Math Club members participate in AMC B exam


Tiffany Wong

Joanna Lin (11) works on a problem during a practice round for the online math competition Math Madness on Sept. 27. Math Madness was one of several competitions that allowed students to take the AMC 10B or 12B at Harker.

by Rose Guan, Winged Post Copy Editor

Members of Math Club participated in the annual 75-minute American Math Competition (AMC) 10B and 12B exams at the middle school campus last Wednesday at 10:15 a.m.

The AMC 10A and 12A exams, which were open to all upper school students, took place on Feb. 7. High-performing students on either AMC exam advance to the first in a series of invitational competitions, the American Invitational Math Examination (AIME) in March.

“I took the AMC 10B, and it was pretty fun. It was easier than I expected, so I had time to check my answers,” Math Club co-vice president Katherine Tian (10), who also took the 10A exam, said. “Because the 10B costs a lot of money to buy all the contests, we choose to offer it only to active Math Club participants.”

To qualify for the 10B and 12B, students had to participate in a quota of Math Club-hosted contests or classes or give guest lectures.

“[The limit] is due to constraints in terms of the number of faculty members who can proctor the exam, but in addition to that, there’s certainly an aspect of incentivizing people to become more active in Math Club,” Math Club co-vice president Jimmy Lin (11), who took the 12A and 12B exams, said. “It was definitely pretty enjoyable working through the problems. A lot of the later problems ended up having really elegant solutions that, after thinking a while, just gave you that sort of aha moment at the end.”

Because AMC exams can cover material outside the upper school’s mathematics curriculum, many participants in the exam prepare beyond coursework as well as inside the classroom.

“There are a couple of big topics [on the AMC] that are typically not covered in the curriculum. One is number theory and the other is probability,” Math Club adviser Dr. Anuradha Aiyer said. “These two topics aren’t typically covered in a math course, so there are things that students would have to pick up.”

The AIME, on March 7, allows students to qualify for the USA Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO) and Junior Mathematical Olympiad (USAJMO) in April. High schoolers who excel on the USAMO or USAJMO will be able to participate in the International Mathematics Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro in July.