Well-known for its popularity and credibility, American Mathematics Competitions (AMC) is undoubtedly a fantastic proving ground for mathletes on the national and even international level. Hardly can middle and high school students who are passionate about math ignore this chance of building problem-solving skills and math knowledge, and competing with the best of the best. We can name numerous reasons why students should consider AMC, yet we carefully select three to mention here.
1. A long history and an incredible number of participants: Since the first competition held in 1950, AMC has grown to attract over 30,000 competitors in over 4,000 schools each year.
2. IMO as the ultimate goal: Held by Mathematical Association of America (MAA), AMC is the first round of a series of math contests at the secondary level for selecting the most competitive mathletes to represent the US team in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO).
3. Recognition in college application: Those elite universities and colleges (including MIT, Harvard, Caltech, Carnegie Mellon, etc.) take the AMC score into account in their college application process.
Four Most Important Updates on 2021-22 AMC
1. Competition dates moved forward
Do NOT wait until next year to start thinking about registering or competing. The 2021-22 AMC 10 and 12 have been officially set to start early in November this year. The AMC 10/12 A will be held on November 10, 2021, and the AMC 10/12 will be held on November 16, 2021. (Scroll down to find more information about the difference between AMC 10/12 A and B.) AMC 8 will be held in January, 2022.
Why the change?
For seniors, the release date of AMC 12 results is too late to be used for regular admissions. Potentially, the results can still increase their chance of admission if seniors are put on any waitlists. However, the AMC 12 scores are too much of a deal for high school applicants and also for elite universities. Moving the competition dates make much sense for all parties. Plus, the 2021-22 competition add even more value as there have been doubts about competitors’ true abilities shown in the online competition of 2020-21.
2. In-person administration ONLY
Unlike the past competition early this year, participants will have to compete in a physical location (in either a print or online format) in November. If your school doesn’t administer AMC, Populus Academy has registered for the AMC contest and welcome students to register and take the contest via Populus. To ease the process, Populus will help students through the registration process, offer IAD airport pickup and send-off, and arrange accommodation. For more information, please scan the QR code down below and contact Populus.
3. Change of USAMO eligibility
This year ONLY American citizens and green card holders are eligible for joining USAMO if qualified. International students studying in the U.S. are no longer allowed to participate in USAMO. Surely a superb score still strengthen your college application profile. Our previous students have won almost full points in AIME, which significantly increased the chance of being admitted to top universities.
4. Taking AMC 10 A/B and AMC 12 A/B in the same year
This year you can take AMC 10 and 12 in the same year; and for each level, you can take both A and B. In other words, you can take 4 tests to increase your chance of a better result.
What You Need to Know about AMC
1. Where can I take the AMC?
You may join the contest in your high school. Ask your math teacher or the math teacher of your school’s math club or math team to find out whether your school has registered.
If this is new to your high school, ask your math teacher whether the school can register as a contest location.
If that is unlikely an option, don’t worry. Contact Populus to register for the AMC contest. We are a registered test center.
2. What happens after I earn a high AMC score?
AMC 10 scored 120 and above or top 2.5% -> invited to AIME -> about top 230 -> invited to USAJMO
AMC 12 scored 100 and above or top 5% -> invited to AIME -> about top 270 -> USAMO
2020-21 AIME Qualification Scores:
3. What is the difference between the AMC 10/12 A and B?
The number of questions, scoring and rules for administration are the same in both versions of the AMC 10 and the AMC 12. There are ONLY two differences. One is that the competitions are held at a different date. The other is that each version has a different set of questions, while they are designed to be equal in difficulty and distribution of topics.
4. Can I take both AMC 10/12 A and B?
Yes, as long as your school offers both versions.
Populus Academy opens registration for both A and B contests. As a matter of fact, we encourage contestants to compete in both dates to increase the chance of winning. Even though the questions are equal in difficulty and distribution of topics, your performance may differ upon a few variables, such as your stress and anxiety level that day.
Take the 2020-21 results of participants at the location of Populus Academy as an example. We witnessed 10 students qualified for AIME, one via AMC 10 and the other nine via AMC 12. One of the students actually took both A and B contests and he was able to be qualified in both versions.
5. Can I take both AMC 10 and 12?
Yes, as long as your school offers both AMC 10 and 12. For example, you may take AMC 10A and AMC 12B. There might be a slightly higher chance of being qualified for AMC 12 based on our previous students’ experience and feedback. On the other hand, you may also consider your time and effort in preparing for both contests.
6. When can I know the results?
About 3 weeks after the competition dates.
The results will be emailed to competition managers at your school or the institution where you take the contest. Contact the competition managers for your score and qualification for the next round.
7. Are there any AMC problems that I can practice?
All past contest problems can be found via:
If you intend to pursue STEM (of course that includes math in particular) as your major and future career path, please don’t miss the chance to participate in the AMC. This contest allows you to develop your math skills while a good result would definitely be a highlight in your profile. Start to prepare NOW! Many top performers have started their intensive training even long before AMC 8. That’s what someone who has true passion for a field of study. They develop their math skills by all means through math clubs, other competitions like HMMT, summer math programs, and so more. Populus would like to offer our best wishes and look forward to your success.
How to Register for AMC 8/10/12
AMC 8/10/12 registration is currently opening. We encourage students to register for the contest if there is a test center at their own schools. If their high schools only hold A or B, they could consider to register for another one via Populus. Our past experience has shown that students were likely to pass if taking both A and B.
Populus as the AMC Test Center
If you are interested in registering for the contest via Populus, please scan the QR code below to contact us. The test center is located in Reston, Virginia, about 10-minute driving distance from IAD. We will also provide airport pickup and sendoff if needed. Please communicate your needs when you register through Populus.
AMC Registration Deadlines at Populus Test Center
Early bird registration: $75/test, August 31, 2021
Regular registration: $95/test, September 30, 2021
Late registration: $115/test, October 1 – November 10, 2021 AMC 10/12 A or November 16, 2021 AMC 10/12 B (limited test spots; contact Populus to confirm)
Note: If you are a current student within any Populus programs, please directly reach out to your Populus counselor for registration.
Competitors can choose a paper or online version of the contest in a physical location. Please confirm which version you would like to take when registering. Please bring your own laptop if choosing the online test. There will be a mock test for the online version.
1. About AMC: www.maa.org/math-competitions/about-amc
2. Calendar for the American Mathematics Competitions: www.maa.org/math-competitions/about-amc/events-calendar
3. AMC Announcement for the 2021-22 Competition Cycle: www.maa.org/math-competitions/2021-2022-amc-online-policies
4. AMC 8: www.maa.org/math-competitions/amc-8
5. AMC 10/12: www.maa.org/math-competitions/amc-1012
6. FAQs: www.maa.org/math-competitions/faqs
7. Locations: www.maa.org/math-competitions/amc-8/locations
8. AMC Problems and Solution: https://artofproblemsolving.com/wiki/index.php/AMC_Problems_and_Solution
Contact Populus for AMC registration.
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org