Vestal Students Prepare for the AMC 10 and 12

Vestal Students Prepare for the AMC 10 and 12

Gus Gebbie

As we approach the end of January, so many wonderful things begin to happen. We will have finished (only!) half of school, the temperature will start to raise, and we get days of school off for regents retakes and midterms. In addition, on January 30, Vestal High School will be hosting the AMC (American Mathematical Competition) 10 and 12, which gives math students a chance to show their ability in mathematics.

These are 75 minute, 25 question tests that you had to sign up for in December. The AMC 10 is for people in 10th grade and below who are less than 17.5 years old, while the AMC 12 is for people in 12th grade and below who are less than 19.5 years old. According to the Mathematics Association of America, the AMC 10 includes “elementary algebra; basic geometry knowledge including the Pythagorean Theorem, area and volume formulas; elementary number theory; and elementary probability” while the AMC 12 includes “the entire high school mathematics curriculum including the above as well as trigonometry, advanced algebra, and advanced geometry but excludes calculus” (MAA). These tests are intended to improve and inspire students mathematical ability.

If you signed up for these tests, you should be warned that they are extremely difficult. They sound easy enough, with words like “elementary” to make it seem like you should be able to solve most if not all of the problems. On the contrary, the average score in the nation is well below 50%, which is crazy because generally only extremely bright math students even take this test.

Don’t worry if you signed up for this test and you’re worried about doing terrible on it. It’s not like anyone expects you to do extremely well, and you are really unlikely to disappoint anyone. Plus, you can get points for not even answering a question! It’s getting something for nothing!