2020 - 2021 Online Program (XC Series)


The most advanced 7th to 10th graders in the nation: students who have passed IDEA MATH UC3 (or above) with high marks and/or students with USAMO index (AMC10/12 + 10*AIME) of 200 or above are qualified to take our placement tests, students with stronger work in the placement test are invited to take this series.


The IDEA MATH 2020-2021 year-round program offers four types of series during the school year. These four series are:

  • School Enrichment series builds students' understanding of the concepts they are likely to encounter in general school curriculum with extra depth and breadth.
  • Extra Curricular series is designed for students pursuing extracurricular mathematics far beyond general school curriculum and provides extensive preparation for contests such as MATHCOUNTS, AMC, AIME etc.
  • Accelerated Championship Series (XC Series) intends to improve top level young students' command of the core knowledge leading to higher studies in mathematics.
  • Contest Edge series provides additional preparation opportunities for various math contests such as (MATHCOUNTS School/Chapter/State/National, AMC 8/10/12, AIME, ARML, HMNT, AIME, HMMT, and Math Olympiads).

Students may enroll in combinations of the courses depending on their learning goals. In particular, students can also consider the Contest Edge series as a supplement for any of the other three series.

This web page is intended for the Accelerated Championship Series (XC series). The XC series consists of four components/courses: XC7, XC8, XC9, and XC10.

The XC series will not aim to teach these students math competition material, but rather improve their command of the core knowledge leading to higher studies in mathematics. Students will be surprised to discover that the school curriculum could be as challenging and as useful for learning Olympiad topics, if the right questions are posed, and more importantly, the school curriculum could and should be far more important, if learned with good depth and breadth.

Program Setup and Workload

Each course consists of 10 units/weeks (one unit per week). In each unit, there are 4 hours (two 2-hour sessions: one on Saturday, one on Sunday) of live remote learning (via Zoom). Hence, there are 40 (online live) class hours for each course. We also expect students to spend 1 hour on homework or test in each unit -- this is 50 hours of total workload.

The tuition for each of these courses is $995 for 40 in-class hours (unit rate is less than $25 per hour) of teaching and homework/test grading.


In the past 25 years, the Phillips Exeter Academy Red Lion (PEARL) math team, under the supervision of Zuming Feng, has become a dominant force in US high school math contests. From 2000 to 2019, students from PEARL have been USAMO winners 40 times and have won 25 IMO Gold medals, 11 Silver medals, and 8 Bronze medals. These students have diverse background, skillsets, and characters. What do they have in common? Well, almost all of them have studied Math Transition 3X (or 31X-40X-41X) and Math 431-511-521 with Zuming Feng.

Starting this spring, IDEA MATH is going to share these courses with the best 7th, 8th, and 9th graders in the nation via the XC series. While math contests are not the main focus for this course, this course cultivates young talented math students’ vision on the flow of mathematics and ability to reason and argue mathematically. Therefore, students’ achievements in math contests become a natural result.


XC7 and XC9 will be offered in the fall, 2020, and XC8 and XC10 will be offered in the spring 2021.

ZOOM Class Policies

To protect students' privacy, we ask our students to:

  1. Always use student's full name along with IDEA MATH ID to join ZOOM classes. Only enrolled students is allowed to join our LIVE classes.
  2. Turn on video and audio during the class.
  3. No recording or taking photos is allowed.

For more detailed online class policy please visit here.

Unique strengths of IDEA MATH that distinguish it from other (summer/winter/online/weekend) math programs?

The unique strengths of IDEA MATH can be summarized as follows:

  1. Comprehensive and well-tested teaching materials, modeled after the training materials of the Phillips Exeter Academy math team. (Check curriculum)
  2. Strong team of instructors, consisting of front-line teachers, coaches, and top former students. (Check Staff Page)
  3. Emphasis on student leadership and the development of an attitude conducive to learning.
  4. Focus on schools and the local math community.

For more details, please visit our FAQ page.


