AMC8 Event Info

Grade Level  In our club, this contest is generally taken by 5th- and 6th-graders.


Place and Time

The contest is usually administered on our school campus or at Einstein.  It occurs on a Tuesday in mid-November, after school.  The contest date is fixed by the

For the 2016-2017 school year:  The contest will be held after school on Tuesday Nov 15, 2016, in room 502.  (Note location change!)


Contest Format

  • 25 multiple-choice questions, 5 choices (A-E) per question.
  • No penalty for guessing; a blank answer counts the same as a wrong answer.
  • 40 minutes.
  • Individual contest (no team collaboration).
  • No calculators.


What to bring

  • If you haven’t already turned in your AMC 8 permission slip, please bring it with you.
  • Students must bring #2 pencils.  Do not assume that the proctor will have extra pencils for you.  Note:  Please bring wood pencils, not mechanical.  This makes filling the bubbles easier, and it prevents issues with scoring machines. 
  • A bulk eraser is recommended to help with erasing mistakes thoroughly.
  • Rulers, protractors, graph paper, and scratch paper are allowed, though they might be more trouble than they are worth.
  • A non-messy snack to eat before the contest.  The contest starts at the end of a school day and there is no eating during the contest.  Again, do not assume that the proctor will provide snacks.
  • You don’t need to bring a calculator.  Calculators are not allowed on this contest.


Contest Day Procedure!

Note:  The proctor may change the procedures listed here as needed.

Getting Seated

  • Students:  After you are dismissed from your classroom, go immediately to the testing room and wait outside.  Don’t wait too long to get there, so we can get the contest started and done on time.
  • Wait for the teacher in the testing room(s) to say that they are ready for you.  Until then, it’s a good opportunity to use the restroom.
  • When you are in the room, you will be under the direction of the proctor.  Please follow all proctor instructions.
  • Students should sit with an empty seat in between.  If desks need to be moved, ask the proctor or chaperone for permission first; make a note of the original desk locations; and then make the minimum moves necessary.
  • If there are items on the desk that you are using, gently set them aside on the floor.
  • Once you are seated and ready, you can grab a snack.  Please follow the host teachers’ snack policy, don’t make a mess, and clean up afterward.

(While students are getting settled, the competition manager will hand the test materials, as well as responsibility for the students, to the proctor.)

Getting Ready to Start

  • You will be handed the answer sheets that you filled in earlier.
  • You will receive scratch paper.
  • You will also be handed the contest booklet (with the questions) — don’t open that yet.
  • You will be asked to read the instructions.
  • When the proctor says “begin,” you may pick up your pencil and begin working on the contest!

During the Contest

  • You will have 40 minutes to complete the contest.
  • No talking.  No looking at other students’ papers.  No copying!
  • The proctor cannot answer any questions about the contest.
  • Make sure you are bubbling answers correctly.  Make sure you are bubbling in the proper row for each question.  Fill bubbles completely, and erase any mistakes thoroughly.
  • You will receive time warnings at 15 minutes left and 5 minutes left.

At the End of the Contest

  • The proctor will say “stop,” at which time you must stop working on the contest.
  • Important:  Sign your name in the box, where you are promising that all the work is your own and you didn’t cheat.
  • The proctor may ask you to write your name on your contest booklet.  Unlike some other contests, you cannot keep the questions right after the contest; but we’ll give your booklet back to you in a couple of weeks.
  • The proctor will collect answer sheets and contest booklets.

(Note:  The proctor needs to count all the materials to make sure they have everything.  Please cooperate with the proctor in tracking down any missing materials.)

Cleanup and Departure

  • Once all papers are collected, discard any scratch paper or other waste, return all items you set aside back onto the desks, and arrange the desks as they were originally.
  • Walk with (do not run ahead of) the proctor, competition manager, or designated adult.  We will all walk together to the front of the school.
  • Parents will be able to pick up their kids at 4:40.  Parents:  Please be on time for pick-up.

(Note:  At some point during this period, the proctor will hand competition materials back to the Competition Manager, who will fill out the necessary paperwork and send the package to AMC headquarters for scoring.)


A Note on Academic Honesty

We have had incidents of eyes wandering on the AMC 8 in the past.  We take these incidents very seriously.  Please keep your eyes on your own paper.  If cheating is discovered (either during or after the contest), the student will be disqualified with a score of zero, and the event will be reported to the school administration.

Remember:  If you win an award from someone else’s work, you’ll always feel bad that it wasn’t your own effort that earned it.  Do your best, do your own work, and be proud 0f it!


Topics Covered proportions and ratios; prime numbers, factors, and multiples; geometry of triangles, rectangles, and circles; algebra and logic (deduction, working backwards, organized lists); counting possibilities (arrangements, paths, etc.);  probability; and more


Helpful strategies 

  • Use good multiple-choice strategy (eliminate choices, evaluate choices in difficult problems, guess from non-eliminated choices if time is running short).
  • Use good test-taking strategy (work carefully but quickly — especially through the early problems; double-check where you’re bubbling; keep track of time).

Practice Contests and Preparation

Problems from past years (once you select a year, you can click the PDF icon at top-right to get a printable problem sheet)

Problems with Solutions shown

Those who are interested in procedural details can read the AMC 8 Teachers’ Manual online:  2016 edition


Scoring Procedure

There is one point per correct answer, so the scores range from 0 to 25.

After the contest, the contests are sent back to AMC headquarters in Maryland for scoring. They are not graded at MP.

Usually you will be able to know your score sometime in December.  Awards will be distributed at our end-of-year celebration in May.


Award Levels

Individual: 15 or above, top 3 scores in section, highest score in school, top 5% of all scorers, top 1% of all scorers, perfect score

School/team: sum of top 3 scores = 50, sum of top 3 scores = 65

For 2016-17, students will be divided into two teams: Section A for 5th-graders and Section B for 6th-graders.

Other notes

  • Due to a restrictive copyright, prior tests may not be posted on our own website. Please follow the links above for practice tests.