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Re: [PrimeNumbers] USAMO 1982, problem #4

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  • Jack Brennen
    ... The AHSME (Annual High School Math Exam) and the AIME (Annual Invitational Math Exam). I think that approximately 1% of the AHSME contestants get invited
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 3, 2002
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      Nathan Russell wrote:
      > I took the first and second tests - the ones that aren't the olympiad, I
      > forget what they're called - and became the first kid in my district to be
      > allowed to take the second.

      The AHSME (Annual High School Math Exam) and the AIME (Annual Invitational
      Math Exam). I think that approximately 1% of the AHSME contestants get
      invited to take the AIME. That top 1% is also not evenly distributed --
      some magnet schools and specialized math/science schools routinely get
      30 to 50 students into the AIME every year. Outside of these top-rung
      high schools, probably 1 in 250 students advances to the AIME. The USAMO
      contestants are chosen based on the AHSME-AIME combined score, but it's not
      a simple "make the cut" threshold -- non-seniors have it easier, and I
      believe that every state of the US must be represented.

      > This is drifting OT, but are kids supposed to be able to take the Olympiad
      > tests throughout high school? I've heard things that seem to imply that,
      > here and elsewhere, but my school only allowed it for seniors who were in
      > accelerated math (perhaps 10-20 people a year). Perhaps that's why I was
      > the first able to make it to the invitational (level 2) test?

      The USA Olympiad is certainly open to students as young as 8th grade, perhaps
      even younger. I know that in many US high schools, only the "top-level" math
      teacher knows anything about the AHSME-AIME-USAMO trilogy of tests. Unless
      that teacher seeks out precocious students in younger grades, they may never
      be aware that they are eligible for the AHSME. I took the AHSME for the
      first time in 7th grade (12 years old), and I had to take the exam at a
      different school, since my school knew nothing about the test. I only knew
      about it because I had been "discovered" by the county math team coach, who
      insisted that I find a way to take the exam. In 9th grade, I took the USAMO
      for the first time -- then again in 10th and 12th grades, including a top-12
      finish my senior year.
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