COMPETITION RULES & FAQ
2021-2022 Official Rules + Procedures for the MATHCOUNTS Competition Series
Please click the button below to go to the Official Rules + Procedures for the MATHCOUNTS Competition Series. The MATHCOUNTS Foundation reserves the right to alter these rules and procedures at any time. Coaches are responsible for being familiar with the rules and procedures outlined on that page. Coaches should bring any difficulty in procedures or in student conduct to the immediate attention of the appropriate chapter, state or national official. Students violating any rules may be subject to immediate disqualification.
What exactly does a MATHCOUNTS competition consist of and what changes has MATHCOUNTS made for 2021-2022?
The Competition Series is the nation's premier middle school math competition. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year some aspects of the program will be modified to ensure the safety of our students, coaches and volunteers. Learn more about the program. Learn more about the role of a coach.
For the 2021-2022 Competition Series:
- Students will compete in 4 levels of competition: school, chapter, state and national.
- The Competition Series is designed as a school-based competition, and schools can register 1-12 students to compete at the chapter level and beyond. This year, any student whose school will not register and will not support the student's participation through the school can register as a Non-School Competitor (NSC). Learn more about NSC eligibility.
- All Chapter Competitions will be conducted online on the AoPS Contest Platform on February 17, 2022 from 12pm ET to 8pm ET. State Competitions and the National Competition are still planned as in-person events.
- At the Chapter Competition level, every student competes as an individual and takes the Sprint and Target Rounds, which are designed to take 70-80 minutes to complete. Students can also take an optional Team Round at the Chapter level, however, advancement of teams to the State Competition will not be required. The decision to advance teams to the State Competition and hold a Team Round at that level will be at the discretion of each state coordinator. At the National Competition, students will also compete in a Team Round and a fast-paced, bee-style Countdown Round.
- In addition to the mailed kit of materials and online resources, MATHCOUNTS will provide 2 online practice competitions. These will be released in November and December 2021. Registered schools receive access to both practices for their 1-12 official competitors, plus up to 50 additional students from the school.
Please refer to the Official Rules + Procedures for the Competition Series for complete information regarding advancement.
- Advancing to the Chapter Competition: For school-based competitors, advancement is determined by the coach at their school. NSCs automatically compete at the Chapter Competition, as this is included with their registration.
- Advancing to the State Competition: The top 4 highest-scoring students from each chapter advance to the State Competition. Additional students from each chapter may advance at the discretion of the state coordinator.
- Advancing to the National Competition: The top students (up to 4) from each state (based on their scores on the Sprint and Target Rounds) advance to the 2022 Raytheon Technologies MATHCOUNTS National Competition. Additional national level advancement details will be announced prior to the State Competiton.
Yes. Because registration and advancement are still mapped to our 500 chapters, MATHCOUNTS is working with local coordinators to recognize and provide trophies and other awards to top-scoring students and participants at that level of competition.
Yes! The Chapter Competition takes place online and represents students from more than 500 chapters located in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and in schools worldwide affiliated with the Dept. of Defense and State Department. Any U.S. middle school (with students in grades 6-8) can register.
Please refer to the list of Registered Competition Series Schools for 2021-2022 to see if your student's school already has registered for this year. You also can use the Chapter & State Competition Search tool to contact the volunteer coordinators assigned to your local program to get additional information for your area.
Please refer to the Official Rules + Procedures for the Competition Series for complete information regarding student eligibility, including information about NSCs.
Students enrolled in grades 6-8 are eligible to participate in the MATHCOUNTS Competition Series. Students taking middle school mathematics classes who are not full‑time students in grades 6-8 are not eligible. All types of schools—public, private, charter, virtual and home schools—are eligible to register for the Competition Series. In addition to their registration form and payment, participating home schools must submit a separate Home School Participation Form. Tutoring/enrichment centers or other groups that do not function as students' official school of record are not eligible.
- School competitions: November 2021 – January 2022, determined by the school’s coach. A copy of the 2022 School Competition will be released online Nov. 1, 2021.
Online practice competitions: released November 15, 2021 and December 15, 2021. Coaches determine the 1-12 students who will represent their school at the Chapter Competition. All of a school's registered competitors (1-12 students), plus up to 50 additional students at the school, will have access to both practice competitions.
2022 Chapter Competition: February 17, 2022 online (12:00pm ET - 8:00pm ET).
State competitions: March 1-31, 2022. To find the specific competition date for your state and your state coordinator's contact information, use the Chapter and State Competition Search tool.
