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American Mathematics Contest 12

The AMC 12 is a 25 question, 75 minute multiple choice examination in secondary school mathematics containing problems which can be understood and solved with pre-calculus concepts. Calculators are allowed. For the year 2002 there will be two dates on which the contest may be taken: Contest A on February 12, 2002 and Contest B on February 27, 2002. There is also a special AMC 12P Contest in Taiwan of January 5, 2002. The AMC 12P contest will be available on the Web after January 7, 2002 as a practice contest.

The main purpose of the AMC 12 is to spur interest in mathematics and to develop talent through solving challenging problems in a timed multiple-choice format. What happens before and after the AMC 12 can have lasting educational value. Talents will be enhanced if one practices beforehand, by working through previous examinations, by participating in math leagues and, most importantly, by studying mathematics more intensely than one normally does in high school. Learning will take place if students singly, jointly and, especially with their teachers, strive to solve those examination problems they did not see how to solve in the allotted time as well as to understand the solutions to those problems that they did not solve correctly. Occasionally, problems are chosen so that certain subtle but significant confusions, as well as some common computational errors, will be identified by the wrong answers listed. These principles and confusions are highlighted in the carefully prepared solutions manual.

Because the AMC 12 covers such a broad spectrum of knowledge and ability there is a wide range of scores. The National Honor Roll cutoff score, 100 out of 150 possible points, is typically attained or surpassed by fewer than 3% of all participants. For most students and schools only relative scores are significant, and so lists of top individual and team scores on regional and local levels are compiled. These regional lists and information on score distributions appear in the yearly summary sent to all participating schools. The best comparison students can make is between their own current level of achievement and their levels in previous years.

A special purpose of the AMC 12 is to help identify those few students with truly exceptional mathematics talent. Students who are among the very best deserve some indication of how they stand relative to other students in the country and around the world . The AMC 12 is one in a series of examinations (followed in the United States by the American Invitational Examination and the USA Mathematical Olympiad) that culminate in participation in the International Mathematical Olympiad, the most prestigious and difficult secondary mathematics examination in the world.

The AMC Web Site was last updated on 8/29/02