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Dean Schaffer (left), a director at DemiDec, along with Daniel Berdichevsky (right), President of DemiDec,[1] at the 2009 United States Academic Decathlon National Championship

DemiDec Resources is a private company founded in 1994 by now-CEO[2] Daniel Berdichevsky[1] that annually publishes unauthorized study materials for the United States Academic Decathlon,[3] hosts the World Scholar's Cup[2][4] and co-operates several "study academies" around the world.


In the 1980s and 1990s, the United States Academic Decathlon had few third-party companies that wrote study materials for students,[5] and individual teams had to do most of the research themselves.[5][6] Daniel Berdichevsky had been part of the Taft High School Academic Decathlon in the 1992–1993 season, but had dropped out because he was "too scared of giving a speech".[7] Despite this, Berdichevsky became team captain for the 1993–94 season.[8] Berdichevsky and his teammates would go on to win the United States Academic Decathlon National Championship that year with the help of their coach, Dr. Berchin, who had also led a team to victory in 1989.[9] Earlier that year, Berdichevsky had set an individual scoring record at the Los Angeles City competition that would remain unbroken until the 2007–08 season, when Isabel Salovaara from Whitney Young High School in Illinois earned 9,300 points to beat Berdichevsky's record by a mere three points.[8][10]

Six weeks after the competition, Berdichevsky and teammate Andrew Salter started creating guides and examinations for the next season.[7][11] Their first year's product was very small, and was criticized for its errors, though it earned the two almost $20,000 in 5 months.[7][11][12] However, when their old coach Dr. Berchin joined them the following year, DemiDec gained more stability and decided to continue with the venture in the future.[7] During the following two years, the company changed structure to its current one; it began to rely heavily on "a network of former Decathletes, curriculum experts and experienced writers" to create a study course that included both study guides and practice examinations.[7] In 1998, DemiDec nearly merged with USAD, but for an unknown reason, did not.[7][clarification needed] Since then, the company has consistently come out with a variety of material for Academic Decathlon, including "Resource Guides", "Power Guides", flashcards,[2] quizzes, and sequenced examinations.[7] The materials are generally released in the summer, after having been seen by "Beta testers" – usually current or former Academic Decathletes.[13][14]

World Scholar's Cup[edit]

Daniel Berdichevsky speaking at the 2009 World Scholar's Cup finals

In 2006, Berdichevsky, citing disappointment that Academic Decathlon ended at just a national level (United States Academic Decathlon has offered International Programs since 2013) in a rapidly more interconnected world, created the World Scholar's Cup. Though the World Scholar's Cup is based on the Academic Decathlon, it follows a different format. Instead of ten subjects like the Academic Decathlon, the World Scholar's Cup includes only six subjects: science, history, literature, art and music, social studies, and a special area, of which three of those events are based on a different yearly theme.[4] At the competition, students participate in four events that encompass all six subjects: a curriculum-based debate, an essay, a multiple choice test and the "Scholar's Bowl", a live tournament where team members may answer questions together.[4] Teams generally consist of either two or three students and may represent either their school, multiple schools, or even countries;[15] this policy further sets World Scholar's Cup apart from Academic Decathlon where six to nine students represent a single school.[16] The culmination of the annual competition is held in one of the competing countries,[17][18] of which there are currently 20.[19] Companies that sponsor the World Scholar's Cup aside from DemiDec are FunnelBrain and iClicker[20]

Study Academies[edit]

DemiDec also operates a number of "DemiDec Academies" in South Korea. The programs prepare students for variety of subjects, but focus on SAT Preparation for Korean students interested in studying in America.[21][22][23]


  1. ^ a b "Meet the DemiDec Team". DemiDec Resources. Retrieved June 6, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c "FunnelBrain and DemiDec Partner to Bring Academic Decathlon Flashcards Online". Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC. Los Angeles, California: PRWeb. June 3, 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
  3. ^ "Academic Decathlon Curriculum by DemiDec:". DemiDec Resources. Archived from the original on June 6, 2009. Retrieved June 6, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c "DemiDec Presents The World Scholar's Cup:". DemiDec Resources. Archived from the original on June 6, 2009. Retrieved June 6, 2009.
  5. ^ a b Wolcott, Holly J. (February 7, 2000). "Simi High Advances to State Contest in Academic Decathlon; Education: Defending national champion Moorpark High places second at county level, but may compete further as a wild-card selection". Los Angeles Times. p. B9.
  6. ^ Hetzner, Amy (March 11, 2000). "Waukesha's Catholic Memorial makes it a four-peat in Academic Decathlon, School sets state record for points, looks forward to national competition". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Berdichevsky, Daniel. "The DemiDec Story". Archived from the original on April 10, 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
  8. ^ a b Lowrey, Brandon (February 8, 2009). "Students flex at Academic Decathlon QUIZ: Marshall takes top spot El Camino Real and Palisades tie for 2nd-place honors". Los Angeles, California: Daily News. Retrieved June 6, 2009.
  9. ^ Goldman, Abigail (April 18, 1994). "Taft High Wins 2nd Academic Decathlon" (fee required). Los Angeles Times. p. A1 (Metro). Retrieved September 29, 2008.
  10. ^ Bakkalis, Anna (2008-04-28). "Moorpark team vies in Academic Decathlon". Ventura County Star. Archived from the original on 2008-08-29.
  11. ^ a b Guzman, Isaac (December 18, 1994). "Duo With All the Answers Share Secrets Education: High school Academic Decathlon champions graduate to more lucrative trade by selling practice exams for the elite competition. But some customers say that the pair didn't do their homework". Los Angeles Times. pp. B1. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
  12. ^ Guzman, Isaac (December 11, 1994). "Smart Money Ex-Academic Decathlon Champs Cashing In on Practice Exams". Los Angeles Times. pp. B1. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
  13. ^ "Beta Test". Retrieved June 13, 2009. (Registration required (help)).
  14. ^ Schaffer, Dean; Daniel Berdichevsky; Bunnie Hadsall. "Facebook: DemiDec Beta Testing 2009-2010". DemiDec, on Facebook. Retrieved June 13, 2009.
  15. ^ "The World Scholar's Cup". DemiDec Resources. World Scholar's Cup. Archived from the original on July 29, 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2009. Students compete in teams of two or three.
  16. ^ USAD Study Guide 2003–2004. United States Academic Decathlon. 2003. pp. 6–7.
  17. ^ Parker, Ray (April 20, 2009). "Mountain View students headed to academic world final". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
  18. ^ Ringle, Hayley (May 5, 2008). "Q.C. board weighs Korean trip for scholars". East Valley Tribune. Archived from the original on May 5, 2008. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
  19. ^ "The World Scholar's Cup". DemiDec Resources. World Scholar's Cup. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
  20. ^ "The World Scholar's Cup - Sponsors". DemiDec Resources. World Scholar's Cup. Archived from the original on April 13, 2009. Retrieved June 8, 2009.
  21. ^ "DemiDec partners with YBM in South Korea" (in Korean). YBM/Si-sa. September 18, 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
  22. ^ "데미덱 한국에 SAT TOEFL 전문 어학원 개원" (in Korean). YBM/Si-sa. December 28, 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
  23. ^ "demidec" (in Korean). DemiDec Resources. Archived from the original on July 28, 2009. Retrieved June 13, 2009.

External links[edit]