October 26, 2022

How to Prepare for AMC 10/12 

What is the AMC-10 & AMC-12?

The AMC-10 and AMC-12 are both 25-question, 75-minute-long, grade-level-based, multiple-choice examinations in high school mathematics that are geared to inspire academic success and build students’ confidence in all areas of life. 

As part of the American Mathematics Competition’s (AMC) series of exams and curriculum materials, the AMC-10 and AMC-12  tests are designed to enhance mathematical knowledge and encourage problem solving skills in a friendly environment, helping high-school-age students develop analytical-based skill sets that further assist in securing future careers in their fields of choice.

Many ambitious students utilize the AMC-10 and AMC-12 as vessels throughout their high school careers to propel themselves both academically and professionally. Students who find themselves bored with their respective grade’s standard curriculum find the AMC tests to be especially appealing, making them even more eager for mental stimulation in the form of competitive mathematics.

The AMC-10 and AMC-12 are in the first series of nationally-based mathematical competitions that have the potential to lead ambitious students to the prestigious International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). 

Regardless of whether or not students desire to pursue internationally recognized competitions in the long run, participating in the AMC-10 and/or AMC-12 tests is a prudent choice for those who wish to differentiate themselves from peers when competing for university placement, invaluable internship experiences, and promising employment opportunities.

Notably, the AMC-10 and AMC-12 tests are inclusive and empower all students, including those with visual impairments, to participate. Both tests offer braille and large-print administration options to accommodate student-specific needs and maintain equity amongst learners. Involuntary afflictions do not—and should not—impact students’ ambitions for academic excellence.

What is a good AMC-10/AMC-12 score?

A good test score for the AMC-10 test score is, typically, between 100 to 115 points, and a good AMC-12 test score is, typically, around 85 to 95 points. These scores vary by years and should be utilized by prospective participants as ballpark rather than definitive figures.

For further context, the maximum score of both the AMC-10 and AMC-12 is 150 points. Correct answers are worth 6 points, and each unanswered question is worth 1.5 points. And remember, “good” is subjective. There are no point deductions for incorrect answers, and students do not need to answer all questions correctly to obtain a qualifying score for the AMC-10 and the AMC-12 tests.

The American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME) is a very selective 15 question, 3 hour test that can only be taken by students who score in the top 2.5% of the AMC-10 and the top 5% of the AMC-12. For 2023 the following scores qualified a student for taking the AIME test:

  • AMC-10A: 93 or higher
  • AMC-10B: 94.5 or higher
  • AMC-12A: 85.5 or higher
  • AMC-12B: 81 or higher

Above all, students who elect to participate in the AMC-10 and AMC-12 tests greatly set themselves apart from other entry-level candidates as academically advanced go-getters when they begin applying for various types of university, internship, scholarship, and long-term employment opportunities. 

What is the difference between the AMC-10A & AMC-10B?

The difference between the AMC-10A and the AMC-10B examinations are the competition dates and version-specific sets of questions. While the question sets and dates vary between exam versions, both are carefully designed to have an equal distribution of mathematical topics and level of difficulty. The rules for administration and the rubric for scoring also remain the same to further maintain equity amongst versions.

Overall, the two mathematical contests are virtually the same, and students should register for whichever examination permits plenty of time to prepare and works well with their existing schedule of academic and extracurricular activities.

What is covered on the AMC-10 test?

The AMC-10 test covers mathematics commonly covered throughout grades 9 and 10 in the United States Public Education System.

In order for students to best learn how to prepare for the AMC-10 examination, they should prepare to be tested on their knowledge of: elementary algebra, basic geometry knowledge (including the Pythagorean Theorem), area and volume formulas, elementary number theory, and elementary probability.

The AMC-10 test excludes trigonometry, advanced algebra, and advanced geometry.

What is covered on the AMC-12 test?

The AMC-12 examination covers the complete range of subjects from the United States Public Education System’s high school mathematics curriculum, including: elementary and advanced algebra, basic and advanced geometry knowledge, the Pythagorean Theorem, area and volume formulas, elementary number theory, elementary probability, and trigonometry.

Calculus is the one mathematical subject that participants are excluded from mastering on the AMC-12.

What grades are the AMC-10 & AMC-12 for?

The AMC-10 test is, generally, for problem-solving students who are in grade 10 (or below) and under 17.5 years-of-age on the day of the contest; and the AMC-12 test is, generally, for students who are in grade 12 (or below) and under 19.5 years-of-age on the day of the contest.

These straightforward eligibility requirements, combined with the clearly defined test registration pages, make it all the easier for you to help your child begin preparing for their future. There is no better time than now to invest in your child’s future, and the AMC-10 and AMC-12 tests are exemplary opportunities for determined students to showcase their ever-growing academic abilities and willingness to participate in competitive environments. Encouraging and empowering your child to participate in competitive mathematics testing events will not only prepare them for their upcoming college voyage, but also will serve them well far beyond their years in higher education and into their personal life. Academic excellence has the power to transcend into personal and professional prosperity, so let the AMC-10 and/or AMC-12 tests be vessels to secure your child’s success, and, most importantly, long-term happiness.

Visit the AMC test registration page and reserve your child’s seat at the nearest testing location today.