2020 Winter Contest Prep Program (Winter Break)

When

Dec. 21, 22, 23, Dec. 28, 29, 30, 2020

Who

Programs are intended mainly for students from the 5th to 12th grades

Program Setup and Workload

The IDEA MATH 2020 Winter Contest Prep Program intend to offer a full range of courses (CW0 to CW10) via remote learning -- Zoom based LIVE classes. Each course will have two meetings (one in the early afternoon, one in the evening -- US Eastern Time) on every class day, each meeting is 1.5 hours (90 minutes long). Therefore, for each course, we have 6*2*1.5 = 18 total class hours. In the Winter Contest Prep Program, we intend to cover our materials via our classroom activities with no additional homework assignment.

Winter Contest Prep Program is a great supplementary program for our Year Round Programs (School Enrichment series, Extracurricular series, Contest Edge series, and XC series). In particular, it is parallel to Contest Edges series. Winter Contest Prep Program will have its own independent teaching materials.

The tuition for each of these courses is $495 for 18 (live) Zoom-class (unit rate is $27.5 per hour) with (additional) grading/reviewing (on submitted written work).

What

Designed for students focusing on the American Mathematics Contest (AMC) series (AMC8/10/12/AIME and USAJMO/USAMO) and MathCounts (school/chapter/state/national rounds), 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 practice tests that closely track the difficulty of the respective contests. Moreover, the practice tests 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.

Why

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.

How

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.

ZOOM Class Policies

To protect students' privacy, we have the following online class policy:

  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.

Contact IDEA MATH

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.

Courses Offered

IDEA MATH Contest Preparation program is designed to sharpen the students' skills for upcoming nationwide middle school and high school mathematic competitions. We offer a series courses for students of varying mathematical backgrounds. As the winter program spans but a week, the courses will have a focus on the application of mathematical concepts and problem-solving to competitions. To that end, the different levels of courses will be aligned with the AMC/AIME/USAMO competition series; through participation in and discussion of mock exams of these difficulty levels, students will develop contest-taking habits along with mathematical knowledge and problem-solving.

Course  
CW0* Goal: An introduction to extra curricular math activities such as AMC8;
General scoring reference: For applicant new to our programs -- a decent score from T0 placement test;
Recommended pairing course: CW0 is a good supplementary course for PC0 and PCA (Extra Curricular series) or Pre-Algebra 1 and Pre-Algebra 2 (Enrichment series).
CW1* Goal: A pleasant start on AMC8 and MathCounts school/chapter round;
General scoring reference: AMC8 score 10 or above;
Recommended pairing course: CW1 is a good supplementary course for PC1 (Extra Curricular series) or Algebra 1 (Enrichment series) or CE1 (Contest Edge series).
CW2* Goal: A solid job on AMC8 and MathCounts school/chapter round;
General scoring reference: AMC8 score 16 or above;
Recommended pairing course: CW2 is a good supplementary course for PC2 (Extra Curricular series) or CE2 (Contest Edge series).
CW3* Goal: A pleasant start on AMC10 and a solid job on MathCounts chapter/state round;
General scoring reference: AMC8 score 20 or above and/or AMC10 score around 90;
Recommended pairing course: CW3 is a good supplementary course for PCX (Extra Curricular series) or Geometry (Enrichment series) or CE3 (Contest Edge series).
CW4* Goal: A solid job on AMC10, a pleasant start on AIME, an excellent job on MathCounts chapter/state round.
General scoring reference: AMC10 around 100;
Recommended pairing course: CW4 is a good supplementary course for UC1 (Extra Curricular series) or Algebra 2 (Enrichment series) or CE4 (Contest Edge series).
CW5* Goal: A solid job on AMC10/12, a solid job on AIME, an excellent job on MathCounts state round.
General scoring reference: AMC10 score around 110 and AIME score around 6;
Recommended pairing course: CW5 is a good supplementary course for UC2 (Extra Curricular series) or CE5 (Contest Edge series).
CW6* Goal: An excellent job on AMC10/12 and AIME;
General scoring reference: USAJMO/USAMO index (AMC10/12 score + 10* AIME score) are consistently above 190;
Recommended pairing course: CW6 is a good supplementary course for UC3 (Extra Curricular series) or CE4 (Contest Edge series).
CW7* Goal: An excellent job on AMC10/12 and AIME and a pleasant start on USAMO;
General scoring reference: USAJMO/USAMO index (AMC10/12 score + 10* AIME score) are consistently above 210;
Recommended pairing course: CW7 is a good supplementary course for XC series students who have completed UC3 and/or MO1 (Extra Curricular series) or CE7A (Contest Edge series).
CW8/9/10*/** Goal: A solid to excellent job on USAJMO/USAMO;
General scoring reference: good score on USAJMO (50% ranking) and higher;
Recommended pairing course: CW8 is a good supplementary course for XC series students who have completed MOX or MO2 (Extra Curricular series) or CE7B (Contest Edge series). CW9/10 are good supplementary course for students with strong Math Olympiad backgrounds.
** During the initial registration and enrollment process, CW8/CW9/CW10 students will be put into one common pool. After the enrollment process is completed in early December, our academic team will determine the sectioning and choose proper materials based upon the academic background of the students whoa are enrolled and placed in this pool.

