Economics Challenge

Illinois Econ Challenge

Economics Challenge

Illinois Economics Challenge (ILEC) is a competition for teams of high school students in which they test their knowledge of economics. Economics Challenge is competitive and fun, and offers an atmosphere where economic knowledge is tested and recognized.

Illinois high school students currently or previously enrolled in a qualifying econ course may participate in the 2016 Illinois Econ Challenge. Qualifying courses include:
Advanced Placement (AP Micro, AP Macro, or AP Micro and Macro),
International Baccalaureate (pre-IB and IB),
Honors, two-semester, or any other advanced courses in economics (including courses taught by a secondary teacher where students earn college credit).

All qualifying courses listed above must be taught by a secondary teacher. The program challenges students at an advanced placement level with students competing in teams of four.

Teachers in Illinois begin the Challenge by registering student teams in EconChallenge ONLINE! during January. The competition is not restricted by geographic location or budgetary constraints. Students from all over the state may easily participate. There are no participation fees and teachers may enter multiple teams.

Preliminary Round

Teams of high school students, four students per team, take an online test of 30 questions.  The top-scoring ten (10) teams advance to the state finals competition in Chicago.  Teachers are provided all rules of the program in order to fully prepare students.

State Championship Round

At the state competition the student teams with the highest team scores on three rounds of written tests advance to the final quiz bowl round, which concludes with the announcement of the First Place team.  The State Championship team qualifies to compete in the National Economics Challenge Semi-finals.

National Semi-finals

The State Championship team from each participating state qualifies to compete in the National Economics Challenge Semi-finals. Held as a proctored test at their school, all Semi-finalist teams compete at the same time. This level of competition involves four rounds of written tests.

National Finals

The National Economics Challenge competition is held in May for the highest scoring four National Semi-finalist teams. The National Finals consist of three written exams and a team analysis of a case problem with the day's two top-scoring Adam Smith (AP) teams competing for the National Championship.                        


What about consumer education, one-semester economics,
or personal finance students?

All Illinois high school students are required to take a consumer education or personal finance course prior to graduation. The Personal Finance Challenge is a fun and competitive way to engage students more fully in their learning while accessing how well they are meeting the state mandate.


The Illinois Economics Challenge (ILEC) is a program of Econ Illinois receiving support from BMO Harris with in-kind support provided from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the NASSP National Advisory List of Contests and Activities for 2015–2016.