The American Mathematics Competition (AMC) is a series of exams offered to High School and Middle School Students. These exams include;
1. The AMC 8
2. The AMC 10
3. The AMC 12
4. The American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME)
5. The American Mathematics Olympiad (AMO)
Students across the United States of America and Canada in grades 10 and below usually take part in the first AMC 10. In addition, all USA embassy and foreign students can also participate. This is the new American Mathematics Competition contest for middle and high school students. The new contest enhances the two currently offered competitions. This is the American High School Mathematics exam which is called the AMC 12 and the American Junior High School Mathematics Exam which is known as AMC 8. The students who are in grade 8 and lower can participate in the AMC 8 whereas all the middle and high school students can take the AMC 12.
The remaining exams are by invitation. The AIME is a 15 question exam which takes 3 hours in which each answer is an integer number from 0-999. This exam is usually much more difficult. The difference between the AIME and the AMC 10 and AMC 12 is that all the problems in the latter can be solved by pre-calculus methods.
These exams provide the students with a great chance to compare their skills in mathematics competitively with other students nationwide. The students who perform exceptionally well in this tests are usually invited to take part in the state ARML team. This series of exams is also used in the picking of the team that represents the United States of America in the International Olympiads.
The American Mathematics Competition exams are sponsored by a number of organizations which include the National Council of Teachers of mathematics and the Mathematical Association of America.
The AMC 12 is usually a 25-question exam which takes up to 75 minutes to complete. It is a multiple choice exam containing problems which can be understood and solved with pre-calculus concepts. In the recent years the exams used to consist of 30 questions with a time limit of 90 minutes but that was changed. The AMC 12 and the AMC 10 normally take place on the same day. The rules are clear and a student is not allowed to take more than one of them.
The students who qualify for the AIME invitations are the ones who are lucky to score at least 100 on the AMC 12. In addition, the top 1% of the AMC 10 participants qualify for the AIME.
The exams do not require the use of a calculator. The problems usually require a lever insight to be solved.
3. Elementary Counting and Number Theory
4. Trigonometry, Complex Numbers, Logarithms, Functions
5. No calculus
The AMC 10 for ninth and tenth graders excludes the more advanced topics which include trigonometry, logarithms, complex numbers and the concept function.
Mathematical practices from the new common core
1. Help to reason abstractly and quantitatively.
2. Make sense of the problems and persevere in the process of solving them.
3. Help to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
4. Model with mathematics.
5. Attend the problems to precision
6. Look for and express clearly the regularity in the repeated reasoning.
7. Use the appropriate tools strategically
8. Look for and make use of structure in solving the problems.
The exams provide a prompt for the students to grow and develop many of the practices that are needed in order to succeed in Mathematics and in the METS disciplines in general.
How can students prepare for this exam?
The students should have MAO or Math Club work a practice exams in groups. This is very helpful in order to prepare them for the actual day and what lies ahead.
The students should be given past problems that have been tested. This helps them to know what kind of questions to expect. Some questions may be repeated or come in a form that has been tested before.
The students should present solutions to each other. This lets them know that “we find the problems hard too.”
The Academic Team Coach may appreciate an additional chance for students to work on mathematics problem solving.
The students should most definitely over-emphasize the competition. They should look to improve from their past tests. This helps them not to panic when faced with the problems.
The resources for preparation
The students should sign up for the AMC exams by mailing the list to (http://amc.maa.org) which is the official website.
The tests from the previous years are readily available on MyExamCloud for online practice.
Students should get books published by the MAA: “The Contest Problem” I-IX. These books contain old exams and solutions. In addition to this, they should get, “First steps for Math Olympians” An outline of the Mathematics used in solving examination problems.
Lastly, the students should get the AMC 10/12 Math Club package. It includes the worksheets and a CD with past examinations and additional worksheets.
How do students sign up?
The competition dates normally take place as follows;
AMC 10/12 A in the months of February.
AMC 10/12 B also in the months of February annually.
The cost ranges from $42+$16 per 10 students.
Registration should take place around the 20th of December as specified by the exam body.
Late registration is also available. For further details one should visit the official site.
AMC Sample exams
One of the best sources for a student to practice for their AMC tests is the MyExamCloud.