Tips for the AMC 10

by Angela Zhu

It’s that time of year again when February rolls around the corner with Winter Weekend and those deceptive colorful Valentine candies that really should not exist…oh yeah, and the annual AMC 10. That too.

Here are some tips that I’ve gathered from both my limited experiences and stuff from online (because the internet has everything).

  • Areas/volumes/perimeters for shapes of any sides.
  • Angles of shapes
  • Properties of 45, 45 degrees right triangles and 60, 30 degrees right triangles.

But most importantly of all, know why these formulas are correct and how they are derived. If you see something that you don’t know how to do, then you can use what you already know and build off of that.

  1.  Draw things

If you have a hard time picturing it, draw it out and label everything that you and can deduce. Usually the deducing part leads to the answer (this is the part where we all cheer).

For geometry problems, usually drawing a line will allow you to figure what some other parts of the the problem and poof. Problem solved.

  1. Remember that the AMC 10 does not allow a calculator, so its problems do not and should not require hardcore calculation. If you feel like your brain is being attacked by mini gorillas after trying to solve a problem which involves multiple decimals and e to the power of infinity, I would suggest going back if there’s extra time left at the end.
  2. Practice

Practice practice practice.

Art of Problem Solving has all of the old AMC 10s on their website. All in all, if you’re more familiar with the test and how the questions require you to think, then the AMC 10 won’t be as intimidating or hard.

Good luck, guys!


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