The following is a list of various Math contests available on the Internet or through registration, along with a description of each Test. SACMATH volunteers have experience with all these contests, so if you have any questions about the contests feel free to contact us at [email protected].
Tests described here
California Math League (http://www.mathleague.com/) is the California arm of a nationwide math competition for 4th grade through high school, with different contests at different grade levels.
The format is:
- For 4th and 5th grades, 30 minutes for 30 multiple-choice questions
- For 6th through 8th grades, 30 minutes for 40 multiple-choice questions.
- There is an Algebra 1 contest which is 30 minutes for 30 multiple-choice questions.
- For high school, 6 monthly contests (from October through March), each contest is 30 minutes for six questions that require the correct answer (ie, not multiple choice).
In my opinion, Math League is the best contest for a large group of students at multiple levels of ability - the questions get harder but most students are able to tackle at least the first third of the questions. This contest is graded at the school, and scores are reported to the Math League organization.
For Grades 4 through 8, the cost is $30 for 30 tests at a grade level. For high school, the cost is $72 for 30 tests for the year (includes all six contests).
For Grades 4 through 8, the registration deadline is usually late January. For High School, the registration deadline is usually October.
The California Math League organization awards plaques/certificates to the top scoring individuals and school in a region (multi county area) and in the state, from 6th grade through high school. A school's score is the sum of its top five individual scores.
More details on the contest, including sample questions and registration forms, are available at the Math League website (http://www.mathleague.com/).
MOEMS (Mathematical Olympiad for Elementary and Middle Schools, http://www.moems.org/) is a nationwide competition consisting of five monthly contests from November through March. Each contest has five problems, and each problem requires the student to give the correct numerical answer (MOEMS is not multiple choice). Determining the solution usually requires the student to take a couple problem-solving steps. MOEMS is graded at the school and scores are reported to the MOEMS organization.
There are two "divisions" in MOEMS: E (Grade 4 – 6) and M (Grade 7 – 8). The cost per team is $99 if you get materials through
MOEMS gives out more recognition awards than any other competition. Everyone gets a certificate, any student in the top 50% worldwide gets a patch, students in the top 10% get a pin, the top student in the school gets a trophy, a school in the top 20% gets a certificate, and a school in the top 10% gets a plaque.
Note from Jeff: I have done MOEMS with classes at both the elementary and middle school grades. The kids liked the contest format and especially enjoyed the post-contest discussions, where we would do the contest problem and the kids would talk about how they solved it. In my opinion, MOEMS would integrate really well into a math class as an activity to build problem-solving skills. It is the main contest I would recommend for in-class use or for a math contest club.
MathCounts (http://www.mathcounts.org/) is a nationwide mathematics competition structured similar to Academic Decathlon or Science Olympiad.
AMC (American Mathematical Competitions, http://amc.maa.com/) is a set of nationwide mathematics contests run by the MAA and designed to help identify the cop secondary schools math students in the country.
AMC has multiple contest levels. The first level is AMC-8/10/12, which are grade level contests for students in the given grade or below (8th grade for AMC-8, 10th for AMC-10, 12th for AMC-12). These tests are each 25 multiple choice questions, and students are given 75 minutes for the test. AMC-8 takes place in November, AMC-10 and AMC-12 take place in February.
Students who do well on AMC-10 or AMC-12 can advance to the next level of the competition, the AIME (American Invitational Math Exam). This test is 15 tough questions each with a three-digit numerical answer between 000 and 999. Doing well on the AIME (and the AMC-12 or AMC-10) can earn a student the invitiation to take the USAMO (USA Math Olympiad) or the USAJMO (USA Junior Math Olympiad), an extremely tough proof-style math competition consisting of 6 problems done over two days (each dayis 4.5 hours for 3 questions). Very few students make it to the USAMO or USAJMO and even getting to the AIME is quite an accomplishment.
AMC is primarily run through a school, with the school registering and running the exam. The cost of AMC varies depending on how early a school registers. There is a fee for registration
Jeff's Notes: AMC is a good contest for the stronger students who want to try a contest at a high level. I use AMC-8 with the middle school students, and if I have students who do well on AMC-8 (above 17 or so out of 25) I'll set up AMC-10 for them.