Whether you enjoy the competition experience and are motivated by it and delighted by it, or you, like me, tend to shy away from it, this guide is for you!
We all have our different styles and proclivities for mathematics thinking, doing, and sharing, and they are all good. The point, in the end, lies with the enjoyment of the mathematics itself. Whether you like to solve problems under the time pressure of a clock or while mulling on a stroll, problem-solving is a valuable art that will serve you well in all aspects of life.
This guide teaches how to think about content and how to solve challenges. It serves both the competition doers and the competition non-doers. That is, it serves the budding and growing mathematicians we all are.
On Competition Names
This guide pulls together problems from the history of the MAA's American competition resources.
The competitions began in 1950 with the Metropolitan New York Section of the MAA offering a “Mathematical Contest” each year for regional high-school students. They became national endeavors in 1957 and adopted the name “Annual High School Mathematics Examination” in 1959. This was changed to the “American High School Mathematics Examination” in 1983.
In this guide, the code “#22, AHSME, 1972,” for example, refers to problem number 22 from the 1972 AHSME, Annual/American High School Mathematics Examination.
In 1985 a contest for middle school students was created, the “American Junior High School Mathematics Examination,” and shortly thereafter the contests collectively became known as the “American Mathematics Competitions,” the AMC for short. In the year 2000 competitions limited to high school students in grades 10 and below were created and the different levels of competitions were renamed the AMC 8, the AMC 10, and the AMC 12.
In this guide, “#13, AMC 12, 2000,” for instance, refers to problem number 13 from the 2000 AMC 12 examination.
In 2002, and ever since, two versions of the AMC 10 and the AMC 12 are administered, about two weeks apart, and these are referred to as the AMC 10A, AMC 10B, AMC 12A, and AMC 12B.
In this guide, “#24, AMC 10A, 2013,” for instance, refers to problem number 24 from the 2013 AMC 10A examination.