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Homework Overview

Below is more information about the different types of homework for each course. We refer to the problems on the Homework tab of the course homepage as Challenge Problems. They are meant to be challenging. Remember, it will be hard!

For more information about the Homework tab on your course homepage, please see this page.

If you're having trouble with the homework, we're here to help! Check out the When You Get Stuck guide for suggestions and to learn more all the resources available to you.

What is the Homework?

Find the name of your class below for more information about the types of homework and other practice. You can find brief descriptions of each type below.

Textbook Readings Alcumus Short-Answer Challenge Problems Writing Problems Handouts Practice Test Discussion Problems
Prealgebra 1 q q q qq
Prealgebra 2 q q q qq
Intro Algebra A q q q qq
Intro Counting & Probability q q q qq
Intro Number Theory q q q qq
Intro Algebra B q q q qq
Intro Geometry q q q qq
Intermediate Algebra q q q
Intermediate Counting & Probability q q q
Intermediate Number Theoryq q
Precalculus q q q
Calculus q q qq
Olympiad Geometry q
Group Theory q q qq
MATHCOUNTS/AMC 8 Advanced q q
AMC 10 Problem Series q q
AMC 12 Problem Series q q
AIME A/B Problem Series q q
Special Seminar (any)q
Introduction to Physics q q qq
Physics 1: Mechanics q q qq
Intro Programming with Python q q q (Python)
Intermediate Programming with Pythonq q q (Python)
WOOT, PhysicsWOOT, ChemWOOT, CodeWOOTFor more information about WOOT assignments, please look over the WOOT information page or visit your course homepage.

Description of Homework Types

Textbook Readings

The textbook readings provide a brief introduction to the week's class topics. The assigned chapters or sections are listed on both the Overview and Homework tabs of your Course Homepage. Readings should be completed before that week's live class session, to help you get the most out of the class.


Handouts provide a brief introduction to the week's class topics. Handouts can be found on the Handouts tab of your Course Homepage and should be read before that week's live class session, to help you get the most out of the class.


Alcumus is our online learning system, and it is the main source of practice you'll have in this course. Alcumus monitors your progress and carefully selects problems, just for you, based on your performance on earlier problems. The course homepage will tell you what subjects are assigned each week. Alcumus feeds you problems, checks your answers, provides solutions, and then picks more problems.

If your course has Alcumus assignments, these are the problems we recommend starting with, before the Challenge or Writing Problems.

For more about Alcumus assignments, please see this page.

Short-Answer Challenge Problems

Short-answer problems are those for which you'll enter a "short" answer of some sort, such as a number, letter, or expression. These problems are graded instantly by the computer; you'll immediately know if your answer was correct. As their name suggests, these problems are meant to be challenging!

For more details on Short-Answer Challenge Problems, please see this page.

Writing Problems

Writing Problems will ask you to write complete solutions to the problems, not just a sentence or final answer. You will get feedback on both the style and content of your solutions to these writing problems. Writing problems are those that give you true practice as a mathematician, communicating all of your ideas.

For more about Writing Problems, please see this page.

For more information on what to do if you need a little more time for a writing problem, please see our Extensions page.

Python Writing Problems: What good is a programming course without some actual programming practice? For more information on the unique homework in our Python courses, please see this page.

Practice Tests

Contest-preparation courses for the AMC 10, AMC 12, and AIME each provide one practice test in the style of that exam. We strongly encourage students to take the exam under test conditions. If the test is available, students will find a link to the test problems as well as a space to enter their answers. If the test is not yet available, its release date will be indicated. Once answers are submitted, the students will immediately be shown their score. Answers to these practice tests may not be re-submitted.

There is a due date for the test answers to be entered on this page—students are asked not to discuss the content of the test until after that date, but answers can be submitted after that date.

Discussion Problems

Discussion Problems invite you to engage directly with your peers. Collaborating and communicating are vital skills for any mathematician. Discussion Problems are a place to bounce ideas off of other students and explore new mathematical concepts together. You may be asked to dive deeper into class concepts, experiment with mathematical constructions, trade proofs of a theorem, or challenge your peers by writing your own math problems.

The AoPS Honor Code

A student must agree to the AoPS Honor Code before accessing the course homepage. This honor code outlines our major expectations of students throughout the course.

The Art of Problem Solving Honor Code is as follows:

  • I will be respectful of all other AoPS users while in this class and on this site as stated in the AoPS Terms of Service.
  • I will not misrepresent another person's words or ideas as my own.

More details about the Honor Code can be found here.

Homework FAQs

  • When and in what order should I work?

    In general, our most successful students start by reading the textbook or handouts (when available) before class, then attending class or reviewing the transcript, and then finally attempting the homework. Within the homework, we recommend Alcumus first, then the Challenge Problems on the Homework tab, then the Writing Problems. You can find more details on the Working Through Class Material page.

    Many classes also have a My Goals tab on the course homepage to help you keep track of and pace yourself with the the weekly assignments.

  • When is the homework due?

    Homework is typically due 8 days after the class. The due date for a week's assignment will be displayed in the top-left gray box on the Homework tab of the course homepage. Writing Problems due dates are most strictly tied to those deadlines. You'll need to request an extension if you need more time to work on those problems. Short-Answer Challenge Problems can be solved at any point after they are available, and Alcumus assignments may be completed after the due date. However, we encourage you to keep up with the due dates as much as possible so that you do not fall behind the class!

  • How can I get help?

    We're glad you've asked! The course message board is the best place to get help with any class material, whether you need some clarification about a topic, you have a question about a homework problem, or you'd like some help understanding a particular solution. Course staff, other AoPS administrators, and even your classmates are able to help answer you questions, make suggestions, or provide any other assistance you might need!

    Check out our guide for When You Get Stuck, which outlines the other resources available as part of the course and recommendations for how to use them!

  • How do I keep track of my homework?

    The information displayed at the top of Homework tab will help you keep track of all the assignments due each week and their due dates. We've also created a few other ways to help you keep track of how it's going, including the Report tab, the My Goals tab, and weekly class reminder emails with a summary of your progress. Check out the Tracking Your Progress page for more information.

    We also offer Parent Tools for parents to help their students keep track of their progress.

  • What is my grade?

    The data we put on the class homepage is there to communicate with you about what work is assigned and to help you complete that work. This page provides more information about the different ways you can track your progress in the class. At the end of any subject or computer science course, we should be able to provide a letter grade upon request. Visit our Grades and Documentation page for instructions on how to submit a request, as well as more details on our grading philosophy.