What is the Math Olympiad Contest?

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
Math Olympiad contests exist for elementary, middle school, and high school students. Read on to learn about the national and international Olympiads, how students may participate, and math study resources to help them succeed.

Math Olympiad Contests

Math Olympiad contests aim to foster an interest in math and improve the mathematical skills of participants through team-based competitions. They exist on the national and international levels for students in grades 4 through 12. The most prestigious of these contests is the International Mathematical Olympiad, in which high school students from more than 100 countries compete annually.

The Math Olympiads

Founded in 1977, the Math Olympiads program (moems.org) centers on monthly contests in which teams of students in grades four through eight compete remotely. The Math Olympiads is typically used by math clubs in elementary and middle schools. The program features five contests each month during the standard academic calendar year. The teacher or team leader receives solutions for the contests along with other teaching materials for an annual fee. Depending on their performance in each contest, students and teams are rewarded with certificates, plaques or trophies.

United States of America Mathematical Olympiad

The Mathematical Association of America organizes the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO), which is a two-day national contest in which more than 250 high school students compete. Participants are invited based on their performance on the Mathematical Association of America's AMC 12 multiple-choice exam. Students who earn the best 12 scores on the USAMO are invited to the Mathematical Association of America's Olympiad summer program, which lasts about a month. The six best performers in this program are invited to represent the United States in the International Mathematical Olympiad.

International Mathematical Olympiad

Founded in 1959, the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is a global competition of high school students representing more than 100 countries. The IMO is held in a different country each year, and lasts approximately 10 days. Students compete in national teams of six.

Resources for Students Interested in Math Olympiads

Whether you are a parent or teacher hoping to encourage an elementary or middle school student's interest in the Math Olympiads, or a high school student hoping to reach the IMO, Study.com's online math courses may help you achieve your goal. All courses have individual self-paced lessons taught through short, fun videos. Courses to aid aspiring Math Olympiad competitors can be found by clicking on the links in the table below.

Grade LevelElementary SchoolMiddle School High School
Courses4th Grade Math, 5th Grade Math 6th - 8th Grade Math Geometry, Precalculus, Algebra I, Statistics, Algebra II, Calculus, Trigonometry

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