Mu Alpha Theta

Mu Alpha Theta is a national honor society in the United States for high school and two year college students. Mu Alpha Theta chapters host numerous mathematics competitions and each year a national Mu Alpha Theta convention is held during the summer that includes a large competition.

The Competition

Mu Alpha Theta competitions can be divided up into regionals, invitationals, states, and national competitions. There is no need to progress through the levels- you simply register and you can participate. There are many different tests with different topic themes. High School students are often organized into three groups- Mu, Alpha and Theta. Theta is the lowest level, Alpha is higher and Mu is the highest.

The Test


The test is a multiple choice test with 4 choices and an extra choice called NOTA, which means None Of The Above. Test topics usually follow school curriculum subjects; however they are far more advanced. The main groups in the regional and invitational levels are:

You may only take one type of test a year for every competition, depending on how many competitions your region has a year. At the states and nationals, there are many more different topic tests ranging from trigonometry to analytic geometry to complex numbers. (Full list coming soon.) The tests are often made by other students. They generally have 30 questions. However, at nationals and state, some tests have 40 questions. There is also a one hour time limit except for History of Math which has a 30 minute time limit. The scoring system usually is as follows:

  • 4 points for each correct question
  • 0 points for each unanswered question
  • -1 for each incorrect question

However at Nationals the scoring system is as follows:

  • 5 points for each correct question
  • 1 point for each unanswered question
  • 0 points for each incorrect question

Team Rounds

In team rounds, teams of 4 people work fast to answer a problem in 4 minutes. However, the faster a team turns in an answer, the more points recieved.

  • Correct answer in first minute
    • 16 points
  • Correct answer in second minute
    • 12 points
  • Correct answer in third minute
    • 8 points
  • Correct answer in fourth minute
    • 4 points

This round is NOT multiple choice. Questions, just as in the individual round, often follow a certain subject. Questions usually follow the certain rubic:

A=<insert some kind of math problem here>

B=<Insert some kind of math problem here>

C=<Insert some kind of math problem here>

D=<Insert some kind of math problem here>

Find AB-CD.

However, this is not always the case.

Example Problems

Probability/Permutations/Combinations- Theta 2003

  1. 10 The set S is {#, !, @, *, $, %}. How many different proper subsets are possible?

A.6 B.63 C.64 D.127 E. NOTA

  1. 30 On a celebrity match of the Weakest Link, Big Bird and Barney make it to the final round. the final round consists of five questions per player. Play is stopped if it becomes evident that one of the contestants cannot possibly win. If Big Bird has answered his questions correctly 75% of the time and Barney has answered his questions correctly 60% of the time, what is the probability that the final round will end after each player has answered exactly four questions?

A. 3753/160000 B.2943/40000 C.3753/40000 D.3753/32000 E. NOTA

2001- Number theory Topic Test- Theta

  1. The 4-digit number 6A6B is divisibly by 72. What is the sum of all possible values of A?

A. 2 B. 7 C. 9 D. 11 E. NOTA

Science Fair

At many regional and state science and engineering fairs, Mu Alpha Theta gives away prizes to high school students. These are prizes for investigating a modern mathematical problem.


See also