# Math Competitions Can Be Fun!

Although not widely publicized, math competitions are gaining in popularity and provide a tremendous amount of excitement for contestants and bystanders alike. A math competition, similar to any sporting event competition, carries with it a high level of energy and a spirit of academic excellence that is addictive.

But can math competitions be fun? You bet they can! Think of a math competition as math games and you're halfway there!

Math competitions or math contests can be a tremendously powerful and positive learning experience for any child. Very similarly to an athletic event, a math contest teaches children:

- To have confidence in their abilities
- To compete with honor
- To strive to be the best
- To work well within a team

There are a number of organizations that hold math competitions around the country, for students from elementary school all the way through college. Some of these competitions are for individuals, some are for teams that compete with each other. Some math competitions include monetary prizes or ways to help students pay for college or other educational expenses.

Math competitions are actually fun to participate in, and really make you tone up your math skills!

So how do you start getting active in the math games? Following is some information on five top national math competitions read through and see what fun you can get into!

- The Math League: The Math League is a math competition for students from the 4th grade through high school. The Math League brings challenging mathematics materials to students and specializes in math contests designed to stimulate interest and confidence in mathematics. Over 1 million students participate in Math League contests each year. Contest problems are designed to cover a range of mathematical knowledge for each grade level. All of the problems on each contest require no additional knowledge of mathematics beyond the grade level they test. For more information visit www.mathleague.com
- MathCounts: Mathcounts is a national math enrichment, coaching & competition program designed specifically for middle school mathematics in every U.S. state & territory. Mathcounts has been around for over 25 years and conducts highly respected mathematics competitions. For more information visit www.mathcounts.org
- International Mathematics Olympiad: Designed for high school students, The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is the World Championship Mathematics competition. Winners of the IMO are known as The Dream Team. The IMO is held every year in a different country. The very first ever math Olympics was held in 1959 in Romania with seven participating countries. Now the IMO has over ninety countries participating from five continents! Find out more at: www.imoofficial.org
- American Mathematics Competitions: The American Mathematics Competitions are made up of three levels: AMC 8 is for students in grades 8 and below. AMC 10 is for students in grades 10 and below. And the AMC 12 is for students in grades 12 and below. The AMC is the tenth in a series of competitions in mathematics that determines the U.S. Math Team, which competes in the International Mathematical Olympiad (see above). To find out more about the AMC, visit: www.unl.edu/amc
- Mandelbrot Competition: Mandelbrot has two contests at the high school level (the Mandelbrot Competition and the Mandelbrot Team Play). Mandelbrot believes that math contests provide an exciting and motivational setting to explore the world of mathematics. For more information visit: www.mandelbrot.org

Now that you have the information you need to compete, what are the skills you'll need to win? Everyone knows that practice, practice and more practice is the key to mastering basic to advanced math concepts. GoldStudent has over 4 million math exercises, personalized to each student's specific math skill level. The more you practice with GoldStudent, the better you'll be able to master math concepts and excel in math competitions. Plus for those who need an extra challenge, GoldStudent offers math brain teaser's particularly puzzling math problems to get you primed for competition!

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