Sunday, February 16, 2014

How the AMC 10 B exam works

Here are some notes about how the AMC 10B Exam works. The Bard Math Circle is administering this math contest on Wednesday, February 19th. There's still a chance to register, at our AMC page.

Exam Details

The exam lasts for 75 minutes, and has 25 questions. Responses are multiple choice, with each correct response worth 6 points. Therefore, a perfect score is 150 points. For those of you who have guessing strategies, a blank answer is worth 1.5 points and a wrong answer is 0 points.

The AIME and Beyond

If you do a splendid job on the AMC 10 B, you'll be invited to the AIME, the American Invitational Mathematics Exam. Here, "splendid" means scoring at least 120 points or ranking in the top 2.5%, neither of which is easy to do. The AIME will take place in March.

Excellent performance on the AIME could lead to the USAJMO (USA Junior Mathematical Olympiad), which is a challenging proofs-based contest. The top scorers on the USAJMO will be invited to the MOSP (Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program) in June, from which the USA team is selected for the International Mathematical Olympiad (boys and girls) and the Girls Mathematical Olympiad (girls only). Not many people get there. Not many at all.

Contest Rules and Regulations

  • You'll need to use a #2 pencil, and we'll have a supply at hand, but feel free to bring your own. 
  • Be ready to bubble in your correct name, as no editing will be done by the AMC people. You'll also bubble in your address. 
  • As you might guess, CALCULATORS ARE NOT PERMITTED. In fact, no electronics of any kind will be allowed, maybe not even digital watches. 
  • Students, you will be seated as far apart as space allows. You're also not allowed to speak or ask questions during the contest; you must do your own work. No wandering eyes, please. The exam proctor may issue warnings or even confiscate your exam if cheating is suspected. Let's not see that happen at the Bard Math Circle, please!
  • If you finish early, you can leave the room. If you need to use the rest room, please raise your hand and you'll be escorted there.
  • After the contest, you make keep your contest booklet and take it home with you. You may discuss the answers with others who take it at Bard once the contest is over, and you may discuss it with anyone in the world starting the day after the exam.

Your preparation for this year's contest should be finishing about now. If you enjoy the challenge of the AMC, why not start preparing for next year's contest after this contest?!