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AIME - how does one study?

  1. Mar 12, 2005 #1
    I was just wondering, how would one go about learning the math that is presented on the AIME or even the AMC?

    I understand that its all pre-calculus or lower... however, some of the questions are ridiculously hard (at least for me)...

    so this presents my question, how would one go about learning these topics and learning how to solve them??? (i am concurrently in calc 2, so it cant be "learn everything up till precalc")

    please help, i dont wannah feel raped every time i take the AIME
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 12, 2005 #2
    there is no easy way to study for math contests like the AIME. Doing practice tests helps. With my experience on an AIME problem, algebra or a manipulation of the problem doesnt solve it. Although algebra could lead you into the right direction for realizing a trick to solving it. I would recommend you study some number theory, and to brush up on combinatorics. Although number theory isn't a must, it does help to be familiar with it.
    I agree with you, some of the questions are ridiculously hard, and really long. So do 99% of the people that take the exam. Just to give you an idea of the difficulty of this exam:

    5% pass the amc 12 with a 100 or better (95% get raped)
    about 2% of the people who pass the amc 12 end up passing the AIME and going on to USAMO.
    To pass the AIME and move on to the USAMO, you need to do what 99.9% couldnt do.
    This year, I might not make the USAMO due to the abnormally high index that one needs (In comparison to other years, this year's AIME was easier)
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