American Math Competition stumps students

CVHS students participated in the annual American Mathematics Competition (AMC) given by the Mathematical Association of America on Feb. 7.  This year about 30 freshmen and sophomores took the AMC 10 and about 60 juniors and seniors took the AMC 12.

“Twenty-five questions doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but it was the hardest test I have ever taken,” said participant Ryan Miller.

Students are given 75 minutes to complete the 25 challenging questions on the test, each of which are worth six points. A correct answer receives six points, a question left blank receives 1.5 points, and an incorrect answer receives 0 points. This point system is meant to discourage random guessing.

“The test was nothing short of my expectations; it was difficult,” said participant Matthew Woo. “There were some questions that seemed easy and I thought I could use an educated guess, but in reality I was completely off. It’s not easy to guess on the AIME.”

Test administrator and math teacher Glenn Mitchell confirmed the difficulty of the test, saying,  “Many of the questions are not necessarily the typical textbook problems, so sometimes the best students in the class do not win the competition,”

Students who score somewhere around 100 on the AMC 12 or 120 on the AMC 10 are invited to take the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME), a 3 hour, 15 question test. Of the students who participated in the AMC 12, only Matthew Woo qualified. Kimberly Lui and Holden Parks scored second and third highest in the school, respectively. Of the students who took the AMC 10, none qualified to continue on in the competition. High scorers for CVHS were Evin Yang, Diego Lazares, and Dafeng Ou.

“I love math,” said Woo. “I hope that my underclassmen will come to learn that math can be a fun and stimulating subject rather than the dull thing most students view math as!”

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