As always, we welcome parents' specific academic questions about our curriculum and teaching styles, as well as students' class-work and preparation. Please contact info@ideamath.org -- make sure to include the following info in your email subject: student's full name, 4-digit IDEA MATH ID, and intended program.

Courses Offered
Courses code* Course content Pre-requisite and general student body
XC7 IM7A, IM7G, IM8A, and contest extension (parametric equations, vector operations, 3-D geometry, advanced trigonometry) (1) passing UC3 (or above) with good marks
(2) with USA(J)MO qualifying index of 200 (and above) and placement test;

7th, 8th and 9th graders in general
XC8 IM8G (advanced 3-D geometry and vector operations), IM9A (Advanced Pre-Calculus), Introduction to Calculus an emphasis on proofs, and extensions to math contests passing XC7 with good marks;

8th and 9th graders in general
XC9 Calculus AB with an emphasis on proofs and extensions to (college level) math contests (a) for younger student: passing XC8 with good marks;
(b) for 10th and 11th graders: USA(J)MO qualifying index of 200 (and above) with placement test;

9th and 10th graders in general
XC10 Calculus BC with an emphasis on proofs and extensions to (college level) math contests passing XC9 with good marks;

9th, 10th and 11th graders in general

* Each course will only be offered when a minimum number of students have enrolled.

Placement and Placement Test

The course list consists of projected courses we will offer in this program. Two of the major strengths of our program -- a strong academic team and a full range of materials -- allow us to provide proper new courses/groups to meet the needs of the students body. Therefore, the schedule is subject to change based on actual enrollment and staff availability.

Targeted course XC7/XC9*
Corresponding Placement Test T4

*XC8 and XC10 courses are intended for returning XC7 and XC9 students. There are no placement tests scheduled for XC8 and XC10 courses. For new students who are are interested in joining XC8 and XC10, please contact info@ideamath.org. We will process such applications case by case.

It is important for each applicant to input accurate, complete, detailed, and up-to-date academic background information (i.e., age, grade level, math courses taken, official contest scores, etc.) in the applicant's IDEA MATH student account. We review this information to make initial course placement/placement test level decisions.

If a placement test is needed, we will ask the student to take the placement test in one of our open online/onsite placement test sessions. We will find the most appropriate course placement based on the information entered in the student’s IDEA MATH account and (if applicable) placement test work. Please note that our academic team will make the final decision on your course placement based upon your academic background and your work in the placement test. (Further course placement adjustments can be made, by our academic team, based upon your class work.)

Please click this link to register for the placement test. The placement test fee is non-refundable and non-transferable. An extra charge may be applied if a student wishes to change testing dates after registering and paying for the placement test. If you would like to request a different placement test, please email us and an additional charge may be applied.

Placement Test Schedule

Placement Test Date/Time* Placement Test Location Registration By** Test Fee
Aug. 30, 2020/1:00 PM (ET) Online (Click here to register) Aug. 26, 2020 $50

* Placement test for the XC series is 90 minutest long. Students should arrive at the testing location (onsite or online) 10 minutes prior test.

** $75 will be charged if registered after this date.

*** Placement test fee is non-refundable and non-transferable -- that is, it cannot be transferred from one applicant/student to another applicant/student, and it also cannot be transferred from a registered/chosen test session/date to another placement test session/date for the same applicant/student.

Registration & Tuition

Returning students: Students who have taken UC3 and above courses in an IDEA MATH program during the past academic year (i.e., have participated in our 2019-2020 year-round program, 2019-2020 online program, or 2020 summer program) can register for the XC7 and XC9 classes.

New students: New applicants who wish to register for the year-round program should create an account and enter information about their mathematical background. New applicants can then check the placement test schedule and sign up for a placement test before registration. All new students are welcome to contact the IDEA Math staff at info@ideamath.org for information or any questions on which placement test to take.

It is important for each new applicant to answer all questions accurately and provide detailed information. In particular, age, high school graduation year, detailed math background: courses taken, official contests taken and official scores (rather than ranks) should be included.

