Alabama Statewide Mathematics Contest - Overview

Overview of the
Alabama Statewide High School Mathematics Contest

The Alabama Statewide Mathematics Contest is a high school mathematics contest. It consists of three separate competitions: Algebra II with Trigonometry (open to all students currently enrolled in this course), Geometry (open to all students currently enrolled in this course), and Comprehensive (open to all students). Each of these competitions is both individual and team, and is both statewide and local!

Each school competes in one of three divisions. The Division One competition is for public schools which are large enough to be classified as 6A in athletics and private schools offering calculus. The Division Two competition is for public schools classified as 5A or 4A in athletics and private schools which offer only one year of mathematics beyond both Algebra II with Trigonometry and Geometry. The Division Three competition is for public schools classified as 3A, 2A, or 1A in athletics and private schools offering no mathematics beyond Algebra II with Trigonometry and Geometry.

The contest is conducted in two rounds.

The first round consists of three 50-question multiple choice written tests (Algebra II with Trigonometry, Geometry, and Comprehensive) which are administered at eight sites scattered throughout the state. This round is open to all Alabama high schools, and each school may send any number of students to participate, though each student may take only one of the three tests. It is both an individual and team competition; a school's team score for a particular test is the sum of its highest four individual scores.

The second round is a culmination of the team Comprehensive competition in the form of a "ciphering" (Jeopardy-style) tournament to which only high scoring teams from the first round written Comprehensive test are invited.

*Note: A school is not required to field teams for all three written tests, and there is no minimum number of students required to field a team for any of the three written tests! (For example, a school can send just one student to take just one test!) Of course, a team of fewer than four students will be at a serious disadvantage in the team competition. But every student competes on an equal footing with every other student in the individual competition.*

Each year, approximately 1200 students participate in the contest, representing approximately 60 schools from all over the state. Hundreds of certificates and scores of trophies are awarded to those individual students and teams who perform well (both statewide and in their respective local "districts").

The contest is designed to appeal to all interested students, not just those with special talent in mathematics. Many teachers have found it to be a valuable tool for motivating their students to go beyond the bare essentials of the high school curriculum and to further develop their problem-solving skills. If you are teaching high school in Alabama and you do not already participate in the contest, please consider doing so.

*Don't you have at least a few students who would like to compete in a statewide contest designed specifically to fit the official Alabama Course of Study for Mathematics?*

For more detailed information on the contest, please see this year's Contest Brochure or contact the contest director (see below).

Revised - October 20, 2001

Questions, comments, and suggestions about the contest and about this site are welcome.
Please contact:

Jeff Dodd
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Department of Mathematical, Computing, and Information Sciences
Jacksonville State University
Jacksonville, AL 36265
phone: 256-782-5112
fax: 256-782-5261

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