High School Math Contest: Complete Guide for AMC Contests 2022

Table Of Content:

This competition, also known as American Mathematics Competition(AMC), is the first step to become America's greatest mathlete and ultimately competing in the Math Olympiad. However, the AMC is much more than simply a means of achieving America's best high school mathematician; it is a way of life. If you are an intellectual person, the AMC's 75 minutes of absolute problem-solving entertainment is undoubtedly among the most entertaining exams you will ever sit through.

Whether you're looking for Olympic glory or want to challenge your skills and see whether you can achieve perfection, this comprehensive guide can help you prepare for AMC-8, AMC-10, and the AMC 12 competitions in various ways.

Do you like mathematics? Great! Then continue reading. The AMC scoring system and the abilities required to be successful will be explained below.

Who will be taking the AMC? Is it just for those who are mathematically gifted?

Do geniuses who were studying the proper angles on the walls of their bedroom and calculating pi from the diameter of their Baby bear qualify for the AMC? No way on earth! Anyone who enjoys problem-solving should consider joining the AMC. It's important to note that we did not state, "it's for anybody who likes mathematics." At the very least, there is no need for you like standard high school mathematics. Sure, having a passion for math is wonderful, but regular math courses may have left you feeling bored at times, and that isn't exactly what AMC is about.

Are you interested in enhancing your problem-solving abilities?

The abilities that contribute to dominating in board games, reasoning games (like Sudoku), and similar AMC problems have been the subject of many academics. But, according to factual studies, if you love learning and have a growth mentality, you will almost certainly become a master problem-solver.

What exactly would it take to be successful while dealing with this kind of problem? One important element is purposeful practice, which is just another way of saying: complete many problems through a focused manner, ideally while receiving appropriate guidance.

No matter whether you engage with a problem-solving instructor, enroll in a class or educate yourself via books (and we have some book suggestions for you below), you will utilize your systematic practice sessions to acquire the following skills:

  • Working backward
  • Working in an organized manner
  • Searching for patterns
  • Visualizing
  • Iterating on a best-guess initial     estimate
  • Using logical reasoning

Following the acquisition of these techniques, you will be an expert in the field of mathematical reasoning. If you can muster almost all your mathematical ability and imagination, you'll be well on your way to achieving a perfect score!

What's with all the numbers? What do the numbers 8,10, & 12 mean in this context?

The AMC features three levels: AMC-8, AMC-10, and AMC-12. The numerical value reflects the desired grade. For example, the AMC-8, developed by the Mathematical Association of America, is suited for 8th graders. However, this does not prohibit you from enrolling in a course at a greater level than your present grade.

Students in the 6th grade and sometimes in the 5th grade take the AMC-8. Although some seventh-grade students take the AMC-8, others choose to undertake the AMC-10. You are allowed to participate as long as you have not graduated from the grade level for which the competition is being held and have not reached the age of maturity. Whether you are an elementary school student in the United States or a secondary school mathematics student in Australia, there must be an AMC competition appropriate for your needs.

The most important information you should know about AMC

What is the number of problems on the AMC-8, and how much time would I be given?

There is a certain amount of time constraint, and you must deliver your performance while the clock is ticking. So here's the lowdown about how many problems there are and how quickly you must answer them in detail:

What is AMC-8?

The AMC 8 is a multiple-choice test on middle school mathematics consisting of 25 questions and 40 minutes for completion. It is aimed to build problem-solving abilities. It is believed that the AMC 8 would give middle school students a chance to acquire good attitudes toward problem solving and mathematics that will serve them well in their future professions. Students apply classroom abilities to a variety of problem-solving problems in a low-stress and supportive setting.

The AMC 8 is also available in other languages, including French, Spanish, large print, and braille, but solely for print administration.

Who can take AMC-8

  • Currently in the eighth grade or below
  • 14.5 years or younger

Format of AMC-8

  • There are 25 questions.
  • Forty minutes
  • Each question will be given in 90 seconds.

Registration Deadlines and Competition Date

There are three deadlines for registering:

  • Early bird registration on October 31, 2021,
  • Regular registration on December 5, 2021, and;
  • Late registration on December 10, 2021.

The competition will continue from January 18, 2022, at 8:00, am Eastern Time, through January 24, 2022, at 11:59 pm Eastern Time, and is open to everyone.

What's covered on the AMC 8?

