Highlights of the 2020 Economics Challenge Rules


  • There will be two divisions: David Ricardo and Adam Smith.
    The David Ricardo division includes teams of students currently or previously enrolled in one general economics course (or less), or courses which include introductory economic concepts (social studies, business, personal finance, etc.). The course must be taught by a secondary teacher. Students who have never taken an economics course are eligible to compete. Students may only participate in the David Ricardo division one time.

The Adam Smith division includes teams of students, currently or previously, enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP Micro, AP Macro, or AP Micro and Macro), International Baccalaureate (pre-IB and IB), honors, or any other advanced courses in economics (including courses taught by a secondary teacher where students earn college credit). The course must be taught by a secondary teacher. Students who have competed in the Economics Challenge in a previous year are eligible, but must register in the Adam Smith division. Students may participate in the Adam Smith division multiple times.

  • Teams shall be comprised of no more than 4 members. Teams can compete with 3 members.

Online Qualifying Round

  • The online qualifier must be completed between January 2, 2020 and March 13, 2020 by 6pm.
  • Students must complete the online qualification test using their own access codes supplied to them by their teacher.
  • Students have 35 minutes to complete a 30 question test online. All team members must complete the test individually within 3 hours from the time the first test was started. 
  • Scoring on tests are as follows:+10 points for each correct answer. There are no longer negative points for incorrect answers.
  • A school will only be allowed to have a maximum of 3 teams qualify for the state finals in each division. Thus, qualification bids for the state finals will be awarded to schools, not specific teams. Teachers will receive their student scores and can determine which students they would like to represent them at the state finals.
  • To determine the schools that will receive a bid to the state finals, NKU CEE pick the top 10 teams. If the top 8 teams include more than 3 teams from a school, then we will expand the selection beyond the top 8 teams. 

State Finals

  • There will be three rounds of competition at the State Finals for each division:
    a. Rounds I & II will be 20-minute rounds with 15 five-option, multiple choice questions in each round. Each member competes individually; the team score will be the sum of the top three individual scores.
    b. In Round III members compete as a team and submit one answer sheet. The format will be the same as the first three rounds: a 20-minute round with 15 five-option, multiple-choice questions. The score on the Round III test will be multiplied by three so that this round is weighted equally with each of the first three rounds.
    c. Each division shall have its own set of tests for these rounds.
  • The content covered in Rounds I-III is as follows: Round I - Microeconomics; Round II -Macroeconomics; Round III – International Economics and Current Events.
  • Scoring in all rounds is based on the following system: +10 points for each correct response. There are no longer negative points for incorrect answers.
  • In each division, the first tie-breaker for placement in the quiz bowl round is the team score in
    Round III. The second tie-breaker is the total team score in Rounds I & II, counting the scores of all four team members.

Quiz Bowl Rules

  • The top two teams in each division after Round III will advance to a quiz bowl State Finals. The topics can be from anything in economics. Each division will have its own quiz bowl.
  • At all points throughout the Quiz Bowl
    a. Any team member may buzz in at any time while a question is being read; however, should they buzz in before the entire question has been read, they will have to answer based solely on the information they have heard up to that point.
    b. The individual that buzzes in serves as the spokesperson for the question, and is the only person from whom a response can be given.
    c. One point is awarded for each question answered correctly by a team.
    d. If an incorrect answer is given, the opposing team has the opportunity to hear the entire question and then have 15 seconds to respond.
    e. Teams found to be “blitzing” by providing an excessive amount of information in response to a question will have their answer declared incorrect.
    f. If a team member buzzes in before the entire question is read…he/she will have 5 seconds to answer based solely on the information heard up to that point, conferring with team mates is not allowed.
    g. If a team member buzzes in after the entire question is read…the team has 15 seconds to confer with team members and have a response given by its spokesperson.
  • The quiz bowl is over as soon as one team leads by more points than there are questions remaining.
    a. A maximum of 30 questions will be asked.
    b. In the event of a tie after 30 questions, the first team to correctly answer a tie-breaking question will be declared the winner.