Great Benefits of Math Competitions

Mathematics is increasingly important in our technological and scientific age. Taking enough mathematics in high school is the gateway to jobs and careers of all kinds, even those that are not explicitly mathematical, scientific, or technological.

Math%20OlympiadsThe importance of mathematics competitions has been widely recognized for three reasons:

  • they help develop imaginative capacity and thinking skills whose value far transcends mathematics;
  • they constitute the most effective way of discovering and nurturing mathematical talent;
  • they provide a means to combat the prevalent false image of mathematics held by high school students, as either a fearsomely difficult or a dull and uncreative subject.

Our course is designed purposefully to help students master the AMC contests, and enrich them academically. In the classes, we will cover all concepts/topics that frequently occur on the AMC exams and teach efficient strategies required for contest-based problem solving. We will review questions drawn from previous years’ contests as well as a variety of carefully selected resources. Students will think and learn math skills outside the realm of their school classrooms. All math skills developed through these courses will be helpful not only for math competitions, but also for comprehensive exams such as PSAT, SAT, ACT, GMAT, GRE, or even college math classes.

In an increasingly competitive college application pool, the process of mastering math skills through our courses and participating in the American Math Competitions will help students strengthen and diversify their extracurricular activities. These contests can motivate students’ interest and passion in math, and they can discover their talent through solving challenging problems different from those in the school classes. Many top colleges also request AMC scores as part of the college application process. Both MIT and Caltech have entry blanks on their official admission application forms for the applicant to enter their best AMC and AIME scores. Ivy League Colleges and Stanford ask for to the AMC and AIME scores in their Supplement to the Common Application Forms. Your children deserve the chance to list these scores on their applications! Good AMC scores will greatly enhance admission opportunities for students to elite colleges.

As a typical example, every year MIT admits about 1,400 freshmen. Out of these 1,400 students, almost 1,200 students have AMC 10 scores greater than 120. However, out of these 1,400 students there are only 2-4 students who are nationally ranked piano players. Likewise, there are only 2-4 nationally ranked swimmers. It is much easier to achieve distinguished math awards and get into MIT than to rank highly in swimming and get into MIT.

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In fact, a high score on the AMC 10 is a golden ticket into MIT, especially for girls. Why? Because in terms of extracurricular activities, prestigious colleges such as MIT and Caltech value math much more than anything else. This just reveals the critical importance of mathematics in the competitive academic environment. Students will benefit much more from participating in competitive math than participating in sports, arts, and music programs. 

It is much easier to math to than to swim to the MIT!

“Mathematics is a verb! In Ute we do not have just one word to describe mathematics—rather, we name it as we use it. When we count, build, design, cook, hunt, or fish, we are doing mathematics.” — Fabian Jenks, a Northern Ute elder

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47 responses to “Great Benefits of Math Competitions

  1. Pingback: American Mathematics Contest 10 (AMC 10) | Ivy League Education Center

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