2022 Raytheon Technologies MATHCOUNTS National Competition: May 7-9 in Washington, DC.
The MATHCOUNTS Foundation makes its products, programs, and services available on a nondiscriminatory basis. MATHCOUNTS does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, creed, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, physical disability or ethnic origin.
What are the rules regarding the use of the MATHCOUNTS Foundation's copyrighted resources and materials?
Unauthorized reproduction of the contents of MATHCOUNTS resources and publications are a violation of applicable laws. Teachers may duplicate and share MATHCOUNTS materials only for use with their own students. Other uses of MATHCOUNTS materials, particularly for profit, are prohibited without expressed written permission of the MATHCOUNTS Foundation.
Register online here. This is our preferred method with faster processing, so you'll get your materials sooner!
Check with the school’s administration and math department to ensure a program is not already established at the school. You also should refer to the list of Registered Competition Schools for 2021-2022 to see if a teacher already has registered.
Get permission from the school administration to register, if there is no program already established and you would like to start one. We recommend having this permission in writing from a school administrator to keep for your records.
Register using one of the methods listed above under “Teachers and school administrators.”
Before registering, NSCs must ensure they are eligible. A student may register as an NSC only if their official school of record is not registering for the Competition Series and will not support student participation in the program through the school. MATHCOUNTS may contact the schools of registered NSCs to confirm that the school is not participating in the Competition Series and reserves the right to cancel an NSC’s registration, without refund, if their school registers for the Competition Series.
Registration for eligible NSCs is a 2-step process this year:
1. Registering and paying through the MATHCOUNTS Foundation
2. Setting up online access to the AoPS Contest Platform
The parent/guardian of an NSC must register online and pay with a credit card. Offline forms are not accepted for NSCs. Find out more about registering a non-school competitor.
By November 15, 2021, the AoPS Contest Platform will be set up for NSCs to access. The parent/guardian will need to provide NSC information to set up access for their child at that time. Click here to view a step-by-step guide to creating a Coach account and using the Coach Portal at AoPS. Click here to view a step-by-step guide to creating a Student account and using the Student Portal at AoPS.
Parents/guardians and other volunteers not employed by the school:
- Check with the school’s administration and math department to ensure a program is not already established at the school. You also should refer to the list of Registered Competition Schools for 2021-2022 to see if a teacher already has registered.
- Get permission from the school administration to register, if there is no program already established and you would like to start one. We recommend having this permission in writing from a school administrator to keep for your records.
- If you receive permission from the school administration to register, complete a school-based registration at www.mathcounts.org/compreg.
- If the school will not register for the Competition Series and will not support your child’s participation in the program through the school, complete an NSC registration. Find out more about registering a non-school competitor.
What is the difference between a home school student, a virtual school student and an NSC? How do I know what type of registration I should complete?
Refer to the Official Rules + Procedures for the Competition Series for complete details regarding NSCs, virtual schools and home schools.
- A home school student is a student whose official school of record is a home school—even if some of their coursework is done through a virtual program or service. Home school students should not register as NSCs and instead should register as school-based competitors and complete the 2021-2022 Home School Participation Form.
- A virtual school student is a student whose official school of record is a virtual school—even if that student is doing their coursework at home. Virtual school students should first try to register as school-based competitors through their virtual school by contacting school administrators/educators. A virtual school student should register as an NSC only if their virtual school will not register for the Competition Series and will not support their participation through the school.
- An NSC is a student whose school—whether virtual or brick-and-mortar—will not register for the Competition Series and will not support their participation through the school.
My child is enrolled at a brick-and-mortar school but this year is taking all their classes in virtual school. How do we register?
If you child’s official school of record is the brick-and-mortar school, they should register through that school, even if they are doing virtual classes.
If your child’s official school of record is the virtual school, then they should register through the virtual school. If your child’s official school of record is a district-wide online school—and students at that virtual school are not segmented into smaller schools for enrollment purposes—please contact the MATHCOUNTS national office to ensure you complete the proper registration. Refer to the Official Rules + Procedures for the Competition Series for complete details regarding NSCs, virtual schools and home schools.
How do I indicate in my registration which students are team members and which students are individuals?
Because there is no official team component at the chapter level, every student is considered an individual in the Competition Series this year. Advancement to the State Competition is determined by individual scores at the Chapter Competition. However, the online practice competitions and the Chapter Competition will have an optional team round so students can solve problems together, and we encourage coaches to provide as many opportunities for collaboration as possible during meetings and practices.
