Differences between AMC 8 and AMC 10

One of the most prestigious math competitions in the world is the American Mathematics Competitions AMC, which is widely used for university applications in many countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, etc.), and is the most effective proof of a student’s strong mathematical ability. The AMC exam is divided into AMC8, AMC10 and AMC12 for students of different ages.

Many students are always a little confused about whether to choose to participate in AMC 8 or AMC 10, so today we’ll take a look at the specific differences between these two levels. 

1. Their levels are different

AMC 8 is a middle school math competition for avid problem solvers in 8th grade or younger who are under the age of 14.5 on the day of the competition in the United States of America. 

AMC 10 is a high school math competition for students in grades 10 who are under the age of 17.5 on the day of the competition.

2. Different exam lengths

AMC 8 consists of 25 questions in a 40-minute format with multiple-choice questions.

AMC 10 is a 25-question, 75-minute exam with multiple-choice questions.

3. Different topics covered

Topics covered in AMC 8 includes topics from a typical middle school math curriculum. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: counting and probability, estimation, proportional reasoning, elementary geometry including the Pythagorean Theorem, spatial visualization, everyday applications, and reading and interpreting graphs and tables. In addition, some of the later problems may involve linear or quadratic functions and equations, coordinate geometry, and other topics traditionally covered in elementary algebra courses.

AMC 10 covers math knowledge typically associated with grades 9 and 10. AMC 10 assumes knowledge of elementary algebra, basic geometry (including the Pythagorean theorem, area and volume formulas), elementary number theory, and elementary probability. Trigonometric functions, higher algebra and higher geometry are excluded.

4. Which one can I use to advance to a higher level of competition?

Students who perform well on the AMC 10 or AMC 12 exams are invited to continue in the AMC series, culminating in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). The first in the series is the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME), followed by the United States Mathematical Olympiad and Junior Mathematical Olympiad (USAAMO and USAJMO). Top USA(J)MO competitors are invited to participate in the Mathematical Olympiad Program (MOP) during the summer following the competition. Participants in the Math Olympiad Program are eligible to be selected for the following summer’s six-member team to represent the United States in the International Mathematical Olympiad. At the same time, the top girls from the MOP are eligible to represent the U.S. at the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO).


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