AMC 12

The American Mathematics Contest 12 (AMC 12) is the first exam in the series of exams used to challenge bright students, grades 12 and below, on the path towards choosing the team that represents the United States at the International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO).

High scoring AMC 12 students are invited to take the more challenging American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME).

The AMC 12 is administered by the American Mathematics Competitions (AMC). Art of Problem Solving (AoPS) is a proud sponsor of the AMC!

The AMC 12 used to be the American High School Mathematics Examination from 1950 to 1999.

AMC 12
Region: USA
Type: Multiple Choice
Difficulty: 2-4
Difficulty Breakdown:

Problem 1-10: 2
Problem 11-20: 3
Problem 21-25: 4


The AMC 12 is a 25 question, 75 minute multiple choice test. Problems generally increase in difficulty as the exam progresses. Ever since 2008, calculators have been banned from use during the test; however, calculators were never required to solve any problems, and students who did not use calculators were not disadvantaged.

The AMC 12 is scored in a way that penalizes guessing. Correct answers are worth 6 points, incorrect answers are worth 0 points, and unanswered questions are worth 1.5 points, to give a total score out of 150 points. From 2002 to 2006, the number of points for an unanswered question was 2.5 points and before 2002 it was 2 points. Students that score over 100 points or in the top 5% of the AMC 12 contest are invited to take the AIME.


The AMC 12 tests mathematical problem solving with arithmetic, algebra, counting, geometry, number theory, and probability and other secondary school math topics. Problems are designed to be solvable by students without any background in calculus.



Recommended reading

AMC Preparation Classes

  • AoPS hosts an online school teaching introductory and intermediate classes in topics covered by the AMC 12 as well as an AMC 12 preparation class.
  • AoPS holds many free Math Jams, some of which are devoted to discussing problems on the AMC 10 and AMC 12. Math Jam Schedule
  • EPGY offers an AMC 12 preparation class.

See also