The MATHCOUNTS Competition Series is a national program that provides students the opportunity to compete in live, in-person math contests against and alongside their peers. Created in 1983, it is the longest-running MATHCOUNTS program and is open to all sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students.
HOW DOES IT WORK? The Competition Series has 4 levels of competition—school, chapter, state and national. Here’s what a typical program year looks like.
Schools register in the fall and work with students during the year. Coaches administer the School Competition, usually in January. Any number of students from our school can participate in our team meetings and compete in the School Competition. MATHCOUNTS provides the School Competition to coaches in November. The School Competition will be used to determine which student(s) from Spanish Fort Middle School will advance to the Chapter Competition.
Between 1 and 10 students from each school advance to the local Chapter Competition, which takes place in February. Each school can send a team of 4 students plus up to 6 individual competitors. All chapter competitors—whether they are team members or individuals—participate in the individual rounds of the competition; then just the 4 team members participate in the team round. Schools also can opt to send just a few individual competitors, rather than forming a full team. Over 500 Chapter Competitions take place across the country.
Top students from each Chapter Competition advance to their State Competition, which takes place in March. Your school’s registration fees cover your students as far as they get in the Competition Series. If your students make it to one of the 56 State Competitions, no additional fees are required.
Top 4 individual competitors from each State Competition receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Competition, which takes place in May. This year's competition will be held in Orlando, FL. These 224 students combine to form 4-person state teams, while also competing individually for the title of National Champion.
WHAT DOES THE TEST LOOK LIKE? Every MATHCOUNTS competition consists of 4 rounds—Sprint, Target, Team and Countdown Round. Altogether the rounds are designed to take about 3 hours to complete. Here’s what each round looks like.
Sprint Round40 minutes30 problems totalno calculators usedfocus on speed and accuracyTarget RoundApproximately 30 minutes8 problems totalcalculators usedfocus on problem-solving and mathematical reasoningThe problems are given to students in 4 pairs. Students have 6 minutes to complete each pair.Team Round20 minutes10 problems totalcalculators usedfocus on problem solving and collaborationOnly the 4 students on a school's team can take this round officially.Countdown RoundMaximum of 45 seconds per problemno calculators usedfocus on speed and accuracyStudents with highest scores on Sprint and Target Rounds compete head-to-head. This round is optional at the school, chapter, and state level.