Australian Mathematics Competition

Thursday 27 July 2017

» Try the AMC online

 

One of the world’s largest school-based mathematics competitions with more than 14 million entries since 1978

 
 

About the Australian Mathematics Competition

The Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC) was introduced in Australia in 1978 as the first Australia-wide mathematics competition for students. Since then it has served almost all Australian secondary schools and many primary schools, providing feedback and enrichment to schools and students. It has become the largest single event on the Australian education calendar, allowing students to attempt the same tasks on the same day in over 30 countries around the globe. By 2015, the AMC has attracted more than 14.5 million entries.

The AMC is for students of all standards. Students are asked to solve 30 problems in 60 minutes (Years 3–6) or 75 minutes (Years 7–12). Students mark their responses on a mark-sense sheet and these are processed by computer. The earliest problems are very easy. All students should be able to attempt them. The problems get progressively more difficult until the end, when they are challenging to the most gifted student. Students of all standards will make progress and find a point of challenge.

There are five papers: Middle Primary (Years 3–4), Upper Primary (Years 5–6), Junior (Years 7– 8), Intermediate (Years 9–10) and Senior (Years 11–12).

The AMC is a fun competition with many of the problems set in situations familiar to students and showing the relevance of mathematics in their everyday lives. The problems are also designed to stimulate discussion and can be used by teachers and students as springboards for investigation.

 

Aims

The aims of the AMC are three-fold:

  • To highlight the importance of mathematics as a curriculum subject
  • To give students an opportunity to discover talent in mathematics
  • To provide resources for the classroom and general discussion

 

Benefits to students

  • All students receive a detailed report showing how they went on each problem, with comparisons as to wider statistics.
  • All students receive a certificate or award commensurate with their performance.
  • The AMC provides the student with an extra opportunity for external recognition. Certificates are often kept by students for their folios. They are well understood by employers and so can be used as evidence of problem-solving ability.
  • Unlike formal examinations in mathematics, many of the problems are set in situations to which students can relate, indicating the relevance of mathematics in their everyday lives. Above all the competition is designed to be enjoyable, even for those students who might not have performed as well as they may have hoped. Certainly the event is intended to be conducted in a pressure-free environment (not affecting normal school assessment) and the questions are designed to be of sufficient interest to stimulate discussion at a later time, with friends, parents or classmates.
  • Competitions can inspire a greater interest in the subject and a love of learning.
  • Students are given an opportunity to participate in a large event attempting the same problems as students in other schools and other countries.

 

Benefits to schools

In addition to the direct benefits to students, all schools which enter the AMC receive a confidential set of statistics which the school can use in checking its performances overall, and by topic, with statistics overall for their country/Australian state.

 

Languages supported

  • English
  • French
  • Chinese (simplified and traditional character sets both available)
  • Farsi

French is not available for the primary versions, and in Australia all students write the paper in English.

 

Visually impaired and distance students

We would like the AMC to be available to all students who wish to participate. We have special arrangements for visually impaired students and distance education organisations. Home schooled students or students whose school chooses not to participate are free to make arrangements to sit under the supervision of another school.

 

Relationship to the Australian Curriculum

The first 20 questions are intended to be directly familiar to students from their classroom experience. The problems are carefully moderated by experienced teachers in each state each year to ensure that the problems are suitable for students in their respective states. The later problems are more difficult and may be in unexpected contexts, but they have been graded to ensure that the skills required are commensurate with those taught at that level.

 

Aids

The problems are designed to test mathematical thinking rather than focus on calculations themselves, thus such questions are designed so that they can be answered just as quickly without a calculator as with one. Whereas calculators are thus seen to not provide an advantage, for equity reasons they should not be used in years 7 to 12. For younger students, in Years 3 to 6, students are permitted to access any aids normally available to them in the classroom. Such students will be permitted to use any teaching aids such as MAB blocks, counters, currency, calculators, and play money. All students are allowed to work on scrap paper and teachers may help explain the meaning of words in the paper.

 

What if I have done well and seek further challenge?

The AMC is not a stand-alone event but provides opportunity for students to attempt further enrichment activities offered by the AMT, including the Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians and the opportunity to progress to national and international Olympiads, supported by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training through the Mathematics and Science Participation Program.

 

Setting the problems

The problems are set by two volunteer committees comprising some of Australia’s most experienced teachers and academics. The process of setting the paper commences 18 months in advance, to allow the extensive moderation which has given the paper its reputation for mathematical and typographical accuracy over the years. This reputation is ensured by an extensive moderation process, which not only exhaustively checks the mathematics in the problems but also ensures the suitability of the tasks for students in all Australian states and New Zealand.

 

How to enter

Entry into the AMC is through schools. The AMT maintains a register of schools which includes every school in Australia and schools from many other countries who have participated in our competitions and activities in the past. Each year schools are contacted with dates and competition advice along with their school code and password. Schools can enter online and pay by credit card or on invoice.

For additional entry information and special circumstances » Go to Entering the AMC