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Deciding Between ARML and AMTH Math Competitions: An In-Depth Guide

As a mathematically gifted high school student, you may be eager to test your skills in engaging math competitions. Two of the most prominent national math competitions are ARML (American Regions Math League) and AMTH (American Mathematics Tournament of High Schools). But with their distinct formats and focus areas, how do you choose between ARML and AMTH? This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to decide which competition is the best fit for you. 

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Part1. Target Audiences: Evaluating Mathematical Background

Along with their distinct approaches, ARML and AMTH also target different audiences based on mathematical skill level and interests.

Deciding Between ARML and AMTH Math Competitions: An In-Depth Guide

#1. ARML’s Target Students

  • Mathematically Gifted: ARML appeals most to students with a passion for mathematics and ample experience solving stimulating math problems – including mathematical competitions.
  • Strong Collaborative Skills: Given the team-based structure, strong communication skills, collaboration abilities, and the capacity to think creatively as a group are essential.
  • Seeking Intellectual Challenge: Students who thrive when tackling stimulating, expansive math problems are drawn to the intense and exciting intellectual challenges posed by ARML.

#2. AMTH’s Target Students

  • All Backgrounds Welcome: Given the focus on high school curriculum, AMTH welcomes all students with an interest in mathematics – regardless of prior experience with competitions or advanced concepts.
  • Gauging Individual Ability: The individual exam format tests comprehension of core topics. This allows self-assessment of strengths/growth areas to guide further math skill refinement.
  • Peer Comparison: Since AMTH participation is broader, students can compare their grasp of key math principles against a larger peer group. National ranking comparisons are provided in results.

Part2. Competition Formats: Evaluating the Core Structures

When considering ARML and AMTH, understanding the core structure of each competition is key.

#1. ARML Format

  • Team-Based Competition: ARML math competition is designed for a team of 15 students working together. This collaborative format tests your collective skill in creatively tackling complex math problems.
  • Multi-Round Event: Spanning two days, ARML features six distinct rounds including an Individual Round, Team Round, Relay Round, Power Round, and two Tiebreaker Rounds. Each round evaluates different mathematical skills and abilities.
  • Open-Ended Problems: Instead of multiple choice questions, ARML poses expansive, open-ended problems. Solutions emphasize elegance, creativity, and efficiency instead of just reaching the right answer.
  • Wide Range of Topics: While calculus can be helpful for some ARML problems, it is not required. Questions incorporate various fields like algebra, number theory, combinatorics, and geometry – requiring flexibility.

#2. AMTH Format

  • Individual Competition: Unlike the team format of ARML, AMTH is focused on individual performance across a series of five exams. Your problem-solving skills are tested without any collaboration.
  • Topic-Based Exams: Spanning two days, students take exams covering Algebra, Number Theory, Geometry, Combinatorics, and Discrete Mathematics. This allows you to identify your personal strengths/weaknesses.
  • Multiple Choice Questions: Instead of open-ended problems, AMTH features multiple choice questions testing your conceptual grasp of key mathematical topics as well as strategy in reaching solutions.
  • High School Curriculum: AMTH questions align with core high school math curriculum. While questions increase in challenge, the focus is on comprehending concepts rather than advanced techniques.

Part3. ARML and AMTH Preparation Strategies

Deciding Between ARML and AMTH Math Competitions: An In-Depth Guide

#1. ARML Preparation:

Succeeding in ARML requires a multipronged approach:

  • Practice teamwork during regular meetings leading up to the contest. Peer learning boosts understanding.
  • Sharpen computational skills using relevant platforms and math contest books. Master fundamental concepts through drilling.
  • Hone reasoning ability with previous ARML and AMC papers. Learn to strategize effectively.
  • Stay updated on rules and structures through arml.com. Understanding the format is vital.

#2. AMTH Preparation:

  • Review high school curriculum: Refresh knowledge of core math concepts covered in exams.
  • Take practice tests: Gauge readiness and identify improvement areas through mock exams.
  • Brush up on time management strategies: Hone skills for optimal pacing when answering questions.
  • Understand exam structures and scoring: Learn about the number of questions per section, marking schemes, cut-offs etc. to strategize attempts.

