Questions for ‘Math + teens + practice = a winning competition’


These middle-school mathletes are working hard during an American Mathematics Competition event at Salisbury University in Maryland.

Randall Cone/Salisbury University

To accompany feature “Math + teens + practice = a winning competition”


Before Reading: 

1.         Have you ever trained for a competition? How did you prepare?

2.         What has been your favorite math activity? Did this take place in school or outside of school?     

During Reading:

1.         What is the American Mathematics Competition 8? How can students participate?     

2.         What is the goal of the AMC 8?                           

3.         How do students start training for math competitions? What did Martin Li do?      

4.         What is critical thinking?

5.         Why do competitive mathletes keep going?          

6.         What are the IMO and EGMO?     

7.         How do kids train for the IMO and EGMO?     

8.         What kinds of prizes do students earn at math competitions?

9.         Why did Martin Li adjust his strategy after his first AMC 8? How did he prepare differently the second time?

10.      What are some other fields where scientists use mathematics?


After Reading: 

1.         Would you be interested in participating in the AMC 8? Why or why not?  

2.         How is mathematics training similar to athletic training? How is it different?

3.         How have you used critical thinking to solve problems?


1.         The International Mathematical Olympiad has been held in these cities in the past five years: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Hong Kong; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Cape Town, South Africa; and Santa Marta, Colombia. Locate these five cities on a map of the world. Then measure how far each city is from your hometown.