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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Mathematics

24th Contest Overview

Registration (9:15 A.M.-10:15 A.M.):

Written Exam (10:30 A.M.-Noon):

The written exam consists of 30 multiple choice questions. Each question is followed by answers marked a, b, c, d, and e. Only one of these is the correct answer. A student gets 5 points for each correct answer, 1 point for each blank answer, and 0 points for each incorrect answer. No calculators are allowed! Students should be seated by 10:15 A.M.


USC Scholarships will be offered to the top three students on the written exam. 1st place wins a four-year scholarship in the amount of \$8000 per year. 2nd place wins a four-year scholarship in the amount of \$4000 per year. 3rd place wins a four-year scholarship in the amount of \$2000 per year.

Solutions for Teachers (10:45 A.M.- 11:45 A.M.):

While the students are working on the written exam, a presentation of its solutions will be given to the teachers.

Ciphering (1:15 P.M.-2:15 P.M.):

The ciphering portion of our contest consists of 3 rounds. Each school should choose 3 students to participate (one per round). In this contest, you are racing against the clock. There are 6 questions per round and you have 90 seconds per question. You get two chances to answer the question, and receive 3 points, 2 points, 1 point, or 0 points, depending on how quickly you answer the question.

For team awards, schools are separated into two different divisions, based upon school size and other factors. The larger schools are generally placed in division 1, while the smaller schools are generally placed in division 2. A school's total ciphering points will be added to the average of that school's top three scores from the written exam. Using this total, trophies will be awarded to the top three schools from each division.


Tournament (2:15 P.M.- 3:00 P.M.):

The top 16 scorers from the written exam will be paired at random for a single elimination tournament. Students must be able to answer questions quickly, correctly, and before the other student beats them to a correct answer! There are only 45 seconds per question and students can only give one answer. When one member of a pair gives a correct answer first, the other is eliminated from the tournament. This is altered slightly during the final round, when only two students are left. Here the first student to win two problems becomes the winner of the tournament. Plaques are awarded to the winner and runner-up.

Awards Ceremony (3:00 P.M.- 3:30 P.M.):

Invited speakers will say a few words and then all awards will be presented.