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16 Math Contests for High School Students

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Multiracial university students

16 Math Contests for High School Students

Are you a high school student with a knack for numbers and a love for challenges? Math contests can be a thrilling way to showcase your skills, learn new concepts, and even stand out in your college applications. In this blog, we’re going to explore the top 16 math contests for high school students.

Whether you’re a seasoned competitor or just starting out, these contests offer a range of opportunities to test your mathematical mettle, enhance your problem-solving skills, and connect with a community of like-minded peers. So, let’s get started on your journey to discovering the exciting world of high school math competitions!

1. High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling (HiMCM)

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: $100 per team
  • Competition Date: November 6–November 19, 2024
  • Application Deadline: November 6, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school students

The High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling (HiMCM) is an annual competition that challenges high school students to apply their mathematical knowledge and skills to solve real-world problems. It’s organized by the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP) and has been engaging students worldwide for over 25 years.

a female student solving mathematical problems

Each year, HiMCM presents a set of unique and intriguing problems, requiring teams of up to four students to collaborate over 14 days to develop a mathematical model and present their findings in a written report. Participation in HiMCM is open to high school students from around the globe, as long as they have internet access and can submit their reports in English. Teams are given a choice between two problems and have a 14-day window to work on their selected problem. You are expected to collaborate effectively, apply appropriate tools and techniques, and thoroughly test your solutions.

2. American Regions Mathematics League (ARML)

  • Location: All participating educational institutions
  • Cost: $80 per student
  • Competition Date: Saturday, June 1, 2024
  • Application Deadline: April 24, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school students

The American Regions Mathematics League (ARML) is a prestigious and challenging mathematics competition that brings together the top high school math students from across the United States and beyond. The structure of the ARML competition is designed to challenge and stimulate the brightest mathematical minds. It includes several rounds, such as the Team Round, where teams collaboratively solve problems; the Power Question, which involves writing mathematical proofs; Individual Questions, where students solve problems independently; and the Relay Round, a unique format where teams work in a relay style to solve problems.

The competition has a rich history of winners from various regions, showcasing the diversity and depth of mathematical talent across the country. Participation in ARML requires preparation and commitment, often involving tryouts and training sessions. It serves as an excellent opportunity for students to enhance their mathematical skills, compete at a national level, and interact with peers who share similar interests​​​​​​.

3. Math Olympiads for Elementary & Middle School (MOEMS)

  • Location: In all participating schools
  • Cost: $240.00
  • Competition Date: November 13, 2023 – March 29, 2024
  • Application Deadline: October 31, 2023
  • Eligibility: Grades 4-6 for Division E and Grades 6-8 for Division M

The Math Olympiads for Elementary and Middle School (MOEMS) is a captivating and influential math competition that was established in 1979. It’s a program that invites participation from over 120,000 students across every state in the United States and from 39 countries worldwide. MOEMS offers two divisions: Division E for grades 4-6 and Division M for grades 6–8. This program features five monthly contests, administered from November through March each year.

View of a students writing in the board.

Each contest consists of five nonroutine problems that require careful mathematical thinking. During these contests, you, as a participant, will tackle these problems alone, without the use of calculators, and each correct answer earns you a point, with a maximum of 25 points achievable over the course of the year. Schools or homeschool associations can form teams of up to 35 students, with each team competing in only one division. The team score is the sum of the ten highest individual scores from the fifth contest.

4. Johns Hopkins Math Tournament (JHMT)

  • Location: Johns Hopkins University
  • Cost: Unspecified
  • Competition Date: 2024 Competition dates TBA
  • Application Deadline: Unspecified
  • Eligibility: Middle and high school students

Managed by the Johns Hopkins Math Club, this tournament provides a platform where contestants engage in two 45-minute proof rounds and two hour-long individual tests. The structure of the JHMT is such that it adapts to the level of the competitors, with problems becoming progressively more challenging as the rounds advance. In addition to the competitive rounds, the tournament is distinguished by its inclusion of a guest lecture by a renowned mathematician, offering participants a glimpse into the forefront of mathematical research and inspiration from the speaker’s achievements.

What sets JHMT apart from other math tournaments is its emphasis on collaboration and teamwork, as well as its diverse range of problem sets. The tournament encourages students to work together in teams of four during the team rounds, allowing them to leverage each member’s unique strengths. This collaborative atmosphere not only fosters camaraderie but also enhances problem-solving skills as a group. Furthermore, JHMT’s inclusive environment ensures that students of various backgrounds and skill levels are encouraged to participate, offering challenges that are accessible yet stimulating.

