10 Math Competitions for High School Students — Veritas AI (2024)

If you’re a high school student interested in math, participating in math competitions should definitely be on your radar! Participating in math competitions such as the American Mathematics Competitions (AMC), Math Olympiad, and MATHCOUNTS, provide an excellent platform to challenge your problem-solving skills and deepen your understanding of mathematical concepts. The rigorous preparation and critical thinking required can enhance your academic performance in math and related subjects.

Apart from enhancing your academic performance in math, these competitions are also highly valued by college admission officers as they signal your commitment to academic excellence. Winning an award from any of these competitions serves as concrete evidence of your skills and achievements, setting you apart from other applicants when it comes to college applications.

In this blog, we cover 10 math competitions for high school students.

1. International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO)

Location: University of Bath, United Kingdom

Cost: Free

Prizes: There is no cost to participate. Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded, along with a few honorable mentions.

Competition Dates: July 10-22, 2024

Eligibility: All high school students are eligible to participate!

Note: Olympiads are typically regional-level exams, and once you score well on those, you qualify for the national Olympiad (United States of America Mathematical Olympiad - USAMO). Based on your performance at the national level, you can qualify for the international Olympiad.

The IMO is a competition where you will grapple with six intricate problems, each designed to test their problem-solving abilities across algebra, geometry, number theory, and combinatorics. The competition's rigor is evident by the diversity and complexity of each of the challenges.

Distinctions are marked with prestigious medals – gold, silver, and bronze – awarded to the top performers, and apart from that, honorable mentions also recognize students’ efforts. However, even beyond the accolades, any achievement in IMO is a highlight on any college application as they’re a stamp of excellence in a highly competitive field!

If you’re looking for other competitive experiences exclusively in the field of mathematics, the AMC 10 and AMC 12 are opportunities you must consider.

2. Harvard MIT Math Tournament

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cost: $80 registration fee for a team and a $10 registration fee for an individual

Prizes: Prizes are awarded to the ten highest-scoring individuals overall, the top ten scorers on each of the individual tests, the five highest-scoring teams on the Team Round, and the five highest-scoring teams on the Guts Round.

Competition Dates: November at Harvard and February at MIT

Eligibility: All high school students are eligible.

The Harvard-MIT Math Tournament (HMMT) is a prestigious high school math competition that attracts nearly 1,000 students worldwide, including top scorers from national and international olympiads. Held twice a year, HMMT offers two distinct tournaments in November and February, each with its unique challenges and formats.

The November tournament, hosted at Harvard, features individual rounds with general and themed problems, a short answer team round, and a Guts round with 36 problems. It is geared towards students with skills ranging from mid-AMC to upper-AIME levels.

In contrast, the February tournament, held at MIT, includes more specialized individual rounds in Algebra, Geometry, and Combinatorics, a proof-based team round, and a slightly different Guts round format. This tournament targets students with more advanced problem-solving experience, comparable to mid-AIME to olympiad levels.

If you’d like to know more about the Harvard MIT Math Tournament, you can look at this blog on 7 Tips to Win the HMMT!

3. Stanford Math Tournament

Location: Stanford University

Cost: $20 per student

Prizes: Prizes will be awarded to the top three scorers on each individual test, the three highest-scoring teams on the power round, and the top three teams overall.

Competition Dates: April 13, 2025 (tentatively, based on previous year’s dates).

Eligibility: All high school students are eligible.

The Stanford Math Tournament (SMT) is an annual competition for high school students, organized by Stanford University students in collaboration with peers from Rice University, Johns Hopkins University, and Columbia University. The competition is divided into an individual contest portion and an overall team contest. For the individual tests, you can opt to take two tests in either Advanced Topics Algebra, Calculus, and Geometry or attempt the longer General Test (designed for those with less mathematical background).

For the team challenges, you can work in a group of up to 8 students on the Team Test - a 50-minute exam with 15 short-answer questions, and the Power Round, a 90-minute, multi-part, proof-oriented test focusing on a single topic. Participating in the SMT can greatly benefit your college applications by showcasing your mathematical abilities and teamwork skills.

If you’re interested, you can look at this blog, which covers this competition in detail!

4. Math Prize for Girls

Location: MIT

Cost: Free

Prize: Individual prizes range from $1,000 to $25,000

Competition dates: October 6, 2024

Eligibility: 11th graders and below (only open to students who identify as female)

The Math Prize for Girls is an esteemed annual competition held at MIT, designed to challenge high school students with exceptional mathematical talent. The competition features 20 challenging problems that test mathematical creativity and insight, all to be solved within two and a half hours. Open to individuals who identify as female and are in the 11th grade or below in the U.S., the contest focuses on high-school-level mathematics, excluding calculus.

To apply, students must complete an online application and have taken an official administration of the AMC 10 or AMC 12 exam. The competition awards a total of $50,000 in cash prizes to the top ten winners, with the first prize being $25,000. Additionally, the top 35 performers are invited to compete in the Advantage Testing Foundation Math Prize Olympiad, a proof-based contest held in November.

If you are interested, you can view this blog, which covers MathPrize in detail here!

5. The American Regions Mathematics League

Location: University of Iowa, Penn State, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Cost: $400 per team

Prize: Gift cards are given to top teams and individual performers (around $2,000 collectively to the top 20 performers)

Competition Dates: June 1, 2025 (tentative, based on the previous year’s dates).

Eligibility: Students from all over the world may compete. Teams can have up to 15 members. Cannot have turned 19 before December 31, immediately preceding the ARML Competition. If a student turns 19 between January 1 and the competition dates, they would be eligible as long as they have not graduated high school (K-12) prior to March 1 of the year of the competition.

