Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is Personal Finance Decathlon?

In the Personal Finance Decathlon, teams of students compete to demonstrate their knowledge of personal finance by taking an online test covering 10 areas of personal finance.

What are the 10 areas of personal finance?

Thinking Economically, Earning Income, Paying Taxes, Budgeting, Saving, Financial Planning, Investing, Borrowing , Banking and Financial Institutions, and Insuring

Who is eligible to compete? How many teams can I register?

All high school students are eligible. Teachers can register multiple teams of 3-4 students each.


Competition Details

How does the Decathlon work?

Teams of students (3-4 members each) will compete in an online test of the 10 areas of personal finance. All team members must be from the same school. The top 12 highest scoring teams will advance to the state competition, where students will perform a case study analysis. Competition rules and format can be found here.

What rules are there for the online competition?

Teachers must ensure that their competing teams are complying with Decathlon rules, specifically:

  • Supervision must be provided to ensure legitimacy
  • Team members must be separated during the online challenge
  • During the online challenge, students are allowed a blank piece of paper and a pen/pencil
  • Calculators, phones, or other electronic devices are not allowed. The use of internet or other resource materials is prohibited.

The sum of the top three individuals scores on each team makes up the team score. There are 10 points awarded for each correct answer and 0 points for an incorrect answer.

How much does it cost to participate?

There is no registration or entry fee to participate in the Decathlon, however all teams will need to invest time and commitment to prepare for the competition. Qualifying teams will be responsible for transportation costs to and from the State Competition in Minneapolis.

The state winner will receive up to $2,000 to support their travel to the National Competition.

When is the 2019 Personal Finance Decathlon?

The online competition runs from January 1-March 11, 2019 and can be found at our registration page.

The State Competition is April 17 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Additionally, the National Competition (for qualifying team) is Friday, May 10 at the University of Nebraska Lincoln College of Buisness.

What do the online tests look like?

Practice tests for the Decathlon can be found here

Does each student need to take the test at the same time?

No. While MCEE recommends that all students in a given team take the test at the same time, all that matters is that every test gets taken by the deadline on March 11th.

How can we prepare for the case study analysis?

Previous case studies from the state competition can be found at the Personal Finance Decathlon Resources page on our website.

What are the details of the tests and scoring?

For the online Personal Finance Decathlon, a 30 question test will be taken with a time limit of 35 minutes. A maximum of 300 points can be scored.

At the state competition, students will complete a case study with 1.5 hours to prepare, followed by an 8-10 minute presentation.

At the national competition, student will complete a case studey with 2 hours to prepare, follwed by a presentation.

When will I know whether my students have qualified for the State Competition?

The Online Decathlon runs until Monday March 11th. By the end of the following week (Friday March 22nd), you will be notified if your team has qualified for the State-wide Competition. The qualifiers will also be posted on all MCEE Social Media Platforms.

What can we expect from the State Competition?

On April 17th, the state championship will run from roughly 8:00 AM to 2:15 PM. Breakfast will be provided during registration, and lunch will be provided after the first round of presentations. The day will end with an optional tour of the Federal Reserve Bank.