5. Harvard-MIT Math Tournament (HMMT)

  • Location: Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Cost: $80 per team
  • Competition Date: November 11, 2023 at Harvard University and February 17, 2024 at MIT
  • Application Deadline: Unspecified
  • Eligibility: High school students

The Harvard-MIT Math Tournament (HMMT) is a highly esteemed annual mathematics competition for high school students. Organized exclusively by students from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), this tournament has been a platform for challenging and entertaining math contests since its inception in 1998.

HMMT is held twice each academic year, once in November at Harvard University and again in February at MIT. These tournaments are distinct from each other and offer a variety of competition rounds, including individual tests, team rounds, and the signature “Guts” round. The contests involve complex problem-solving in various mathematical disciplines, including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, number theory, and counting & probability.

6. Math League Contests

  • Location: Online and all participating educational institutions
  • Cost: Grades 4 through Algebra Course 1 is $45 per set of 30. For high school students, the cost is $100 for all 6 contests
  • Competition Date: October 17, 2023 – April 15, 2024
  • Application Deadline: January 31, 2024 for grades 4th, 5th, and Algebra Course 1. Registration for other categories is now closed.
  • Eligibility: Elementary and high school students

Math League Contests provide an exciting and challenging opportunity for students to engage in competitive mathematics. These contests are designed to build interest and confidence in math among students by presenting them with worthwhile problems to solve. Open to various grade levels, from elementary through high school, Math League Contests cover a broad spectrum of mathematical topics, ensuring that students with different strengths and interests find intriguing and challenging problems.

Math test

In the 2023-2024 school year, Math League Contests for grades 4 through high school are scheduled, with registration deadlines and contest dates varying by grade level. For example, the 4th-grade contest registration deadline is set for January 31, 2024, with the contest date scheduled for April 15th or later. High School contests have several dates throughout the academic year, starting as early as October 17, 2023. The contests involve a registration fee, which includes the cost of shipping the contest materials. Math League also offers an online tournament, featuring both a 10-Question Short Answer Contest and a 60-Question Speed Round Contest, open to all interested students with a participation fee. These online contests provide a platform for students across various locations to participate and showcase their mathematical skills​​​​​​​​.

7. Project Laboratory in Mathematics

  • Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Cost: Unspecified
  • Competition Date: Unspecified
  • Application Deadline: Unspecified
  • Eligibility: Undergraduate students

The Project Laboratory in Mathematics (PLM) at MIT is a unique course that offers a transformative experience for students interested in exploring the dynamic and evolving nature of mathematics. During your time in the PLM, you will work on open-ended projects that help you develop critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication skills, which are valuable in various career paths and industries.

The PLM is designed for students with a solid foundation in advanced mathematics, requiring completion of at least two advanced mathematics courses. Enrollment is limited to ensure each student receives adequate support and guidance, with priority given to those needing the course for graduation requirements. The course includes various activities, such as teamwork workshops, presentation techniques, and writing skills development.

8. International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO)

  • Location: University of Bath, United Kingdom
  • Cost: Unspecified
  • Competition Date: July 10th to July 22nd, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 15, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students selected through national mathematics competitions

The International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO) is a globally recognized and highly prestigious competition that brings together some of the brightest young mathematical minds. Scheduled to take place at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom from July 10th to 22nd, 2024, this event marks the 65th IMO. Over 600 competitors from more than 110 countries are expected to participate, each bringing a unique perspective and exceptional skill in mathematics.

man is studying for his exam, solving math problems to practice.

At the IMO, contestants face six challenging problems over two consecutive days, with each day featuring three problems to be solved in four-and-a-half hours. These problems span various areas of secondary school mathematics such as geometry, number theory, algebra, and combinatorics. Creativity and efficient problem-solving skills are essential, as calculators and protractors are not allowed in the competition. The IMO represents a significant milestone in the mathematical journey of its participants, culminating years of study and problem-solving efforts.

9. Math Prize for Girls

  • Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Cost: Unspecified
  • Competition Date: Sunday, October 6, 2024
  • Application Deadline: May 31, 2024
  • Eligibility: Girls in 11th grade or below

The Advantage Testing Foundation Math Prize for Girls, often shortened to Math Prize for Girls, is known as the largest math prize for girls in the world, is a prestigious competition that takes place each fall at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In this event, about 250 young female mathematicians gather to compete in a challenging test of mathematical creativity and insight. The contest aims to promote gender equity in STEM professions and to encourage young women with exceptional potential to become mathematical and scientific leaders.