The American Regions Mathematics League (ARML) is a prestigious in-person math competition for high school students, attracting participants from the United States, Canada, China, and South Korea. In this competition, you will work in teams of up to 15 students (along with 2 coaches) and will participate in 6 rounds, each with varying difficulty and formats.

These 6 rounds include - Team, Power, Individual, Relay, a tie-breaker, and the Super Relay. Each round varies in duration and format, with problems ranging from short-answer questions to multi-part proofs.

Teams for this competition are selected through various methods, such as open tryouts, inviting high scorers from math leagues, and using results from competitions like AMC, AIME, and USAMO.

We’ve covered this competition in detail in this blog - 7 Tips to Help You Win the ARML!

6. TrigStar

Location: Varies since there are local chapters before the national round.

Cost: Free

Prize: Cash prizes between $500 to $2,000 are awarded to the top 3 performers.

Competition Dates: March - July

Eligibility: High students in the U.S.

The Trig-Star competition is an annual national contest that recognizes high school students excelling in trigonometry and introduces them to its practical applications, particularly in surveying. The contest occurs at two levels: the Individual and State level (Level 1) and the National level (Level 2).

At Level 1, you will take the test at their participating high schools, with one winner selected from each school. State winners are then chosen based on the performance of these school winners. These state winners advance to Level 2, where they compete in the national exam for the National Trig-Star title.

Winners at the national level receive monetary awards: $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place, and $500 for third place, along with awards for their teachers. Additionally, even if you do not win, participating in Trig-Star makes you eligible to apply for a $5,000 Trig-Star Scholarship, provided you are pursuing a degree in land surveying.

7. MathWorks Math Modeling (M3) Challenge

Location: Virtual

Cost: Free

Prize: Team prizes can range from $5,000 to $20,000

Competition Dates: March 1-4, 2025 (tentatively, based on previous year’s dates)

Eligibility: High students in the U.S.

The MathWorks Math Modeling (M3) Challenge is an internet-based competition that allows high school students from the U.S., England, and Wales to tackle real-world problems using mathematical modeling. Teams of three to five students, with up to two teams per school, compete under a flexible 14-hour time constraint during Challenge weekend. With no registration or participation fees, the competition is accessible to all.

Top teams are awarded scholarships and an expense-paid trip to New York City to present their solutions to a panel of Ph.D.-level applied mathematicians. The competition offers substantial scholarships, with over $1.85 million awarded through 2023. Awards range from $20,000 for the champion team to $1,000 for honorable mentions, with additional prizes for technical computing excellence.

8. Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Minutes Video Contest

Location: Virtual

Cost: Free

Prize: $3,000

Competition dates: February 29, 2025 (tentatively, based on previous year’s dates)

Eligibility: All high school students who are members of Mu Alpha Theta

The Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Minutes Video Contest invites high school students to create engaging and educational videos on a math topic of their choice. The contest, directed by Doral Academy Charter High School under Sam Koski, requires participants to produce fun and informative videos lasting two to five minutes. Each video must be reviewed and approved by the chapter sponsor, who also submits the chapter's entry form. Schools can submit up to three videos, and all content must be G-rated and closed captioned.

Eight videos will be selected for the final round by mid-April 2024, and chapters will vote to determine the top entries. Prize money will be awarded based on these rankings and input from Mu Alpha Theta's Governing Council.

9. Purple Comet Math Meet Competition

Location: Virtual

Cost: Free

Prize: Certificates of completion

Competition Dates: April 2025 (tentatively, based on previous year’s dates)

Eligibility: Any student who has not completed high school and has not reached 20 years old at the time of the competition

The Purple Comet! Math Meet is an annual, international, online team mathematics competition open to middle and high school students. Held since 2003, this free contest allows teams of one to six students to compete by solving a series of math problems. Teams can participate anytime during a ten-day window, making it convenient to schedule. The competition includes a middle school level, with 20 problems to be solved in 60 minutes, and a high school level, with 30 problems to be completed in 90 minutes. In 2022, the contest saw over 12,000 participants from 62 countries, highlighting its global reach and popularity.

Teams compete in various categories, including large schools, small schools, mixed-school teams, and non-competing teams, ensuring a level playing field for all participants. An adult supervisor registers the teams and oversees the competition, ensuring a structured and fair environment.

10. Caribou Math Contests

Location: Virtual

Cost: Free

Prize: Certificates and cash prizes

Competition dates: Since there are multiple competitions throughout the year, please check the schedule to find a convenient date.

Eligibility: High school students for the levels 9/10 and 11/12.

The Caribou Math Contests are an international online competition organized from Canada, offering students from grades K/1 to 11/12 the opportunity to participate in challenging and engaging math contests. Students compete at their grade level or higher, never below, and are encouraged to try previous contests to determine their appropriate level. The contests are available in eight languages, making them accessible to a global audience. Held six times a year over two days, students have 50 minutes to complete each contest, with flexible start times within their school's contest window.

The contests feature interactive math and logic games and questions about math history, enhancing the learning experience. Top-performing students in the Caribou Cup, which considers the best five out of six contests, are awarded cash prizes, with ties broken by the total score in all six contests. The competition provides immediate full results, video solutions, and certificates of participation and merit.

If you’re looking to build a project/research paper in the field of Math, consider applying to Veritas AI!

Veritas AI is founded by Harvard graduate students. Through the programs, you get a chance to work 1-1 with mentors from universities like Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and more to create unique, personalized projects. In the past year, we had over 1000 students learn AI & ML with us. You can apply here!

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10 Math Competitions for High School Students — Veritas AI (2024)
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