AMC Awards Criteria

Peter O’Halloran Certificate of Excellence
(formerly BH Neumann Certificate of Excellence)

Irrespective of the awards below, any student who achieves a perfect score is awarded this certificate which was named in honour of Peter O’Halloran OAM FACE (1931-1994), foundation Executive Director of the Australian Mathematics Trust.

Prior to 2007, this certicficate was named in honour of Professor BH Neumann AC, foundation Professor of Mathematics in the research School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the Australian National University.


Each year the AMF Committee awards a number of medals to students at secondary levels. The number allocated is equivalent to at least a standard achieved by 1 in 10,000 Australian students. These are awarded on the judgement of the committee to students who are outstanding within their Australian state/country and within their year group. This is generally interpreted as meaning that no more than three such students can be deemed to be outstanding. If it is necessary to distinguish ties, including perfect scores, a second round of the competition shall be held, generally within six weeks of the main round. A Prize (see below), whose value will depend on such issues as sponsorship, is normally awarded to a medallist.

Best in School

First offered in 2015, this award recognises the student with the highest AMC score in a school (after statistical calibration), based on the minimum achievement of a Distinction award, and minimum AMC entries of 50 (secondary) or 30 (primary).


All students will receive one of the awards listed below according to the criteria stated.

In the first instance each student is given a score based on different weightings for different questions. The method for calculating this score can be found here. This is different than using the number of correct responses out of 30.

It should also be noted that awards up to the level of prizes are decided by comparison only within the region and year level of the student. For example, a student in a certain year in an Australian state or another country will only be compared for the purpose of a certificate or prize with other students in the same group. As a result there will be different cutoffs for awards between Australian states and various countries. These cutoffs are not published because they may be prone to misleading interpretations.

A prize is awarded generally to no more that 1 student for every 300 students within their region and year group, the value of a prize depending on issues such as the sponsorship available.

A High Distinction Certificate is awarded to a student who has not received a higher award but is in the top 3% of their year and region (top 5% for Senior).

A Distinction Certificate is awarded to a student who has not received a higher award but is in the top 20% (25% for Senior) of their year and region.

A Credit Certificate is awarded to a student who has not received a higher award but is in the top 55% (60% for Senior) of their year and region.

This Certificate is awarded to a student who has not received a Credit (or higher) certificate, but who has nonetheless received a satisfactory score indicating satisfactory competence at mathematics and problem solving with mathematics. Students who score 32 points are guaranteed at least this certificate, but this might be lower if the exam has been deemed to be more difficult in their year level. The score as determined in Australia becomes the benchmark score for awarding this certificate in other countries, and is typically a recognition that they have reached a satisfactory level of mathematical and problem solving skills by Australian standards.

This certificate was awarded for the first time in 2008.

A Participation Certificate is awarded to a student who has not received a higher award but has participated in the AMC.


The AMF reserves the right not to give, or to vary, an award or level of certificate if there is reason to believe the student did not write the AMC under normal professional school supervision.

Competition Managers may open the package containing exam papers when they arrive at the school for the purpose of checking that all are there, but the package should then be locked in a safe place until the morning of the Competition.

Competition Managers, or anyone who might be seen to have access to sealed envelopes are strongly advised to take special precautions if they have family members writing the AMC, to ensure that they are, and are seen to be, at arm’s length from the process in their school.

The above waivers also apply when it is found that papers are written at a time or date outside those prescribed. On no account should anyone write the paper before the scheduled date, and those writing after the scheduled date will be subject to the above waivers. Such students can become ineligible for prizes.

Because some questions appear on more than one paper, students may not submit more than one set of answers. If more than one set of answers for a student is recorded, only the lowest score will be recognised.

The AMF also reserves the right to re-examine any student for any reason.