Math students struggle through AMC 12 test, teacher sees potential benefit


Quinn Soltesz , Entertainment/Features editor

Most kids hate math with a burning passion, but on the morning of Thursday, Feb. 7, approximately 100 C. M. Russell Honors and AP math students of all grade levels took one of the hardest tests in circulation: the AMC 12.

“It was very difficult I had no clue what I was doing for like, all of it,” said Jackson Crook.

Crook is a freshman currently enrolled in Honors Algebra II/Trigonometry, a class usually taken by juniors. A math student all his life, Crook skipped multiple years of elementary school math and took Algebra I as a 7th grader, and Geometry as an 8th grader. But this math test, called the AMC 12, proved too much for the young math prodigy.

“I answered seven of the 25 questions,” he said.

Seven out of 25 isn’t an easy feat, according to test coordinator and AP Calculus teacher Terri Dahl.

“It’s just a very different type of test, it really makes you think in a different way. You have to have some pretty strong problem solving skills to get through it,” Dahl said.

The AMC 12 is a math competition test taken nationwide every year in February. According to the Mathematical Association of America, the sponsors of the test, the exam is designed to be the first in a series of competitions that eventually lead all the way to the International Mathematical Olympiad.”

The exam has 25 questions, and is 75 minutes long. It contains math problems all the way up through precalculus, all of which can be solved without a calculator. The test is tough, and few students score high enough to move onto the next level of testing. Dahl however, sees a benefit to the test other than the score.

“I think a lot of our kids, especially those in Honors Algebra I who will take it four years, the emails they get from colleges, some of them stem from this,” she said.

Crook is one of those students who will be taking the AMC four years. He foresees future classes like AP Calculus to be very helpful for success on the test.

“I can do way better than seven out of 25.”