On Feb. 2, the American Mathematics Competition (AMC) 12 test will be offered to a maximum of 100 students at Westwood. The testing will be held in the library great room from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Students enrolled in TAG, IB, AP or Pre-AP/Pre-IB classes are eligible to sign up for the AMC 12 through their math teachers. Spots are limited, however, so be sure to ask your teacher about the availability for his/her tests. The final deadline to sign up is Friday, Jan. 22, but some teachers have already began signing students up.

The AMC 12 is a 75 minute test, consisting of 25 multiple choice questions, covering high school level mathematics. Topics range from geometry through pre-calculus, and participating students should find that the problems are challenging. The difficulty of the problems will increase dramatically after approximately the tenth question.

This competition presents a valuable experience for students.

“For many Westwood students the AMC gives them their first opportunity to take a test where they are unlikely to know how to solve every problem,” math teacher Mr. Craig Sullivan said. Problems on this test will definitely challenge students, but that only helps to develop knowledge.

For this test, six points will be awarded to every correct answer, two and a half points for each left unanswered, and zero points for incorrect ones. This scoring format discourages guessing answers.

This test is hosted in the hopes of encouraging interest in mathematics, particularly problem solving in a timed arrangement. Another purpose is to identify students with phenomenal talent in these forms, as this test is the first in a sequence of examinations that eventually, if qualified, lead to the International Mathematical Olympiad. More information pertaining the advancing process can be found at the official AMC website.

The AMC proves to be potentially beneficial beyond high school years as well.

“In recent years, some universities have begun asking students for their AMC scores as part of the application process,” Mr. Sullivan said. “Students who compete in the AMC and advance to the highest levels are sometimes recruited to attend the top mathematics universities in the nation.”

For the test, students are permitted to bring scratch paper, graph paper, a ruler, a compass, and a protractor, should they think it would be beneficial; however, calculators are prohibited for this test.

Best of luck to all Warriors participating in this competition!