Updated: Aug 4
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...
Math Competitions for Middle School Students
Middle School Math 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.
Enrolment: Through schools or sometimes RSM (Russian School of Mathematics) or math clubs https://amc-reg.maa.org/default.aspx - You can ask your nearest school or ask a AOPS centre near you for permission to write the exam
Open for individual enrolment: Maybe
Contest date: January 18-24, 2022
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.
Enrolment: Through schools
Open for individual enrolment: Yes (due to COVID)
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
Resources to prepare for MathCounts - Here's an entire blog devoted to help you prepare for MathCounts
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
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
Contest 1 - November,
Contest 2 - December,
Contest 3- January,
Contest 4 - February
Contest 5 - March
Books to Prepare:
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/
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)
They have 3 levels of competition: Rookie (grades 3-4), Intermediate (grades 5-6), and Advanced (grades 7-8).
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.