The AMC 10 is lauded as the oldest, largest and most prestigious math competition in the United States. The AMC 10 is part of the series of contests administered by the MAA American Mathematics Competitions that determines the United States team in the International Math Olympiad. The AMC 10 is for students in grades 10 and below. Two different versions of the contests are given on two different dates, the A and the B. Both the AMC 10A and the AMC 10B have the same number of questions, the same scoring and the same rules for administration. The only difference is that each has a distinct set of questions, although the two contests are designed to be equal in difficulty and distribution of topics.
The main purpose of the AMC 10 is to spur interest in mathematics and to develop talent through the excitement of solving challenging problems in a timed multiple-choice format. The problems range from the very easy to the extremely difficult. Students who participate in the AMC 10 should find that most of the problems are challenging but within their grasp. The contest is intended for everyone from the average student at a typical school who enjoys mathematics to the very best student at the most special school.
A special purpose of the AMC 10 is to help identify those few students with truly exceptional mathematics talent. Students who are among the very best deserve some indication of how they stand relative to other students in the country and around the world. The AMC 10 provides one such indication, and it is the first in a series of examinations (followed in the United States by the American Invitational Examination and the USA Mathematical Olympiad) that culminate in participation in the International Mathematical Olympiad, the most prestigious and difficult secondary mathematics examination in the world. In this way the very best young mathematicians are recognized, encouraged and developed. Another valuable comparison students can make is between their own level of achievement and their levels in previous years. In particular, they are encouraged to begin taking the contests early in their mathematics studies and to look back with pride each year on how they have learned to answer questions that they could not have answered previously.
The AMC 10 is a 25 question, 75 minute multiple choice test. Problems generally increase in difficulty as the exam progresses. Calculators were permitted; however, as of 2008, calculators are not allowed any more.
The AMC 10 is scored in a way that penalizes guesses. Correct answers are worth 6 points, incorrect questions are worth 0 points, and unanswered answers are worth 1.5 points, to give a total score out of 150 points. From 2002 to 2006, unanswered questions were awarded 2.5 points. In 2006 and 2007, unanswered questions were awarded 2 points. Students that score over 120 points or are in the top 2.5% of the AMC 10 contest are invited to take the AIME.
The AMC 10 tests mathematical problem solving with arithmetic, algebra, counting/combinatorics, geometry, number theory, and probability and other secondary school math topics. Problems are designed to be solved by students without any background in calculus or trigonometry.
- A Certificate of Distinction is given to all students who qualify to take the American Invitational Mathematics Examination.
- An AMC 10 Honor Roll of Distinction Pin is given to the top 1% of all participating students.
- An AMC 10 Certificate of Achievement is given to high scoring students who are in 8th grade or below.
More details can be found at: http://www.maa.org/math-competitions/amc-10
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