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Complete Guide to Harvard-MIT Mathematics Tournament (HMMT)

Complete Guide to Harvard-MIT Mathematics Tournament (HMMT)

Are you that friend who everyone goes to for help with their math homework? Do you often get top scores on your math tests? Are you ready to gain worldwide recognition for your math expertise, and launch yourself towards success in your future education and career? Then the Harvard-MIT Mathematics Tournament—where students compete with the world’s best high school mathematicians and prove their aptitude at the most prestigious math contest—is an opportunity that you shouldn’t miss! Read on for everything you should know to ace the 2024-2025 HMMT: from participation guidelines, to benefits and even some HMMT practice problems.
1. What is the Harvard-MIT Mathematics Tournament HMMT?

Harvard-MIT Mathematics Tournament (HMMT) is a math competition for high schoolers across the world to compete individually and in teams. HMMT is hosted by students of Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is held each winter in Boston, MA. Students can also participate virtually in the HMMT Online Tournament, but there are differences between testing in-person and testing virtually.

HMMT is held once in November, and again in February the following year. Each season concludes with an exclusive round for top performers. Tournaments take up an entire Saturday, with social activities offered the Friday night beforehand and educational events available the following the test on Sunday. The HMMT Invitational Competition welcomes the top 50 contestants from the February HMMT back for a final olympiad-style showdown.

Current Season:
November 11, 2023, at Harvard University
February 17, 2024, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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2. Breaking Down the Details of HMMT

Why are there two HMMTs in one school year? The two tournaments are different from each other—it’s not a continuation. The November HMMT is the easiest of the two, as it’s on par with the American Mathematics Competitions (AMC) 10 and 12, and the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME). The February HMMT takes the more difficult problems from the November HMMT, along with questions at the national and international Olympiad level. Since some questions overlap, the same student cannot compete in both HMMTs within the same season. Students also cannot use any supporting tools (not even calculators or graph paper).

The math tournament is separated into three rounds: Individual, Team, and Guts. All members of each team participate in every round. The Individual round consists of two (November HMMT) or three (February HMMT) sets of 10 short answer problems. The Team round presents 10 more problems in the form of short answers for November HMMT, and proof-based problems for February HMMT. Finally, the Guts round presents 36 short answer problems with a wide range of difficulty levels and subjects, with three sets in November and four in February. A signature to HMMT, the Guts round is an exhilarating, fast-paced race where teams literally run to receive questions and deliver answers. An unofficial winner is announced for each round, but the team with the largest aggregate score of all the rounds is the official tournament winner.

3. Application Process for the HMMTs

To participate in the Harvard-MIT Math Tournament, you need to apply and be accepted in order to register. Applications open in the fall of the same year (September/October). If your application is accepted, your team is put into a random lottery. For those who qualify to register but don’t get chosen in the lottery, there is a waitlist. Due to limited space and wide popularity, HMMT is not able to accept all who apply.

Students must be under 21-years-old and have not graduated from secondary education (aka high school). Students usually participate in teams representing their school or region. In the November HMMT, students compete in teams of 4-6 members; in February, students compete in teams of 6-8 members. It’s in the team’s best interest to have as many members as possible. Don’t have a team? That’s ok! You can still participate as an unaffiliated individual and be placed on an unofficial team. Teams pay $80 to attend, and unaffiliated individuals pay $10.

Visit this FAQ page for further information.

4. Why You Should Apply for HMMT

Harvard-MIT Mathematics Tournament is an invaluable learning experience where you don’t even have to come close to winning to get a lot out of the experience. You’ll get the chance to work on types of problems you’ve never seen before, and with challenge comes growth. What better way to learn math than to gamify the process? At HMMT, you can have a go at difficult questions in a competitive, yet supportive environment.

The Sunday education events are also part of the incredible learning experience at HMMT. Harvard and MIT invite expert mathematicians and math historians to give groundbreaking guest lectures. HMMT 2023 featured talks like Toric Code: Interplay between Quantum Error Correct and Topology.

HMMT is not all about tests, it’s also about meeting people from around the world in collaboration to celebrate shared interests. With the Friday night social events, students are encouraged to socialize across different teams and collaborate in fun events like Estimathon, Karaoke, Escape Rooms, and more. Each year, participants leave HMMT with a smile, fresh skills, and new friendships with their peers, who are also the world’s brightest young mathematicians.

Winning HMMT is like gold on your college application—there’s no better event to gain credible recognition for your math skills. Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are the nation’s top two most prestigious schools in pioneering innovative mathematical learning and research. Since its commencement in 1998, Harvard-MIT Math Tournament has stuck true to its mission “To encourage interest in math. To engage a diverse community of students and support them in reaching beyond traditional math curriculums. To provide insight into what a future in math may look like.” Get ready for the next season of HMMT 2024-2025 to see for yourself how math can be much more exciting and inspiring than your current high school math class. Will you be their next champion?

5. Additional Resources and Preparation for the HMMT

Whether you’re still not sure if HMMT is for you, or you’re jumping to get started, try out HMMT Problem of the Week. These math questions were created by the HMMT test writers and are updated every week, so they are the most up-to-date HMMT practice problems to prepare with.

All past exams are available for review and practice. Check out the latest problem sets from this month: November 2023 HMMT problems. Want more of a challenge? Try testing yourself with the February 2023 HMMT problems. Feeling stuck with a question? Aralia Education can help!

6. Spend your summer with Aralia Education

Prepare for Harvard-MIT Math Tournament 2024-2025 with Aralia Education’s summer courses in math led by our top-notch teaching team. Our tutors are attentive to each and every student’s unique needs and academic level. At Aralia, we are committed to helping our students excel beyond their age group. We offer an all-encompassing scope of curricula, with math courses in Algebra 1 to classes at the AP level, as well as courses catered towards competition preparation. We can also work 1:1 with you to specifically prepare for HMMT. Spend your summer preparing for HMMT 2024-2025 with Aralia Education to knock your competitors out of the game!

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