To be eligible to apply for the Math Prize, you must be in 11th grade or below as of February of the year before the contest and must not be slated to graduate from high school or start full-time college before the contest. You must also be female in gender identity, live in the United States or Canada (or be a US citizen or permanent resident living abroad), and have taken an official administration of the AMC 10 or AMC 12 exam. Selection is based on official AMC scores, and the top 300 applicants are invited to participate in the competition​​​​​​​​​​.

10. MATHCOUNTS

  • Location: The national competition will be in Washington, DC
  • Cost: $35 per student and $70 for non-school competitors
  • Competition Date: May 12-13, 2024
  • Application Deadline: January 8, 2024
  • Eligibility: Middle school students in grades 6-8

MATHCOUNTS is a national middle school mathematics competition that offers a unique and exciting opportunity for students in grades 6-8. The competition consists of four levels: school, chapter, state, and national. Each level includes four rounds – Sprint, Target, Team, and Countdown Round, designed to test different aspects of your mathematical ability. The Sprint Round focuses on speed and accuracy, the Target Round emphasizes problem-solving and reasoning, the Team Round is about collaboration, and the Countdown Round is a fast-paced, head-to-head challenge.

The MATHCOUNTS Competition Series for the 2023-2024 school year begins with registration and kit fulfillment starting from August 15, 2023. Chapter competitions are scheduled for February 1-29, 2024, followed by State Competitions in March 2024. The highlight of the competition, the 2024 RTX MATHCOUNTS National Competition, is set to take place in Washington, DC, on May 12-13, 2024.

For schools with students who cannot participate on Saturdays due to religious observances, arrangements are made to offer the written portion of the competition on a weekday. The top performers from the State competition receive an all-expense-paid trip to the National Competition, where they can further showcase their mathematical prowess and vie for the title of National Champion​​​​​​​​.

11. Noetic Learning Math Contest

  • Location: Online and in all participating schools
  • Cost: $69 per team and $29 for individual participants
  • Competition Date: April 4 to April 18, 2024 for school teams & April 19 to April 26, 2024 for individual participants
  • Application Deadline: March 21, 2024
  • Eligibility: Elementary and middle school students

The Noetic Learning Math Contest (NLMC) is a semiannual problem-solving contest for elementary and middle school students, designed to encourage interest in math and enhance students’ problem-solving skills. Participation in the NLMC is organized primarily through schools, with teachers and administrators registering their students. Home-school associations and after-school institutions can also register.

Teenage mixed race girl high school student distance e learning group online class at home looking at camera.

A unique aspect of this contest is the broad recognition it offers. The top 10% of students nationally receive National Honor Roll medals, and the top 50% are awarded Honorable Mention ribbons. Additionally, each team’s highest scorer is honored with a Team Winner medal, and the top 10% of teams receive Team Achievement Plaques. The contest is available in both paper-pencil and online formats, catering to different learning modes.

12. American Mathematics Competitions

  • Location: All participating educational institutions
  • Cost: Unspecifed
  • Competition Date: January 18-24, 2024
  • Application Deadline: Typically before the competition dates, depending on your school
  • Eligibility: Middle and high school students

The American Mathematics Competitions (AMC) form a series of challenging and prestigious national contests in mathematics, administered by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). The AMC series includes the AMC 8, AMC 10, and AMC 12, followed by the American Invitational Mathematics Exam (AIME), and then the USA Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO) and Junior Mathematical Olympiad (USAJMO).

The AMC 8 is a 25-question, 40-minute multiple-choice contest for middle-school students in grades 8 and below, covering topics from the middle school mathematics curriculum. The AMC 10 and AMC 12 are both 25-question, 75-minute multiple-choice examinations in high school mathematics, designed for students up to grades 10 and 12, respectively. The AIME is a 15-question, 3-hour examination for students who excelled in the AMC 10/12. The USAMO and USAJMO are six-question, proof-based examinations over two consecutive days, serving as the final stage of the AMC series. These competitions lead up to the selection of the United States team for the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO).

13. USA Mathematical Talent Search

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: Free
  • Competition Date: Unspecified
  • Application Deadline: Unspecified
  • Eligibility: Middle and high school students

The USA Mathematical Talent Search (USAMTS) is a free, proof-based mathematics contest open to all middle and high school students in the United States. It is unique among math contests because it allows you a full month or more to solve the problems, requiring carefully written justifications for each solution.

students listening and talking to male teacher

In the USAMTS, each round consists of five challenging problems that vary in difficulty. You are allowed to use any materials, such as books, calculators, or computers, but all work must be your own. This competition runs on the honor system, underscoring the importance of academic integrity. Your solutions are graded by mathematicians who provide personalized feedback, helping you develop both your mathematical and writing skills. The top 45% of students receive prizes, including math books and T-shirts, and the competition can also serve as a pathway to the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME).

14. MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge

  • Location: Online (awards ceremony is in New York City)
  • Cost: No participation fees
  • Competition Date: March 1-4, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 23, 2024, at 4 p.m. ET
  • Eligibility: High school juniors and seniors

The MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge (M3 Challenge) is organized by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and sponsored by MathWorks. This contest is unique in its focus on applying mathematics to solve pertinent, contemporary problems. The challenge, entirely internet-based and free of registration or participation fees, unfolds over a weekend, where teams of three to five students collaborate for 14 consecutive hours to create a solution to a given problem. This year, registration for the M3 Challenge is open until February 23, 2024, with the challenge weekend scheduled for March 1-4, 2024.

What sets the M3 Challenge apart is its emphasis on practical application. Each year, a specific real-world problem is posed, which remains unknown to the participants until the challenge begins. Past topics have ranged from addressing the transition of trucks from diesel to electric, to analyzing the growth of e-bike use.

The competition culminates in a final presentation and awards ceremony in New York City, with nine finalist teams, including three that receive technical computing awards for incorporating code into their solutions. More than $100,000 in scholarships are awarded, and participants also have access to a wealth of resources, training materials, and software licenses, including MathWorks’ MATLAB software, to prepare for the challenge.

15. Continental Mathematics League

  • Location: In all participating schools
  • Cost: $60
  • Competition Date: Grades 1-3 – January 4, February 1, and March 7, 2024; Grades 4-9 – November 2 and 30, 2023, and January 4, February 1, and March 7, 2024
  • Application Deadline: January 2, 2024, at 9:00 PM PST
  • Eligibility: 2nd to 12th grade students

One of the math contests for high school students in the country, the CML is structured into various divisions, including the Euclidean Division for students with average reading comprehension and analytical reasoning skills, and the Pythagorean Division for those with above-average abilities in these areas. Each division presents challenges suitable to the students’ grade levels and capabilities.

In the 2023-2024 academic year, the CML competitions consist of several meets held throughout the year. For grades 1 to 9, the meets are scheduled on specific dates with a 30-minute time limit to answer 6 questions per meet. For example, grades 1-3 have their first meet on January 4, 2024, and subsequent meetings on February 1 and March 7, 2024. The registration fee for participating in the CML is $60 for all meets, or $25 for any one meet. It’s important to note that no student is allowed to participate in both the Euclidean and Pythagorean Divisions simultaneously, ensuring a diverse and equitable experience.

16. Math Kangaroo Competition

  • Location: Online and in all participating math centers
  • Cost: $21
  • Competition Date: Thursday, March 21, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: 1st to 12th grade students

The Math Kangaroo International Competition in Mathematics is a notable global event that has been fostering mathematical skills among young students for over two decades. This competition is unique as it welcomes students from 1st to 12th grade, providing an inclusive platform for children of various ages to showcase their mathematical prowess. The competition involves engaging and challenging math problems that cover a wide spectrum of topics, tailored to the educational level of the participants. It emphasizes not just the mastery of mathematics but also the application of logic and problem-solving skills.

Young curly student woman wearing backpack glasses holding books

Participation in Math Kangaroo offers you a chance to delve into intriguing math puzzles and problems, enhancing your mathematical thinking and creativity. The competition typically takes place annually, and for the year 2024, most Math Kangaroo centers had their registration close with some remote online proctored state centers and virtual un-proctored centers remaining open till March 1. The program is structured to provide a stimulating and educational experience, encouraging young minds to embrace and enjoy mathematics. Through Math Kangaroo, you not only get to test your mathematical skills but also join a community of like-minded learners, fostering a deeper appreciation for the subject​​​​.

Final Thoughts

As you look forward to your academic future, participating in math contests can be a significant step in your journey. Not only do these competitions sharpen your skills, but they also open doors to new learning experiences and college opportunities. Remember, every problem solved and every challenge faced builds you into a stronger thinker and a more versatile learner.

Keep exploring these math contests for high school students and use them as stepping stones towards achieving your academic dreams. The world of mathematics is vast and full of wonders, and you’re just at the beginning of this exciting adventure.

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