$30 per student or $360 for the max registration of 12 students
$60 for an NSC
$35 per student or $420 for the max registration of 12 students
$65 for an NSC
- $40 per student or $480 for the max registration of 12 students
- $70 for an NSC
NSCs are required to register and pay with a credit card online. Offline registrations are not accepted for NSCs. Find out more about registering a non-school competitor.
Have 1-12 student(s) - depending on the number registered - compete in the online Chapter Competition on the AoPS Contest Platform. Students can advance beyond the Chapter Competition, but this is determined by their performance in the competition.
Receive the mailed School Competition Kit, which includes a hard copy of the , participation certificates and ribbons. Mailings of School Competition Kits will occur on a rolling basis from mid-August, 2021 through January 31, 2022.
Receive online access for the coach to practice materials at www.mathcounts.org/coaches.
Have the 1-12 registered competitors, plus up to 50 additional school participants, participate in 2 online practice competitions on the AoPS Contest Platform. Access to the AoPS Contest Platform will open by November 15, 2021, and the first practice competition will be released on that day.
Please send an email to [email protected] with the subject line “Request MATHCOUNTS W-9.”
For NSC registrations, MATHCOUNTS only accepts payments via credit card. For school-based registrations, MATHCOUNTS accepts payments via credit card, check, purchase order (PO) and money order.
- Credit card information cannot be provided on offline registration forms. To pay with a credit card, either 1) register online or 2) submit an offline form and select “Credit Card” as your payment option so MATHCOUNTS can send you an electronic invoice to accept payment.
- POs can be used with either online or offline registrations. The PO number must be provided if registering online, and a copy of the PO must be included with offline registration forms.
The person who completed a school's registration (typically a coach, bookkeeper or other school official) can get a school's invoice by clicking on Orders under the Account menu at the top right of our website (marked in green).
If, after looking in that Orders section, you are unable to locate your invoice, please send an email to [email protected] with the subject line "Request Competition Series Invoice," and in your email include your school name, city, state and ZIP code.
MATHCOUNTS cannot guarantee your refund request will be approved. In some circumstances, MATHCOUNTS will provide a partial or full refund to schools that have registered for the Competition Series. However for any full refunds, a $30 fee will be charged to cover the cost of the School Competition Kit materials and shipping, as well as processing the refund. If you would like to request a full or partial refund for the Competition Series, email [email protected] with the subject line "Request Refund" and in your email include the school name, city, state and ZIP code; the reason for the refund request and the refund type (full or partial).
Refunds requests will not be granted for non-school competitor (NSC) registrations for 2021-2022.
Log in to the Coach Dashboard and click on the “Competition Coach Resources” link to access the handbook and 2022 School Competition. The handbook is posted in mid-August when registration opens, and the 2022 School Competition will be posted November 1, 2021. 200 step-by-step solutions are available in the handbook and an additional 50 solutions (#201-250) are provided to coaches through the Coach Dashboard.
School Competition Kits are mailed on a rolling basis from late-August 2021 through January 31, 2022. Generally kits are shipped via USPS Priority and arrive 1-2 weeks after we receive your registration. If you have not received your kit within 3 weeks of registering, please email [email protected].
Participant information will be submitted through the AoPS Contest Platform, which will open by November 15, 2021. Registered coaches will receive instructions for accessing the Platform and setting up their portal no later than November 15, 2021.
Coaches must identify the 1-12 official competitors who will participate in the Chapter Competition by January 20, 2022. This will be done through the AoPS Contest Platform.
The individual listed as the head-coach during the registration process is automatically given access to the Coach Dashboard. The head coach can view their registered school's record on the Coach Dashboard. If a co-coach is listed on the school's registration record, s/he will have access to the Coach Dashboard and coach resources but will not have the ability to see information related to the registered school(s).
Because the Chapter Competiton is online this year, the MATHCOUNTS national office is providing information about your Chapter Competition.
- Date: The Chapter Competition will be held February 17, 2022 (12:00pm ET - 8:00pm ET). Students will be required to complete the test in one sitting (and will finish in 70-80 minutes), but can do so anytime during the competition timeframe.
- Location: The online competition will take place through the AoPS Contest Platform.
- Student Information: Coaches must submit student information through the AoPS Contest Platform by January 20, 2022.