Content covered on the AMC 8 covers subjects normally taught in a regular middle school mathematics program. For example, counting and probability, estimate, proportional reasoning, basic geometry, such as the Pythagorean Theorem, visual perception, daily problems, and analyzing and comprehending graphs and tables are just a few of the subjects that may be covered. Additional subjects taught in a basic algebra course, like linear and quadratic functions , formulas, coordinate geometry, and many others, may be included in some of the later problems as well.

What is the scoring system for the AMC-8? Is it preferable to make educated guesses or to leave an issue blank?

Whether you are attempting the AMC-8, there is good news: there is no penalty in answering incorrectly. Every problem is worth the same amount of points, so if you are stuck by a problem or know it could take you a bit longer to solve it, skip it and return to it after completing the simpler questions. It is very necessary to predict if you believe you will not have enough time to go back.

Don't be concerned if it takes a long time to do the task. It is possible to enhance your analytical thinking skills via practice and education. And what if you found it out right away? Great!

When do we get official scores and reports for the AMC 8?

After the AMC 8 in January, the MAA AMC office shall begin sending formal scores and reports in early to late February, depending on the time of year. The email reports are sent out in approximately the same order as we review the response forms that schools have submitted. From beginning to end, the processing and reporting process takes about 3 to 4 weeks.

AMC 10/12

AMC 10

  • Currently in the 10th grade or below
  • Must be under the age of 17.5 years 

AMC 12

  • Currently in the 12th grade or below
  • the age of 19.5 years old and under

Format of AMC 10/12

  • There are 25 questions.
  • 75 Minutes
  • Each question will be given three minutes.

Registration Deadlines and Competition Date

  • Early Bird Registration Deadline for AMC 10/12 A is September24, 2021
  • Regular Registration Deadline for AMC 10/12 A is October 15, 2021
  • Late Registration Deadline for AMC 10/12 A is October 22, 2021
  • The AMC 10/12 A Competition will take place on November 10, 2021,from 8:00 am to 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time.
  • The deadline for AMC 10/12 B early bird registration is October 1,2021.
  • In order to participate in the AMC 10/12 B competition, you must register by October 22, 2021.
  • In order to participate in the AMC 10/12 B late registration deadline, you must register by October 29, 2021.
  • The AMC 10/12 B competition will take place on November 16, 2021, from 8:00 am. ET to 11:59 pm ET.

What is the difference between the A and B versions of the examinations?

In both the AMC 10 and the AMC 12 exams, the A and B versions include the same amount of questions, use the same scoring system, and follow the same administration procedures. The main variations between the competitions are the dates on which they take place and the fact that each edition has a different set of questions. On the other hand, the two exams are intended to be comparable in terms of difficulty and subject distribution. Because of this, schools may buy one or both versions of the exams, provided that they pay the necessary registration cost for each competition day and acquire the competition bundles for each session in which they participate.

What material is covered on the AMC 10 and 12?

The AMC 10 consists of mathematics which is often linked to grades9 and 10 in school. Knowledge of elementary algebra, fundamental Geometry knowledge (including the Pythagorean Theorem, area, volume formulae),elementary number theory, and elementary probability are prerequisites for the AMC 10 course. Advanced geometry, advanced algebra, and trigonometry are among the subjects that are not included. The AMC 12 encompasses the full high school mathematics curriculum, including the topics listed above and Advanced Algebra, trigonometry, and advanced geometry, but does not include calculus as a subject.


What is the scoring system for the AMC 10 and AMC 12? Should you guess or skip difficult problems?

When you reach the AMC 10 and AMC 12 levels, the scoring system shifts to a different format, there are remaining 25 questions to complete, and all right answers are worth the same amount of points, which is six points for each correct response. However, after you reach these two contests, the AMC will penalize you for making non-strategic guesses.

While an erroneous response will still result in zero points on the AMC-8, an unanswered question is worth one and half points on the AMC-8.There will be five multiple-choice answers, the same as there are in the AMC-8.If you leave each question blank, great, you have just received a score = 37.5(1.5 * 25). Now we're left with the major question: when can you make your guess? This question alone may be a potential AMC issue!

How many possible solutions (from the five available) do you have to remove before you can consider guessing as a viable option? For example, if every vacant question is approximately 1.5 points and each correct answer is about 6 points, how many points are there in total?

A completely random guess (with five choices) would result in an anticipated value of 1.2 points per guess, based on the previous experience. That's a poorer result than the 1.5 points you'd receive for leaving the question blank. If you are unable to remove anything, it is preferable to leave the space vacant. Having eliminated one of the five choices, the game is awash; guessing among the four alternatives has an estimated value of 1.5, which is exactly what you would have received for removing one of the options.