Session 1 Tuition Payment Schedule (Class Time: Sept. 2020 - Dec. 2020)
Registered By* Tuition Paid By* Tuition Amount**
Sept. 8, 2020 Sept. 8, 2020 $995 (<$25/hour)
Session 2 Tuition Payment Schedule (Class Time: Jan. 2021 - Apr. 2021)
Registered By* Tuition Paid By* Tuition Amount**
Dec. 22, 2020 Dec. 22, 2020 $995 (<$25/hour)

For students who are new to our program, please make sure you sign up for the placement test. Click here to check the placement test schedule and sign up.

*Registration is the first step of the enrollment process. Enrollment is only completed after tuition payment is submitted in full. The tuition payments may be stopped earlier than this published date if the program has reached to its upper capacity. After the tuition payment deadline date, a late fee ($150 or more) will be applied to the tuition and admission can only be given if space is available.

**The tuition payment is independent to student's course placement because the tuition is for the program, not for a specific course. The IDEA MATH staff will work with students on course placement by reviewing their academic backgrounds, assigning placement test levels, reviewing placement test work, and more. IDEA MATH staff make the final decision on students' course placements. (Please see our Course Placement Policy section for details.) All tuition refund for withdrawing will be processed based on the refund policy.

Pay Tuition

Please log in to your account to pay the tuition online.

Session 1 Class Dates (Sept. 2020- Dec. 2020)
Course Time* Dates**
XC7 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM (ET) Saturdays and Sundays
Sept. 12, 13; 19, 20; Oct 3, 4; 17, 18; 24, 25; 31,
Nov. 1; 7, 8; 21, 22; Dec. 5, 6; 12, 13 (2020)
XC9 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM (ET) Saturdays and Sundays
Sept. 12, 13; 19, 20; Oct 3, 4; 17, 18; 24, 25; 31,
Nov. 1; 7, 8; 21, 22; Dec. 5, 6; 12, 13 (2020)
Session 2 Class Dates (Jan. 2021 - Apr. 2021)
Course Time* Dates**
XC8 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM (ET) Saturdays and Sundays
Jan. 16, 17; 23, 24; 30, 31; Feb. 13, 14; 27, 28;
Mar. 13, 14; 20, 21; Apr. 3, 4; 10, 11; 24, 25 (2021)
XC10 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM (ET) Saturdays and Sundays
Jan. 16, 17; 23, 24; 30, 31; Feb. 13, 14; 27, 28;
Mar. 13, 14; 20, 21; Apr. 3, 4; 10, 11; 24, 25 (2021)

* Each course will meet 20 times on 10 selected weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) for per session. Check calendar .

** All class times are in the US Eastern Time Zone.

Tuition Refund Policy
Withdraw Request Made by Refund Amount
After tuition being paid before Sep 12, 2020 Paid Tuition - $200
After Sep 11, 2020 before Oct. 1, 2020 Paid Tuition - $350
After Oct. 1, 2020 No refund

Please note bus fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.

Please note that only tuition is refundable per the above policy. Other fees such as the application fee, the registration fee, and the placement testing fee are non-refundable and non-transferable.

To request a refund and withdraw your student, please send a complete request in writing to info@ideamath.org. You must include the payee name and mailing address matching the information in the student's account in order for your request to be deemed complete and submitted. Please include "Refund Request" and the student's name in the subject line. The amount of the refund will be based on the time that a complete request is submitted; incomplete requests will not be deemed to meet deadlines for withdrawal.

If the student is ill and chooses to withdraw from the program, we can offer prorated credit (proportional based upon the first refund policy: paid tuition deducted by $100) towards a future program. A note from a licensed physician is required. The same policy applies if the IDEA MATH staff determine that your student must withdraw due to illness in order to protect the health and welfare of other students.

For all purposes related to this refund policy, a day shall be deemed to begin at 12:01am local time of US Eastern Standard Time Zone (EST).

Mr. Ivan Borsenco

Dr. Zuming Feng

Mr. Xiaopeng Gong

General FAQ links

Main program FAQ page. For general program information such as teaching method, class size, core courses, admission, placement, etc.