The Australian education system is a mixed bag for Chinese parents. While schools place a strong emphasis on developing a child’s individuality and interests, having a relaxed childhood can be a lot of fun. It seems that expecting students to achieve top academic results is like wanting to have one’s cake and eat it too.
As a result, Australian primary and secondary school academic results do not rank highly globally, and math, in particular, is notoriously bad, leading to some embarrassing incidents…
If a simple addition and subtraction problem, such as “What is the total discount if the original price is $52.99 and the sale price is $47.99?” were given to a primary school student in China, they would be able to answer it easily. However, a supermarket in Australia claims that the answer is $12, which is $7 more than the actual discount! (Can the store just deduct the extra $7 from my bank account?)
Additionally, a box of biscuits selling for $3, while two boxes selling for $8, redefines the meaning of “special offer.”
Despite some of these exceptions, Australian mathematics’ poor performance has received official recognition. Since 2003, Australia has been participating in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), and the maths score has been decreasing every year without a rebound.
The reason for Australia’s lackluster maths performance is that the education system places more emphasis on students’ future development and skills rather than just their academic results. Australian primary and secondary schools adopt a small class size of no more than 30 students. Teachers use individualized teaching methods to develop their students’ English, reading, maths, sports, and social skills.
Before year 10, students are not required to participate in a unified exam. Schools do not categorize children into “good” or “bad” students based on their academic performance. Therefore, although Australian maths is frequently mocked, the country’s overall education level is still among the best in the world.
However, Chinese parents who are used to a test-oriented environment may feel anxious and want their children to participate in competitions such as the Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC) to enter prestigious schools.
The AMC is a different experience from other mathematics competitions. The American Mathematics Competition (AMC) is well-known but challenging, divided into three levels, including AMC8, AMC10, and AMC12. The AMC8 level is not suitable for young students.
In contrast, the Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC) is designed for primary and secondary school students, with different levels to cater to different age groups. The competition is relatively easy, and even beginners can participate with confidence. Despite its niche nature, the AMC is the world’s largest school-based mathematics competition and is popular in 32 countries, with over 16 million students participating.
What is the AMC competition in Australia and why is it popular?
01 High international recognition
The Australian AMC is organized by the Australian Mathematics Federation (AMT), an internationally authoritative academic institution, with such a strong background that there is no need to worry about international popularity. The organizer will also issue corresponding certificates according to the final results. When applying for colleges and universities, certificates can enhance students’ competitiveness and be recognized by TOP schools.
02 The “talent pool” of the national team
If the results are outstanding, there is a chance to be selected into the “National Team of the International Mathematical Olympiad”. What an honor this is, needless to say.
03 The topic is novel and creative
There are not many routines in the questions of AMC in Australia, and there are various types of questions, which can comprehensively examine students’ logical reasoning, spatial imagination, creativity and innovation. In the process of solving problems, the children can also have the feeling of “it’s still like this”, and stimulate their enthusiasm for learning.
These are very important to prepare for the Australian AMC exam! After a comprehensive comparison, Australia’s AMC, which is friendly to children and has a high gold content, is undoubtedly a “timely rain” for Australian Chinese families. Know yourself, know your enemy, and win every battle. If you want to stand out in the competition, you must make sufficient strategies.
01 Australian AMC Examination Content
The Australian AMC examination content includes arithmetic, algebra, number theory, geometry, measurement, probability, statistics, permutation and logical reasoning. The exam focuses more on mathematical thinking than calculation. Therefore, when parents help their children prepare for the exam, they focus on mathematical thinking, work hard on mathematical probability, and abandon a lot of calculation exercises.
02 Australian AMC Exam Question Types
The competition contains 30 questions in total, and the question types of each level are generally similar, with only minor differences. 👇
Generally speaking, the topics of the competition conform to the following rules:
- Questions 1 to 20: multiple-choice questions, to examine the basic knowledge points corresponding to the grade;
- Questions 21 to 25: Multiple choice questions, assessing students’ thinking development ability;
- Questions 26 to 30: fill in the blanks, which puts forward higher requirements on the accuracy of students’ problem solving, and there are a large number of permutation and combination and possibility derivation types of questions.
Have you found it? At least two-thirds of the Australian AMC questions are basic questions. As long as the child is careful enough and chews the basic knowledge carefully enough, he can get points.
03 Analysis of real questions
seeing is believing. Xiao Wukong showed you a few real questions of Level A level, and everyone probably has a substantial understanding.
🎯The first 1~20 questions examine the basic knowledge. If you don’t lie to me, the answers to many questions can be seen at a glance.
Did you call it so easy after reading it? This part of the topic is a piece of cake for Chinese children.
But because it is simple, we must be more careful to ensure the correct rate.
🎯The difficulty of question 21~25 has been upgraded, and they are still multiple-choice questions.
This part pays more attention to the expansion of students’ thinking. Many times, multi-step problem-solving is required. This requires children to master all kinds of knowledge, improve the speed of problem-solving, and leave time for the following problems.
🎯 Question 26~30 have become fill-in-the-blank questions, killing the possibility of winning by luck.
This part contains a large number of permutations and combinations and derivation questions. When solving problems, children are required to be rigorous at all times. Once a step is wrong, everything will be lost. By convention, the range of the answer is between 0 and 999, usually three digits, and the challenge is still very high.
04 Awards setting
Now that they are on the boat of the competition, everyone is naturally rushing to win the prize. The winning rate of AMC in Australia is as high as 60%!
- PRIZE: Top 0.3%
- HIGH DISTINCTION: Top 3% (Top 5% for Senior)
- DISTINCTION: Top 20% (Top 25% for Senior)
- CREDIT: Top 55% (Top 60% for Senior)
There is not much gold content in just getting one of the top 60% “participation awards”. It is recommended to sprint to the top 3% as much as possible, and it is better to be in the top 0.3% to get the first prize.
Graduated from Columbia University, with extensive experience in mathematical competitions. He has flexible thinking, quick reasoning, and is skilled at inspiring and guiding students to think about mathematical problems and find solution methods.