Whenever you can verify two of the five multiple-choice choices, it's time to guess!

Taking a guess is awarded (on average) 2 points per issue after two options have been eliminated via elimination.

Why are there two versions of AMC-10and 12: an "A" version and a "B" version?

During any given calendar year, both the AMC 10 or the AMC 12are presented twice. The MAA's practice is to identify the first testing session of the year as "A" and the second as "B." Therefore, it is completely different between the "A" version of tests and the "B" version of the exams.

The 10A and 12A competitions are always held on the same day. The 10B and 12B take place earlier in the year (and on the same day, no less).Interestingly, the 10A and 12A have a number of problems that are common to both. Similarly, the 10B and 12B have a few problems in common. It may seem strange that a few questions from the 10th-grade exam and the 12th-gradecompetition are the same, although it is true in this case. According to AMC competitors' general agreement, both AMC-10 and the AMC-12 begin at roughly the same difficulty level and proceed through a series of increasingly harder tests. However, the 12 is more difficult since it progresses quickly to more difficult problems. So, although some questions are indeed repeated from the10, the 12 seems to be much more difficult than the 10!

Taken on the very same day, it is prohibited for children to attend the 10th and 12th grades, although it is permissible to take them together in the same school year. How? The mathlete could either take the 10Aor 12B or reverse the order and attempt the 12A or the 10B.

One of the reasons the MAA offers two separate versions of the exam is to accommodate students who wish to take both (the 10 or the 12) that year. For example, suppose qualifying for the Olympiad is your aim. In that case, another important thing to consider is that attempting both AMC 10 or AMC12 will offer you a chance to qualify for both the USAMO and the USAJMO.

When are official scores and reports released for the AMC 10 and 12?

AMC 10 and AMC 12 response forms take about three weeks to score and report after they are received after the competition has ended. The results are contained in the link to The AMC Toolkit: Results and Resources to Competition Managers, distributed to participants via email. As soon as its answer forms have been assessed, the AMC office will issue an email with a link to the results. After the competition dates have passed and you have not obtained your results in a digital report through email from the AMC program, please contact AMC to ensure that your response forms were received. When a competition is ordered, the AMC Toolkit: Results and Resources for Competition Managers are sent to the competition manager whose email address is provided on the registration for mused to place the order.

Is it possible to participate at the very same AMC level more than once in a given year?

AMC-8 competition happens just once each year, making it impossible to attempt it more than once in a single year.

However, it is possible to take the 10 and 12 twice that year if you take both of them in one year.

The numbers 10 and 12 are available in two variations, the "A" or the "B." This brings the total number of competitive events each year to five: eight, 10A, ten B, twelve A, and twelve B.

Are the AMC contests held at a certain time and location?

The AMC-8 competition occurs in November, whereas the AMC 10 and AMC 12 competitions occur in January and February. They usually take place at about the same time of year, but the exact date varies from year to year.

The 10th and 12th were all on Thursday, February 4th &Wednesday, February 10th, respectively, in 2021. The MAA (the tournament's organizers) has not yet published the dates for the 2022 competition, but they will do so shortly.

The normal registration deadline is typically around 2 to 3months, even before the event date, and the late entry due is usually about a month before the competition day. So sign up as soon as possible to ensure that you do not lose out on your chance!

Utilizing the zip-code search tool available on the Mathematical Association of America's website is the quickest and most convenient method to find out where you may take any of the AMC examinations.

What do you think about taking the very same level for several years in a row?

All high school math champions are invited to apply! You are allowed to participate in any AMC competition quite so many times as you like as long as you have not reached the age of majority. And good news for all of you primary and middle school students: according to the Mathematical Association of America, children as young as eight have participated in the competition.

Over the past several years, approximately 6% of all AMC-8participants have been in the 5th grade or lower school level. Another 19percent of the participants are in 6th grade, according to the results. If you want to be competitive, early elementary school is the best time to acquire the mathematical thinking and problem-solving abilities that can help you achieve. If you're still in elementary school (however, in the United States is first through fifth grade), IMACS is an excellent option for early training.

The development of analytical and mathematical reasoning abilities for the AMC should begin as early as possible, regardless of whether you want to participate in elementary grades (like 25 percent of AMC-8participants did) or later in middle and high school. A systematic and rigorous approach is used in problem-solving with mathematical reasoning in the IMACS curriculum, providing the groundwork for middle school and high school students to succeed in their endeavors. You may sign up for a free evaluation from IMACS if you are interested in becoming an AMC competitor.

