Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: How many students per team?
  • A: There are 15 students per team.
  • Q: How many teams can be brought to a competition?
  • A: As many as you wish BUT you will need two coaches per team.
  • Q: Where are the four sites?
  • A: Penn State University, PA; University of Iowa, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and University of Georgia.
  • Q: What are the costs associated with the competitions?
  • A: $400 per team and a fee for room and board at the competition ($65/person in 2011). There is a fee for staying an extra night ($25/night in 2011).
  • Q: If a team has not participated in the past three ARML contests, then the registration fee of $400 is waived for that team. This includes teams that are new to the ARML competition.
  • A: Coaches must pay all team fees before the start of the competition.
  • Q: How is a team selected?
  • A: There are a number of ways and here are a few suggestions:
    • Have an open tryout and provide individual style questions.
    • Invite high scorers from your mathematics leagues.
    • Use individual scores from statewide competitions.
    • Use the results of the AMC, AIME, USAMO competitions.
    • Recommendations from other coaches in the state.
    • After an initial tryout, select more than 15 students and have repeated practices to determine the better mathematics students.
  • Q: Is there an restriction with regard to the age of the student?
  • A: Competing students must be in the 12th grade or lower. They cannot have graduated from high school in a prior academic year, and they must be 18 years or younger as of Dec. 31st of the academic year of the ARML competition. Violations of this rule will result in the disqualification of the team the student is on. In addition, each team must draw its students from a well-defined geographic area. No two teams can draw students from overlapping areas.
  • Q: How many competition rounds are there?
  • A: There are 6 rounds. In order they are: Team, Power, Individual, and Relay. There are two additional rounds; one is the tie-breaker to determine the top scorers and the Super Relay which involves all fifteen team members and is fun. At the western site, the Team and Power are done on Friday night. At the other sites, all rounds take place on Saturday.
  • Q: How will teams be arranged for each round?
  • A: The Team and Power rounds are seated by teams. In the Individual and Relay rounds the team members are seated in rows or columns.
  • Q: How many minutes for each round?
  • A: Each round is different:
    1. In the Team round each team is given 20 minutes to answer 10 problems.
    2. In the Power round the team has 1 hour.
    3. In the Individual round, the participants are given 5 sets of problems. Each set has 2 problems and the players are given 10 minutes for each set. Thus the Individual round is 50 minutes.
    4. In the Relay round the team is divided into 5 smaller teams of 3 players each. Answers are submitted to the proctor in 3 and 6 minute intervals. The problems are in sets of 3 (one per student). There are 2 relay rounds.
  • Q: How are the 4 rounds graded?
  • A: The Team, Individual and Relay are by correct answer only. The Power Round may require a complete solution with justification or a mathematical proof. Partial credit is given.
  • Q: When do you start practicing; how often; how long?
  • A: As soon as you select a team or have the candidates for a team. Much depends on the location of the team and the geographic area that the players are coming from. Practices can be weekly, monthly or something in between and range in time from one to 4 hours. It may be necessary to do some practice by mail or email. As you approach the competition date, it may be necessary to change the frequency of meeting or increase the practice time.
  • Q: What training practices have been found to be effective?
  • A: Most teams practice using previous ARML contests or something similar and they practice all 4 rounds. A number of teams teach topics such as Number Theory, Geometry and other advanced topics.
  • Q: How do you practice Relay questions?
  • A: Some coaches place the top students on one team. Others spread out the top students among the 5 teams. If you have found a better way, please let the board know.
  • Q: If we fly to the site, how do we get to the campus?
  • A: Usually, it is up to the team to arrange for transportation from the airport to the college. If you have difficulty arranging transportation, contact the Site Director for assistance.
  • Q: A student on my team wants to take the SAT's and the date is the same as the ARML Competition, is there an Alternative Testing Date? (*Note, this is not an issue for the 2012) ARML competition.)
  • A. Yes, there is. Go to the ARML Home Page and click on the SAT Information Link
  • How does the coach arrange for the money to pay all team and student costs?
  • A: Some teams have sponsors but most teams receive cost of student fees from their school. Many parents pay the fees for their child. Seek assistance from your math league or NCTM affiliate.
  • Q: How do I arrange travel plans?
  • A: Most teams travel by tour buses, others by car, and a few fly to the sites. All travel costs, team fees, and student costs must be included in the price you request from each student.

Revised April 18, 2016