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 May 9, 2009.
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:
1-5: 2 points each
6-10: 3 points
11-15: 4 points
16-20: 5 points
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.
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.
See the contest website for more information.