What constitutes a satisfactory performance on the AMC?

The overall AMC 8 score has been ten questions answered out of a possible twenty-five questions in its most latest session. Given that a high score on the AMC 8 will be 25, which may seem to be an unusually low result. However, there offers a ray of hope for aspiring AMC champions since the exam is so difficult that kids may get many questions incorrect and still perform very well! Even honor roll students often get grades that are much lower than flawless. The following are the average & honors results for each AMC from the previous year:

  • Here on AMC-8, out of the 25 problems on the exam, the following are the answers:
  • The total result was ten correct answers.
  • The number of correct answers on the Honor Roll (top 5 percent) was 18.
  • The number of people on the Distinguished Honor Roll (the top one percent) was 21.

In case you're interested in viewing additional data regarding the distribution of results, the MAA AMC math program website offers a useful tool for determining how much the roughly 100,000 competitors performed every year.

How long does it take to prepare for AMC?

There is no way to prepare for the AMC. This is not even anything that you will become excellent at by just doing all of your schoolwork. Instead, it is based on subtle abilities developed via similar practice problems with the proper type of pedagogical assistance. Because each AMC issue is distinct from the others, memorizing formulae will not be sufficient to ensure success in the exam. Classes in mathematical reasoning are the most effective way to prepare for this exam.

The good news is that mathematical thinking abilities can be learned; they are not inherent. The good news is that the abilities you gain while working for the AMC will be transferable to other fields. Preparing for the AMC while also preparing for fascinating and fulfilling professions in engineering and physics as well as research science and computer programming is part of the prep for the AMC program.

Due to the critical importance of these abilities in both very cool careers and the world's most prestigious universities (such as Stanford),it is unusual that only a small number of extracurricular programs in the United States are dedicated exclusively to the development of these important mathematical abilities. Many excellent AMC preparation alternatives are available; however, the IMACS program begins sooner (1st grade) than others and has been assisting mathletes in realizing their full potential since 1993.

When should AMC Prep begin, and at what age?

The majority of kids get high scores on the AMC to begin preparing as early as elementary school. Some students prepare by participating in competitions like Math Kangaroo, while others enroll in specialist courses such as IMACS Mathematics Enrichment. Having a regular culture that encourages puzzles, games, as well as the enjoyment of problem-solving helps many children develop their mathematical ingenuity and reasoning abilities as they grow. You may also participate in a math club at your school. Please include them in your preparation plans without hesitation, and nothing will ever keep you focused and help you improve more quickly than participating in a multi-year mathematics course.

When should this kind of curriculum be introduced? Ideally, in the first or second grade. Throughout all the AMC levels, students who develop problem-solving abilities over many years are by far the most successful in their studies. It is also beneficial to begin at the beginning of the school year in first or second grade. Participating as a 5th and 6th grader in a tournament intended for 8th graders is indeed a great confidence builder.

If you're still in the fourth, fifth, or sixth grade, what do you do next step? The sooner you begin, the better; nevertheless, that it's never too soon to learn and develop these abilities. It is feasible to start a program such as IMACS in 5th or 6th grade and gain the practice you need to achieve a high score by the 8th grade if you start early.

When is the most advantageous time to develop the abilities necessary to be successful on the AMC? Picture of a little kid using binoculars, along with a text explaining why it is important to begin early.

Although classes are the most effective, there are other excellent methods to prepare!

There are a plethora of approaches that may be used to develop mathematical thinking abilities.

This AMC guide has addressed many of the reasons why enrolling in a specialist course is necessary. However, there are a variety of alternative options for getting well. Our best books, puzzles, and games for mathletes are included here, along with some recommendations for further reading material.

Puzzles and online tools that help you improve your mathematical thinking abilities

Having fun is one of the most effective methods to build critical thinking abilities for the AMC. AMC Tutor is an excellent way to start your study, and internet puzzles can keep children entertained for hours. All of these materials are excellent for introducing children to the joys of reasoning and problem-solving. https://www.geekedu.org/ furthermoreintroduces top-end courses in mathematics and computer science. Thus, making it a one-stop-shop for your child's learning needs.








Geek Team

Geekedu is an expert in Coding and Math learning. Our goal is to inspire and empower youth to use their knowledge of technology to become the influencers, inventors and innovators of the future.

Sign up and get a 60-minute free assessment class

Book A FREE Trial