7 Middle School Math Competitions held in the USA

Updated: Aug 18, 2019


Math Competitions for Middle School Students

I and my students love Math Competitions. If you've been following my blogs, you might already know about this fact :) We love the thrill that we get from solving complex problems; problems that were previously "just impossible to solve" according to them. Training to solve for these competitions triggers and hones their creative thinking skills. They love the fact that once they're trained, math at school becomes super easy for them. (To read about the advantages of preparing your child for Math Competitions click here)

So what are the math competitions that you can enrol your middle schooler in? Read on...


1) AMC8 (American Mathematics Competitions)

The AMC 8 exam has 25-questions, 40-minute, multiple-choice examination for middle schoolers. The questions are in increasing order of difficulty. The first question is usually the easiest and the 25th question is the hardest.

Grades: 6-8

Enrolment: Through schools or sometimes RSM (Russian School of Mathematics) or math clubs https://amc-reg.maa.org/default.aspx

Open for individual enrolment: No

Registration deadline: October 29, 2019

Contest date: November 12, 2019

Resources to prepare: Here's a complete blog on how to prepare and ace your AMC 8 exam


2) Math Counts

This is a national level competition for middle schoolers. Around 4-10 students are usually selected from school to participate in the Chapter level competition. Once they qualify they go for state rounds and then finally they go for national level competition. The school-level competition has 3 rounds. The Sprint Round consists of 30 questions to be solved in 40 minutes. The target round has 8 problems. A set of 2 problems are given at a time and you get 6 minutes to solve those 2 problems. The third round is the team round where the team members (4 students in a team) solve 10 problems in 20 minutes.

Grades: 6-8

Enrolment: Through schools

Open for individual enrolment: No

Registration deadline: December 1, 2019

Contest date: Feb onwards

Books to Prepare: Practice competitions for Math Counts by Josh Frost Volume I and II

Past examination question papers are also available for purchase from their store here

Previous year question paper is always available for free on their site


3) Math Kangaroo

This is an international math competition and takes place in USA, Canada, Singapore and a few other countries. Every country has it's own registration page. The test is 75 minutes long with 30 questions for children in grades 5 and up. This is probably one competition where I've found very interesting questions. RSM (Russian school of mathematics), Mathnasium, or Kumon centres host this competition

Enrolment: Can register as an individual http://www.mathkangaroo.us/mk/registration.html

To search for centres near you http://www.mathkangaroo.us/mk/centers.html

Grades: 1-12 (All grades)

Registration deadline: December 15, 2019. Late registration: December 31, 2019

Contest date: Third Thursday in March.

Books to prepare: http://www.mathkangaroo.us/mk/practice.html

You can buy past contest papers with solutions from their store


4) MOEMS (Math Olympiad for Elementary and Middle School):

This is available for both Elementary and Middle School students, though I've found that most schools do this contest only for Elementary school. They focus on AMC8 and Math Counts for middle school. It consists of 5 contests held from November to March. Each test is for 30 min and consists of 5 questions and the kids need to write the answers in the space provided.

Grades: 6-8 (4-6 is also available for Elementary school students)

Enrolment: Through schools or registered institutions only http://www.moems.org/enroll.htm

Open for individual enrolment: No

Important dates:

Contest 1 - November,

Contest 2 - December,

Contest 3- January,

Contest 4 - February

Contest 5 - March

Books to Prepare:

1) Math Olympiad Contest Problems for Elementary and Middle Schools, Vol. 1

2) Math Olympiad Contest Problems, Volume 2

3) MOEMS Contest Problems, Volume 3


5) CML (Continental Math League)

This also consists of 5 contests to be taken from November to March. Each test is 30 min and has 6 questions. You can enrol in either of the 2 divisions - the Pythagorean division or Euclidean division for each grade level. The Pythagorean division requires above average problem-solving skills and Euclidean requires average problem-solving skills. The questions are generally easier than other competitions. So, this is a good competition to start if you're new to problem-solving. If you are enrolling as an individual, the tests can also be taken at home!

Grades: 2-3, 4-6 and 7-9 and there's also Calculus

Enrolment: Can enrol through school or as an individual

If enrolling as an individual you'll need to email them and ask them for individual registration

https://www.cmleague.com/product-category/cml/ Chose the grade and division.

Open for individual enrolment: Yes

Registration deadline: Before the contests start. They are not extremely strict about it though. But it's good to register and prepare beforehand.

Books to prepare: These are questions from past competitions

For grades 4-6: https://www.cmleague.com/product/cml-book-2011-2015-grade-4-6/

For grades 7-9: https://www.cmleague.com/product/cml-book-2011-2015-grade-7-9/


6) Perennial Math

This runs 2 sets of competitions every year. First set consists of 4 contests between Nov-Feb and the second set between Jan-Apr. You can register for both separately. Each test has 6 questions and 30 mins to solve them.

Enrolment: Can register as an individual or as a team or through school (which makes this great)

https://perennialmath.com/registration-type

Grades: 3-8

They have 3 levels of competition: Rookie (grades 3-4), Intermediate (grades 5-6), and Advanced (grades 7-8).

Registration deadline:

Season 1 deadline - November 15th.

Season 2 deadline - January 15th

Books/ Materials to prepare: They upload the materials to whomever you designate as the coach as soon as you register! So registration includes the prep materials too.


7) Math League

The contest consists of 30 questions to be solved in 30 minutes. Registration is only through schools. So if you want your school to participate you can read what you need to do here: https://mathleague.com/index.php/about-the-math-league/get-involved

Enrolment: Only through schools

Grades: 4-8

Registration deadlines: Each grade has its own deadline (either Dec 31 or Jan 31). Check out here for more info https://mathleague.com/index.php/annualcontestinformation/contestschedules

Books/ Materials to prepare: You can look at sample competitions here.

Books that also contain past contests - There are volumes 1-6

Math Contests, Grades 4, 5 & 6, Vol. 5

Math Contests, Grades 7 & 8 (and Algebra Course 1) Vol. 6


These are a few other Middle School Math Competitions:

Noetic Learning Math Contest

Game-a-thon designing math games

Math Bee by North South Foundation

RSM Foundation International Math Contest

Beestar National Competition


To summarise:

Individual Registration: Math Kangaroo, CML and Perennial Math

International students can register for CML or Perennial Math.

Canadians can register for AMC8, Math Kangaroo, CML and Perennial Math

Register through schools or institutions: AMC8, Math Counts, MOEMS, Math League and Noetic


As you know I'm an Online Math Tutor. I train kids for all Middle School Math Competitions. To know more about me and how I work click here.

If you'd like me to coach your kid for any of the above-mentioned competitions email me @ vasudhastutoring@gmail.com


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