The first round of the American Mathematics Competition took place on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 from 1 pm to 3 pm at the Culver City High School library. There were approximately 23 participants in grades 11 and 12 competing to answer 25 multiple choice questions, with each question having a set of 5 answer choices from A-E. A few well known individuals competing were Cooper Komatsu, Samir Sheik, Oliver Marcus, Roshan Chetri, and others. Participants filled scantrons, receiving 6 points for one correct answer, 1.5 points for an unanswered problem, and 0 points for an incorrect problem. Before beginning the competition, participants were required to fill out demographic information, which took around 20 minutes to complete.

Apropos of the questions, they ranged in difficulty from exceedingly easy to difficult. The exam started off easy with the probelm √1 + √(1+3) + √(1+3+5) + √(1+3+5+7) – easy if we’re assuming, of course, that you know how to simplify perfect squares. Other problems were near incomprehensible – one question involved drawing a ball from an urn at random and then returning the ball and repeating the process four times until the urn contains six balls, and then calculating probability. Even with the answer options, I had little idea as to what was going on. You can view the questions online if you’d like to see all questions.

As for results, Cooper Komatsu scored pretty well, and I’m sure there were some other math geniuses who got pretty high scores. Students who scored well will be continuing on to the next round of the competition.