* Each course will only be offered when a minimum number of students have enrolled. Some courses might run multiple sections. To maintain the high standard of our student's learning experience, class sizes will remain small about 8 - 20 students for each courses.

** During the initial registration and enrollment process, CW8/CW9/CW10 students will be put into one common pool. After the enrollment process is completed in early December, our academic team will determine the sectioning and choose proper materials based upon the academic background of the students whoa are enrolled and placed in this pool.

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 CW0 CW1/CW2 CW3/CW4 CW5/CW6 CW7 and higher
Corresponding Placement Test T0 T1 T2 T3 T4

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***
Nov. 22, 2020/2:00 PM (ET) Online (Click here to register) Nov. 18, 2020 $50

* Each placement test for the Extra Curricular series is 90 minutes long. Students should arrive at the testing location (onsite or online) 10 minutes prior to the test.

** $75 will be charged for registration after this date.

*** The 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.

Course Schedule
Class Dates: December 21, 22, 23; 28, 29, 30, 2020
Course Day Class Time* (US ET) Evening Class Time* (US ET)
CW0 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm (US ET) 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm (US ET)
CW1 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm (US ET) 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm (US ET)
CW2 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm (US ET) 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm (US ET)
CW3 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm (US ET) 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm (US ET)
CW4 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm (US ET) 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm (US ET)
CW5 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm (US ET) 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm (US ET)
CW6 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm (US ET) 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm (US ET)
CW7 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm (US ET) 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm (US ET)
CW8/CW9/CW10** 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm (US ET) 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm (US ET)

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

** During the initial registration and enrollment process, CW8/CW9/CW10 students will be put into one common pool. After the enrollment process is completed in early December, our academic team will determine the sectioning and choose proper materials based upon the academic background of the students whoa are enrolled and placed in this pool.

Registration & Tuition

Returning students: Students who have attended an IDEA MATH program in 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 contest prep program directly by logging into their account and registering. Please also make sure your academic information is up to date - It is important for returning students to review and update their academic background information at least once a year.

New students: New applicants who wish to register for the contest prep program should create an account and enter information about their mathematical background. 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.

To log in or create an account , please click here.


Registration Schedule

Registered By* Tuition Paid By* Tuition Amount**
Dec. 1, 2020 Dec. 1, 2020 $495 ($27.5/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 academic team will work with students on course placement by reviewing their academic backgrounds, assigning placement test levels, reviewing placement test work, and more. IDEA MATH academic team 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.

Tuition Refund Policy For Each Session
Withdraw Request Made by Refund Amount
Before Dec. 10, 2020 Paid Tuition - $100
Before Dec. 25, 2020 Paid Tuition - $350
On and After Dec. 25, 2020 No refund

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 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 in the time zone in which the program is being held.