The AoPS Contest Platform supports recent versions of the main modern web browsers (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Edge) and operating systems (Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Chrome OS, and Android). The Contest Platform can be used on desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones with a supported browser and OS; desktops and laptops will provide the optimal experience. We highly recommend each official competitor plan to participate in both of the Online Practice Competitions to verify that their device, browser, and Internet connection are sufficient for the Contest Platform. If you have technical difficulties taking the practice contest, please contact us at [email protected] and mention the "MATHCOUNTS Practice Competition" in your email.
You should receive an email from AoPS with a link to join the AoPS Contest Portal within 48-72 hours of registration on the MATHCOUNTS website. If it has been longer than 72 hours since you registered, and you have not received an email with an invitation link to join, please reach out to AoPS at [email protected] and mention the "MATHCOUNTS Coach Invitation" in your email.
You can find more information about setting up your MATHCOUNTS coach account on the AoPS Contest Platform and accessing the MATHCOUNTS Competitions here.
In your Coach Portal, you can view the list of all students who have joined your school. There, you can remove students from your school, designate official competitors, build competition student teams, and see students' scores on competitions. If you wish to cancel or otherwise change your school's registration, please contact MATHCOUNTS at [email protected].
Once you have joined the AoPS Contest Platform, please log in to your Coach Portal. At the top of that page, you will find a unique Student Invite link. This link is unique to you; send the link to each participant so they can each connect their username to your registration. Provide your students with that link to invite them to join your school on the AoPS Contest Platform.
If you registered (paid for) x students to participate in the MATHCOUNTS Competition Series through MATHCOUNTS, you can invite x + 50 students to participate in Online Practice Competitions. (If you registered through MATHCOUNTS the max of 12 official competitors, you can invite 62 students to take part in the Online Practice Competitions.) In January, a mandatory Competition Check-In will be open to only your official competitors. Your official competitors should use this Check-In to test their Internet connectivity and their login credentials and ensure they can view competition problems and images on their device.
How do coaches designate official competitors who will represent the school at the 2022 Chapter Competition?
Once a student has joined a coach's school, the coach can designate that student as an official competitor in their Coach Portal by checking the appropriate box under the Official column.
By what date do official competitors (the ones taking the 2022 Chapter Competition) identified in the Coach Portal?
A school's official competitors must be identified by the school coach on the Coach Portal by January 20, 2022.
An optional Team Round will be available for Practice Competitions 1 and 2 and the 2022 MATHCOUNTS Chapter Competition. Coaches will be able to form teams of students from the same school through their Coach Portal. NSC students will not have access to this optional Team Round. Advancement of teams to the State Competition will not be required and will be at the discretion of State Coordinators.
How do coaches form teams of students for the optional Team Round during the Online Practice Competitions and the Chapter Competition?
To form a team of students for the optional Team Round of the Online Practice Competitions #1 and 2 and the Chapter Competition, go to the "Teams" section of your Coach Portal and click "Add Team". A window will open where you can select up to 4 students who have joined your school to form a team. To edit an existing team, click "Edit Team" next to the list of members on that team.
Online Practice Competitions 1 and 2 will be available through May 31, 2022.
Students' results for Practice Competitions and the 2022 Chapter Competition will be available in your Coach Portal one week after each competition’s launch date. A copy of the Online Practice Competitions will be available to you at the same time.
Coaches are asked to do the following things for official competitions to help ensure a successful MATHCOUNTS competition season:
- Encourage all of your students to take the competitions at the same time.
- Talk with students about competition integrity ahead of time. Reinforce the idea that any cheating student who progresses to the next level is taking the spot from a deserving student. Discuss what competition integrity includes, such as:
- Taking the competitions in a completely honest way and following all rules;
- Not using a calculator during the Sprint Round;
- Not seeking out, accepting or giving assistance in any way; and
- Not discussing the content of the competitions with other students until 3 days after competition windows have closed.
3. Identify a way to have students proctored, perhaps using one of the following ways:
- If school instruction is in-person, identify a way for students to take the competition at school under the coach’s supervision. Students will need computers to take the competition and should take Practice Competitions #1 and 2 in the same environment to test Internet connectivity.
- If school instruction is online, coaches can utilize the interactive technology they typically use in their online classroom environment so they can watch students during testing.
- Set the expectation that parents are not permitted to proctor students during the Chapter Competition. If the coach is unavailable to proctor students during the Chapter Competition, a non-related adult must serve as proctor.
Proctors are responsible for ensuring that competitors:
- Have a testing space clear of any aids other than those allowed under the competition rules (pencils, pens, erasers and blank scratch paper).
