, and world events and missus.  “Current events” are defined as those which have occurred during the current school year.  The contest will consist of questions which will be posed in such a way as to allow for objective grading and an essay question that all participants are required to answer.  Contestants who fail to answer an essay question will be disqualified.  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 sources of information.

Editorial Writing: This contest is 45 minutes long, and the contest material consists of a fact sheet from which participants develop an editorial.  Judging criteria:

  1. Introduction presents problem and establishes staff stance.
  2. Body of editorial supports stance taken.
  3. Direct quotes are avoided.  If used, quotes are used effectively.
  4. Writing is exact, active, and precise.
  5. Alternative viewpoints are presented and rebutted when appropriate.
  6. Original solutions or suggestions by the contestant are offered if warranted.
  7. Conclusion restates staff stance.
  8. Editorial is written in third person, although first person plural may be used when appropriate.
  9. Secondary consideration is given to grammar, spelling, and neatness.

Feature Writing: This contest is an hour long, and the contest material consists of a fact sheet from which participants develop an article.  Judging criteria:

  1. Feature lead fits the mood of the story.
  2. Writing is active, precise, and stylistically exact.
  3. Facts are presented in logical sequence.
  4. Paragraph transition is smooth and logical.
  5. Direct and indirect quotes are used effectively.
  6. Cliches and/or slang are avoided.
  7. Feature theme is developed.
  8. Time peg at State Meet is included.
  9. Secondary consideration is given to grammar, spelling, and neatness

Headline Writing: This contest is 45 minutes long, and the contest material consists of a fact sheet from which participants will read six short articles and write prescribed headlines for each.  Judging criteria:

  1. Headline is written within prescribed count.
  2. Wording is active, exact, and precise.
  3. Headline contains a subject and verb either in the main or secondary level.
  4. Headline is written in present, present perfect, or future tense.
  5. Splitting of complex verbs, phrases, and modifiers from words they modify is avoided.
  6. Accuracy is not sacrificed for creativity.
  7. Main headline is not dependent on secondary headlines.
  8. Secondary headlines emphasize the unusual or significant aspect of the news.
  9. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct.

Informative Speaking: The purpose of this contest is to stimulate an active interest in current affairs at the state, national, and international levels, and to teach the student to present extemporaneously in a clear and impartial manner the facts about a subject as they appear in the best available sources of information.  This contest is an exercise in clear thinking and informing the public on the issues and concerns of the American people.  The objective is to present information orally in an interesting way, and an attempt should not be made to change the listener’s mind beyond presenting the information.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Lincoln-Douglas debate provides excellent training for development of skills in argumentation, persuasion, research, and audience analysis.  Through this contest, students are encouraged to develop a direct and communicative style of oral delivery.  Lincoln-Douglas debate is a one-on-one argumentation in which debaters attempt to convince the judge of the acceptability of their side of the proposition.  One debater shall argue the affirmative side of the resolution, and one debater shall argue the negative side of the resolution in a given round.

Literary Criticism: This 90-minute contest requires knowledge of literary history and of critical terms, and ability in literary criticism.  Students are tested over material on the reading list and required to select the best answers involving judgment in literary criticism.  Students must also analyze literary passage not on the reading list.  A tie breaker is required in which the student must write a short essay dealing with a specified topic about a short literary passage.

Mathematics: This 40-minute contest will consist of 60 objective-type questions designed to test knowledge and understanding in the areas of algebra I and II, geometry, trigonometry, math analysis, analytic geometry, pre-calculus, and elementary calculus.  Questions will be multiple choice.

News Writing: This contest is 45 minutes long, and the contest material consists of a fact sheet from which participants develop an article.  Judging criteria:

  1. Lead consists of the most timely and newsworthy information.
  2. Facts are presented in descending order of importance.
  3. Paragraph transitions are smooth and logical.
  4. Direct and indirect quotes are used effectively.
  5. Writing is active, precise, and stylistically exact.
  6. All news questions are answered.
  7. Editorialization is avoided.
  8. Secondary consideration is given to grammar, spelling, and neatness.

One-Act Play: The aims of the One-Act Play contest are:

  1. to satisfy the competitive, artistic spirit with friendly rivalry among schools, emphasizing high quality performance in this creative art;
  2. to foster appreciation of good acting, good directing, and good drama;
  3. to promote interest in that art form most readily usable in leisure time during adult life;
  4. to learn to lose or win graciously, accepting in good sportsmanship the judge’s decision and criticism with a view to improve future productions; and
  5. to increase the number of schools which have adopted theatre arts as an academic subject in school curricula.

Persuasive Speaking: The purpose of this contest is to train students to analyze a current issue, determine a point of view, and then organize and deliver extemporaneously a speech that seeks to persuade listeners to agree with that viewpoint.  The objective is to reinforce the views of listeners who already believe as the speaker does, but even more so, to bring those of neutral or opposing views around to the speaker’s beliefs or proposed course of action.  This oral contest should especially appeal to those who have a strong argumentative urge and who wish to advocate reforms or outline solutions for current problems.

Poetry Interpretation: The purpose of this contest is to encourage the student to understand, experience and share poetry through the art of oral interpretation.  Contestants shall prepare one selection each from two categories: American Reflections and Twentieth Century Reflections.

Prose Interpretation: The purpose of this contest is to encourage the student to understand, experience and share prose through the art of oral interpretation.  Contestants shall prepare one selection each from two categories: True Reflections – Non-fiction, and Contemporary Reflections.

Ready Writing: Contestants write expository compositions.  They are given a choice between two prompts, each an excerpt from literature, publications (past and present), or speeches.  Expository writing explains, proves, or explores a topic in a balanced way, allowing the argument and the evidence given to be the deciding factor in the paper.  Descriptive or narrative passages may be used to illustrate or reinforce an idea or point, but they must be clearly subservient or incidental to the purpose of the exposition.  The composition is judged on interest (60%), organization (30%), and correctness of style (10%).

Science: The purpose of this contest is to challenged students to do a wide range of reading in the areas of science, to gain an understanding of the significance of experiments rather than to recall obscure details, to be able to new discoveries and information in the areas of science, to gain an understanding of the basic principles as well as knowledge of the history and philosophy of science, and to foster a sense of enthusiasm about science and how it affects our daily lives.  The test will consist of 60 objective questions in biology, chemistry and physics; the history and methods of science; recent developments in science; and the ability to evaluate experimental results.

Spelling and Vocabulary: This contest promotes vocabulary development and precise and effective use of words.  The three-part tests consists of multiple choice questions of proofreading and vocabulary and words that are written from dictation.  Part I is a 15-minute period for written vocabulary.  Parts II and III are words pronounced for the contestants.