Part4. Comparing Experience Benefits and Outcomes

While both ARML and AMTH sharpen your mathematical skills, participating also provides wider personal benefits:

#1. ARML Competition Benefits

  • Build a motivated network of fellow math lovers in your region.
  • Gain mentorship and advice from older peers with competition expertise.
  • Invaluable preparation for succeeding in future math competitions and academic programs.

#2. AMTH Competition Benefits

  • Encourages individual growth in comprehending core math principles.
  • Identify personal strengths and areas for further skill development.
  • Provides a stepping stone to additional math engagement opportunities.

Part5. ARML and AMTH 2024 Registration Time Frame

Registration for both ARML and AMTH competition 2024 was open around April 1, 2023. The early registration deadline was usually set as May 8, 2023. Firm registration guarantees a school’s participation. Schools can field multiple teams, each having 15 students and 2 teacher-coaches.

#1. Competition Format

ARML features team and individual rounds testing math technique and quantitative reasoning ability:

  • Team Round (45 minutes): The entire team solves 10 problems together worth 4 points each, with a maximum of 60 points
  • Individual Round (50 minutes): Students individually solve 10 questions in 5 sets of 2 problems per 10 minutes, 1 point per correct answer, a maximum of 60 points
  • Tiebreaker (10 minutes): 1 tiebreaker question for individual rankings
  • Relay Rounds (Total 30 minutes): Special sets requiring passing on answers to solve subsequent problems

This multi-faceted format evaluates both individual competence and collaborative teamwork.

#2. Test Date, Location, and Fees

The 2024 ARML contest will be held over two days on the weekend following Memorial Day (May 26-27, 2024). Testing locations are Penn State University, University of Iowa, University of Georgia, and University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The $400 team registration fee covers lodging, meals, and administration costs. Teams must arrange their transport.

Part6. Awards and Recognition

ARML features globally competitive standards. Top national and regional teams are recognized, motivating participation. Awards likely include:

  • Global Top 10 Teams
  • National Gold (Top 10%), Silver (Top 20%), and Bronze (Top 35%) Teams
  • Regional Honorable Mention Teams (Top 15%)

AMTH also offers outstanding participants national and state-level recognition and awards.

Part7. Choosing the Right Competition For You

  • For collaborative team-based problem-solving – ARML.
  • To benchmark core knowledge against individuals nationally – AMTH.
  • Regardless the competition, both provide great math skill-building and enjoyment!

Part8. The Allure of Math Contests

American high school students have fantastic opportunities to explore mathematical passion through contests like ARML and AMTH. These contests:

  • Inspire curiosity: Piquing interest beyond textbooks through real-world style problems.
  • Hone skills: Mastering core concepts and analytical approaches.
  • Offer excitement: Thrilling format blending individual and collaborative performance.
  • Build connections: Interacting with like-minded peers and mentors.
  • Open doors: Gaining visibility among top colleges and employers seeking analytical talent.

Part9. FAQs about ARML and AMTH

Q1. What is the cost for participating in ARML?

The registration fee is $400 per team, along with individual expenses for travel and accommodation. Teams can fundraise or seek sponsorships to cover costs.

Q2. Who is eligible for ARML and AMTH?

ARML is open to high school students and below in the US. AMC 10 is for students up to grade 10, while AMC 12 is for grade 12 students. Students outside the US can check eligibility criteria on respective websites.

Q3. Are calculators allowed?

AMC contests do not allow calculators or other aids. For ARML, the rules vary across events – teams should clarify the latest policies on the ARML website.

Q4. Where can I access past test papers?

Previous ARML and AMTH test papers are available for purchase online or through relevant books. AMC past papers can be purchased on the official website. Some papers may also be available through online searches.

Q5. Can I participate in both ARML and AMC in the same year?

Yes, outstanding math students can definitely attempt both ARML and AMC contests in the same year. The formats and skills tested are complementary across the competitions.


Math contests enable students to discover joy in mathematics, connect across the nation, and gain significant skills for college and career success. The clock is ticking towards ARML and AMTH 2024 and AMC 2024. Register now for a thrilling and rewarding mathematical journey!