Designed for students focusing on the American Mathematics Contest (AMC), these classes feature mock tests and problem solving strategies tailored to the appropriate exam . In addition to learning important mathematical concepts and problem-solving skills, the students will also develop critical test-taking skills, such as learning how to work under time pressure and avoid costly mistakes.
The classes will be organized by the specific contest level from AMC to AIME to USAMO and each class will hold several mock exams that closely track the difficulty of the respective contests. Moreover, the mock exams are targeted to the parts of the test most likely to improve students'scores based on their level. By taking these exams and discussing them with their peers afterwards, the students will not only improve their test-taking performance, but also further their mathematical knowledge and problem solving skills.
Despite the program's intensity, we wish to emphasize that the contest preparation is not a viable substitute for the other (year-round, online or summer) IDEA MATH programs: the contest preparation program is meant to complement the other programs, not replace them. Due to the limited time we have, the program will not be as comprehensive or holistic as the other programs, and will instead be more focused on contest-taking. Thus, we strongly advise students of the contest preparation program to also enroll in either the year-round programs or the summer program.
IDEA MATH provides in-depth enrichment in important mathematical areas, particularly in the fields from which contests problems are drawn: algebra, combinatorics, geometry, and number theory. We believe students learn best by discovering, rather than simply memorizing, essential theorems and techniques. Our process puts students at the center of the classes, as students work together to develop their ideas. Our instructors lead this process by teaching vital ideas, giving meaningful examples, and guiding students through the problem-solving process.
We apply seminar-style teaching in our classes. Class sizes are small to ensure that students receive plenty of individual attention. Students are expected to work as a group and present their solutions and ideas to the class.