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Why AMC 10, AMC 12, AIME?

1. Many top schools, such as Caltech, MIT, Stanford, explicitly ask students to provide their AMC and AIME scores if they have.


Therefore, a student’s performance in math competitions is an important factor that these schools take into account while deciding whether admitting this student.

2. Some top schools that do not explicitly ask for math competition scores still treat these scores seriously.


They do not explicitly say that they assess a student’s profile by using these scores. However, this does not entail that these schools ignore the math competition scores. They care about these scores as serious as other schools who explicitly ask for them, but just in an implicit way.


3. A student’s good performance in math competitions is an objective, solid and strong evidence of this student’s essential skills.


These skills include but not limited to problem-solving skill, creative thinking skill, skill of using quantitative method to solve real problems. These skills are critical for a student to succeed in the college study and future career. Therefore, the college admission committees always want to see the proof of these skills from math competitions.


4. AMC and AIME scores supplement and are even more important than the standard college entrance tests, such as SAT, ACT.


Those standard tests are designed for everyone who applies to colleges. Hence, they do not distinguish top students very well. By contrast, these math competitions have the function of selecting out the best students. As a result, many top schools eager to see a student’s math competition scores to ensure that this student is indeed a top one.


5. Taking AMC helps a student be prepared for and succeed in the high school advanced math courses (example: IB higher level math course) and the college entrance exams (example: SAT, ACT).


Many topics covered in AMC 10 and AMC 12, such as equation and functions, are also tested in those high school math courses and college entrance exams. But AMC 10 and AMC 12 test these topics more deeply and creatively. Therefore, if a student is well trained for AMC 10 and AMC 12, then s/he can easily handle questions on these topics that appear in her/his high school course exams and college entrance exams.


6. Taking AMC helps a student be prepared for studying a wide range of subjects after s/he gets into a college.


For instance, in AMC 12, there are many problems about recursive equations and sequences. They also appear in a vast number of college subjects, such as math, physics, computer science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, operations research, economics, finance, marketing. The skills that a student gains from solving these AMC problems are quite valuable for her/him to study these subjects in a college.


7. Taking AMC gives a student a better chance to be admitted to or transfer to her/his desired U.S. private high school (irrespective of whether this student is currently studying in the U.S.).


When a high-rank U.S. high school makes an admission or transfer decision on an applicant, it wants to see objective and nationwide recognized evidence that shows this applicant is a good fit to the school. AMC provides a perfect evidence. Reasons are as follows.

(1) AMC objectively assesses a student’s various skills, such as quantitative thinking skill.


(2) AMC is well recognized by U.S. K-12 schools and universities.


(3) Unlike other standard tests, such as ISEE, SSAT, HSPT, AMC is not mandatory in applying to a private U.S. high school. Note that AMC is more selective and challenging than those standard tests, and not every applicant takes AMC. This entails that a student can be easily distinguished from an application pool if s/he takes AMC and receives a good score.


8. Taking AMC gives a student a better chance to be admitted or transfer to a desired non-U.S. high school, such as high schools in Canada, Singapore, U.K.


AMC contests are globally recognized. Therefore, if a student receives a good score in an AMC contest, then her/his case becomes globally competitive.


9. Preparing for and taking AMC avoids a student to spend repetitive and unnecessary time to prepare for and take a wide range of math contests offered by countries other than U.S., such as Canada, Singapore.


A student may plan to take multiple math contests offered by multiple countries. This does not entail that this student needs to prepare for these different contests separately. There is a big overlap of topics and skills covered in these contests. Therefore, the most efficient way to prepare for them is to begin with preparing for AMC. Once a student is ready for AMC, s/he is also almost ready for other same level contests offered by non-U.S. countries.

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