Knowledge Master Open
The Knowledge Master Open (commonly known as Knowledge Masters or KMO) was a computer-based semiannual worldwide academic competition produced by Academic Hallmarks. During KMO competitions, teams of students from many schools earned points by answering multiple-choice questions quickly and accurately. The questions included fifteen subject areas: American history, world history, government, recent events, economics & law, geography, literature, English, math, physical science, biology, earth science, health & psychology, fine arts, and useless trivia.
The competition started in 1983 with 74 schools. In 2009, there were about 45,000 participants from over 3,000 high schools and middle schools in the U.S. and other countries. The last contest occurred in April 2013. Over the 30 years of KMO competition, more than 2.4 million students participated. 
There were five levels of competition. 5th and 6th grade contests were held in January and March and consisted of 100 questions. On the other hand, middle school (up to grade 8), junior high (up to grade 9), and high school (up to grade 12) contests were held in December and April and consisted of 200 questions.
Rules and scoring
Each participating school received a password-protected disk (originally a floppy disk, later a CD-ROM) containing the contest questions. Only the first use of the password would generate a valid score report for submission to Academic Hallmarks. Team size was left to each individual school's discretion.
All questions were multiple-choice, with a maximum value of 10 points each. Each question and its category were displayed on screen, with five choices and a 60-second timer. A correct answer on the first try awarded five points, with up to five bonus points depending on the response time. If time expired or an incorrect response was given, the timer was reset to 60 seconds and the team was given a second chance to answer. Two points were awarded for a correct second-chance response, with no bonus.
Bonus points were awarded for correct first-try answers as follows:
|More than||No more than||Bonus points|
|0 seconds||7 seconds||5|
|7 seconds||12 seconds||4|
|12 seconds||17 seconds||3|
|17 seconds||22 seconds||2|
|22 seconds||29 seconds||1|
|29 seconds||60 seconds||0|
Teams could take up to three 5-minute breaks during the contest. They could use pencil and paper, but no other resources such as calculators or reference books, and assistance from coaches or spectators was not allowed.
Once a particular contest was over, the participating schools could use a second password to unlock the questions for unlimited use in practice sessions.
According to the official web site, the following is the list of recent winners:
High school, junior high, and middle school
6th and 5th Grade
|Year||6th Grade||5th Grade|
|January 2006||Hilltop Elementary School (OH)||Grace Wilday School (NJ)|
|March 2006||Sycamore School (IN)||Hough Street School (IL)|
|January 2007||Ladue Middle School (MO)||Hough Street School (IL)|
|March 2007||Mt. Pleasant Middle School (NJ)||Hough Street School (IL)|
|January 2008||The Westminster Schools (GA)||Hough Street School (IL)|
|March 2008||Wayzata Central Middle School (MN)||Brandon Valley Schools (SD)|
|January 2009||Swanson Middle School (VA)||Hough Street School (IL)|
|March 2009||Webb Bridge Middle School (GA)||Hough Street School (IL)|
|January 2010||Kealing Middle School (TX)||Hough Street School (IL)|
- Oak Park among world leaders in competition, Trading Markets - Press Release, April 29, 2009 - accessed May 19, 2009
- Strong Showing in the Knowledge Master Open, HHS Life and Times, January 5, 2009 - accessed May 19, 2009
- Competition summons inner intellect, The Oshkosh West Index, Dec 17, 2004 - accessed May 19, 2009
- It's Academic Team to compete in Knowledge Master Open, Silver Chips Online, December 6, 2006 - accessed May 19, 2009
- Students prep for a quiz they like, Ann Arbor News, March 23, 2009 - accessed May 19, 2009
- KMO Hall of Fame
- GreatAuk.com, the official Academic Hallmarks website.