MaCh 8

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The MaCh 8 (Mathematics Challenge 8) is a middle school math contest run by students at the North Carolina School of Science and Math in Durham, NC. It will be held on April 4, 2009.

Individual Tests The MaCh 8 features three individual subject tests in Algebra, Geometry, and Discrete Math, as well as a comprehensive "General" test for students who would rather not specialize. Students take either two of the Subject tests or the General test. Individual tests are short answer: 25 problems for Subject tests, and 50 problems for the General tests. Students are allotted an hour to take each Subject test and 2 hours for the General, which is broken into two sets of 25 with a break in between. Each set of 25 is scored as follows:

  1. 1-5: 2 points each
  2. 6-10: 3 points
  3. 11-15: 4 points
  4. 16-20: 5 points
  5. 21-25: 6 points,

for a total of 100 points per Subject test and 200 points on the General test.

Top students in each individual test enter a difficult short-answer tiebreaker. Top-scoring students on each Subject test, the General test, and the tiebreakers receive awards.

Team Tests The MaCh 8 offers both Team and Power tests. The Team test is a half-hour, 10-question short answer test; each problem is worth 6 points. The Power test is a 1-hour proof test on a set of related mathematical concepts. Although the Power test does not expect rigorous proofs, a clear and complete explanation is required for full credit.

Those who do not qualify for the individual tiebreakers participate, as teams, in the 1-hour Mach round. This is a fun round consisting of 100 problems to be solved in the hour allotted; a runner obtains the problems in groups of 10. Later problems are more difficult and are worth more, but once teams turn in a set, they cannot get them back later. The Mach round contributes points to the team sweepstakes total as well.

The top 5 teams receive awards based on their performance in the individual, Power, Team, and Mach rounds. The rounds are weighted appropriately to promote a balance between team and individual scores.

More Information See the contest website, [1], for more information.

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