Math club prepares for AMC

February 1, 2011 — by Ashley Tang

With the first American Math Competition (AMC) coming up on Feb. 8 in the Small Gym, students in the math club will have a chance to test the skills they have been working on during their meetings every Tuesday during lunch and every Friday after school.

“Generally, each week we focus on a certain topic that pertains to the contest; in that way, we prepare them for the AMC throughout the year,” said math club president senior David Zeng.

Some topics they may review include geometry, number theory or counting. In addition to these weekly lessons, Zeng is considering holding special AMC practice sessions where he will give out practice tests to better prepare students for the test.

Although the math club prepares its members for the AMC by going through practice problems, the officers believe students also need to practice individually.

“We can’t prepare everybody for the AMC with just two to four hours a week,” said contest master junior Brian Wai. “People usually have to do work on their own if they really want to do well.”

The AMC is open to all students, not just to members of the math club. Of the 100 students who take the AMC, only about 30 are in the math club.

“It’s hard to say how many [students in the math club] will qualify for the next round, but I’m hoping for around 20,” said Zeng.

If students are unable to pass the first AMC, there will be a second one available on Feb. 23 to give
students another chance. The students who do qualify will go on to the American Invitational Mathematics Exam (AIME), which consists of 15 questions during 3 hours. Then, students who pass the AIME will take the United States of America Mathematics Olympiad (USAMO), of which only 500 students in the nation qualify for.

Overall, Zeng is confident that Saratoga High will rank well among other schools for the AMC.

“Individually, of course, results will vary. But for the school as a whole, we’re probably one of the best public schools,” said Zeng. “There are some private schools that are really good, but as a public school, we’re at the top.”

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