Skip to main content


What is the AMC 8?
The American Mathematics Competition for Middle School is the first in a series of challenging (and fun!) contests for middle and high school students. Students who do well enough on the AMC 8 will be invited to take the AMC 10 or AMC 12 at the high school. More information is available at the Mathematical Association of America website.

The contest is administered as a 40-minute, 25-question exam. Students work individually, and the questions are all multiple-choice. The material covered includes all math topics taught in the middle grades, including probability, estimation, spatial visualization, percents, and graphs. No problem requires algebra.

When is the AMC 8?
Tuesday, November 14, 2017. This year, students in 7th and 8th grade Accelerated math classes (CC7/8 and CC8Algebra) will be taking the test with their math classes; check with your teacher to confirm. All other students are welcome to participate in the competition, at 7:30 a.m. in Room 68. There will be announcements on KOIS and in the weekly newsletter about how to register.

How hard is the AMC 8?
Questions range from easy to very difficult. Students who are accustomed to getting A’s in math class might be stunned to realize that the average score on the AMC 8 is about 10 (out of 25). Unlike a traditional math test, which evaluates how well students have learned the material that the teacher explicitly taught to them, this contest requires students to draw on their overall understanding of math and how topics fit together. The test also has enough particularly difficult problems that it can differentiate among the very top students.

Who can take it?
All OIS students are invited to participate. The test is written for students in grades 6-8. Because all students in all grades take the same test, they have the unique opportunity to monitor their progress from year to year.

How do I prepare?
The best preparation for the AMC8 is to work problems from old contests. Some sample problems are available here. Check your answers after you work the problems. Every wrong answer is an opportunity to learn something new.

You can also find practice problems on the AMC website. Give yourself 40 minutes to take a test and see how you do. Re-work the problems you miss to study.