for Home Schoolers & High Schoolers & others
through SB Family School
An overview of each competition follows the chart
Note: Dates & locations in red have been canceled due to the CoViD-19 pandemic
The Alpha Math Contest has two levels. The younger one, formerly known as the Pi Math Contest, is like an AMC 5; the older one is like a low-key AMC 8.
The AMC (American Mathematics Contest) is a highly prestigious test that is part of a sequence that culminates in the International Math Olympiads. Students who do really well are invited to the next levele - the AIME. The questions are very good ones (probably because it is sponsored by prestigious societies of real mathematicians) that progress from very easy to very hard.
The Math Olympiads are a nice low-key ongoing learning experience. The monthly tests are short and then right afterwards we discuss the problems, which help develop creative thinking skills. There are lots of small awards, which are presented at an end-of-year family celebration ceremony.
The CA Math League is similar in format - short, good, creative problems - but with fewer prizes. Although the high school version, which is the one we are trying this year, is monthly, there are annual versions for younger kids available.
The RCML (Rocket City Math League) is similarly structured, but the levels are based on subject matter (Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II) instead of grade, the awards are bigger – and it's run by students! We do not participate in it every year.
The ARML (American Regional Mathematics League) Competition takes place over two days on a college campus, with the contestants staying in dorms. The competition includes fun "mathletic" events like relay races. Teams consist of 15 students and can come from any size geographical area, including states. We join together with groups from the Los Angeles area to form multiple Southern California teams. Practices are held once or twice a month on weekend afternoons. The level of this competition is very challenging. It is the only one where students from different schools and homeschoolers all work together.
The Westmont Mathematics Competition has similar fun events but is less intense.
MATHCOUNTS is the premier national middle school math competition, involving a partnership of industry and academia (with the national winners going to the White House!). The organization provides lots of materials for coaching.
The MathCounts Club Challenge contests are similar to the Olympiad ones described above.
The Math SuperBowl is an exciting local meet that gets bigger every year. It is sponsored by Montecito Union and a few other schools. Teams practice throughout the year from previous years' tests.
Math Day at the Beach is a long drive - but I love the name and it's fun as well as very challenging.
The MC4 (Math Council California Central Coast) competition was unfortunately terminated over a decade ago.
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