Thirty-nine SHS students took the Mathematics Association of America’s (MAA) American Invitational Math Exam (AIME) on March 10 over Zoom in an attempt to qualify for the USA Junior Mathematics Olympiad and the USA Mathematics Olympiad, the third test in a series of exams to select students to represent USA in the International Math Olympiad (IMO).

The 39 AIME qualifiers represent more than half of the 77 students who took the American Mathematics Competition (AMC) test on Feb. 4 and Feb. 10.

To qualify for the AIME exam, students had to place in the top 5 percent of AMC 10 and 12 test takers nationwide. On the AMC, students were given 75 minutes to solve 25 geometry, combinatorics, number theory and algebra problems of increasing difficulty. Each correctly answered question is worth 6 points, each unanswered question is worth 1.5 points and each wrongly answered question is worth no points.

The AMC was hosted on Art of Problem Solving’s website and administered by Chinese teacher Sara Tseng over Zoom, with parents also proctoring their own kids at home.

“I think the competition went more smoothly than I anticipated, although there were some small hiccups,” said senior Rohan Kumar, the Math Club’s president. “However, we did have students show their workspace over Zoom, so I'm not too worried about cheating from SHS students.”

Though the exam needed to be taken by all students on the same day, it was open throughout the day, which meant that some students in regions of the world were able to take the test before others. According to Kumar, many participants suspected that at least some cheating took place when early test takers would send questions to later test takers in a different time zone. In fact, the answers for the first AMC were leaked ahead of the exam on the homework help website Chegg.

Two tests were administered on each day, and test-takers chose one depending on their grade level. The AMC 10 was available to freshmen and sophomores, while the AMC 12 was available to all grade levels. The AMC 12 is generally harder than the AMC 10, so the cutoff to qualify for AIME is generally lower.

Those who have a high enough combined AMC and AIME score will be eligible for the USA Junior Math Olympiad (USAJMO) or the USA Math Olympiad (USAMO). Those who score high in the USAMO or USAJMO are invited to the Mathematical Olympiad Program (MOP), a summer program hosted by the US national mathematics team.

The students who qualified for the AIME were: Stuti Agarwal, Advaith Avadhanam, Jason Cheng, Lynn Dai, Preston Fu, Lisa Fung, Isha Goswami, Riya Gupta, Dora Hu, Jeffrey Hu, Victoria Hu, Isha Jagadish, Daniel Jiang, Byron Jin, Rohan Kumar, Satyajit Kumar, Soorya Kuppam, Dyne Lee, Karen Lei, Benjamin Li, Bryan Li, Jocelyn Li, Enoch Luk, Nidhi Mathihalli, Nikhil Mathihalli, Nilay Mishra, Javed Mohideen, Arjun Raje, Niyanth Rao, Medha Ravi, Weilin Sun, Apoorva Talwalkar, Nidhi Vadlamudi, Anthony Wang, Vivian Wang, Yuhan Xiao, Aiden Ye, Albert Ye and Joseph Zhang.