About the USAMTS

The USA Mathematical Talent Search (USAMTS) is a free mathematics competition open to all United States middle and high school students.

As opposed to most mathematics competitions, which typically place considerable emphasis on solving problems quickly, each round of the USAMTS allows students a full month to work out their solutions to five problems. With the exception of the first problem of every round, which is a puzzle, carefully written justifications are required for each problem. The problems range in difficulty from being within the reach of most high school students to challenging for the best students in the nation. Students may use any materials—books, calculators, computers—but all the work must be their own. The USAMTS is run on the honor system—it is an individual competition, whose competitive role is secondary (although we do give prizes).

Student solutions to the USAMTS problems are graded by a variety of people with mathematical backgrounds, including math educators, former USAMTS contestants, and volunteers from the NSA, and their comments are returned to the students. Our goal is to help all students develop problem solving skills, improve their technical writing abilities, and mature mathematically.

We wish to foster not only insight, ingenuity, and creativity, but also the virtue of perseverance, which is equally essential in scientific endeavors.

The USAMTS is one of the ways to enter the process for qualifying to represent the United States at the International Mathematical Olympiad. Students who earn high scores on the USAMTS are invited to take the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME) and can progress further based on their scores on the AIME.