- Are continuously monitored during the entirety of the competition.
- Use a calculator only during the Target Round and that the calculator conforms to the restrictions outlined in the competition instructions.
- Do not make use of the Internet, any personal (digital or other) communication devices, notes or other reference materials including dictionaries and translation dictionaries.
- Do not (1) receive ANY help from the proctor or anyone else (including, but not limited to, hints or suggestions like, “Did you reduce all of your fractions?” or “Do you want to work through this problem again?” or “Do you want to check your work before submitting your answers?”, (2) give ANY help to anyone else or (3) copy (in written or digital form) any questions or answers from the competition.
- Follow all rules of the competition.
As a coach, what should I do on competition day if a student forgets his or her password/username, loses Internet connection, or logs in under a Coach account instead of their Student account?
- If they forget their password or username to login to their AoPS account: Coaches can find their students’ usernames on their Coach Portal and can update passwords for students with “limited accounts”. If the coach does not see an “Update Password” button for a student on their Coach Portal, that student can reset their own password by clicking “Forgot username/password” and following the instructions provided when signing into their account. Coaches who change their students’ passwords should copy and paste the new password when sending to their students.
- If they lose their internet connection during the competition: The student and/or coach should send an email to [email protected] explaining the situation. MATHCOUNTS and AoPS will assess the situation and contact the student, coach, and proctor with next steps. MATHCOUNTS and AoPS staff will be on duty to assist with these situations.
- If they login under a Coach account and not their Student account: The coach should send an email to [email protected] to request the account be reset to allow the student access to the competition.
The official coach who registered your school must invite you to join their school on the AoPS Contest Platform. You can find more detailed instructions about setting up your MATHCOUNTS student account on the AoPS Contest Platform in this document.
I'm an NSC and do not have an existing AoPS account. What steps do I need to complete to create my Student account and access my Student Portal?
If you do not have an existing account through AoPS, you will first create a restricted account using the link provided by your coach/parent. After creating this restricted account, you will be prompted by AoPS to upgrade your account (for free) by providing an email address and your birthdate. When upgrading your account:
- If you are 13 or older, you will confirm your email address and then proceed to a Student Information Form, which must be completed to finalize your Student account and access your Student Portal.
- If you are under the age of 13, AoPS will send a COPPA Parental Permission Form to the email address provided. This form must be signed by your parent or legal guardian and returned to AoPS via one of the methods listed on the form. Once this form is returned to AoPS and processed, your Student account will be activated, and you will be able to proceed to a Student Information Form, which must be completed to finalize your Student account and access your Student Portal.
You must have been invited by your coach and accepted the invitation to participate in any MATHCOUNTS online practice or official competitions.
Log in to your Student Portal. When a practice or official competition time window starts, a "Start" button will appear in your Student Portal. This will take you to a page where you can review the details of the competition before beginning. Once you begin, you will be presented with the problems and can type answers into entry boxes. View more details on entering answers below.
You can find more information about setting up your MATHCOUNTS student account on the AoPS Contest Platform and accessing the MATHCOUNTS Competitions in this document.
On average, students should expect to complete competitions within 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Once a student begins taking the competition (starting with agreeing to the Honor code), the student must complete the Sprint Round (40 minutes) and Target Rounds (4 rounds/6 minutes each). There are short breaks that will take place (10 minutes between the Sprint Round and first Target Round pair; 1 minute between each Target Round pair), but students must complete the Sprint and Target Rounds in one sitting. For an Online Practice Competition with a Team Round component, the Team Round can be completed at a different time. For the Chapter Competition, the Team Round must be completed within the scheduled competition time frame.
Results for the Practice Competitions and the Chapter Competition will be available in your Student Portal one week after each competition's launch date.
- Before the team round, each team should make their plan for when they'll take the contest and what they'll use to communicate. The AoPS Contest Platform only provides the contest problems, not a way for team members to speak or collaborate.
- Only the Team Leader (Team Member #1 as designated by the coach in their Coach Portal) can start the contest for the team. All team members can click "Start Contest" to view instructions, but they will not be able to proceed to taking the contest and viewing the problems until the Team Leader begins.
- Once the Team Leader begins the contest for the team, they will proceed to a 1-minute "Team Waiting Room" that all team members can join.
- At the end of the minute, all team members will automatically move to the contest and the 20-minute timer will begin.
- During the contest, all team members will be able to view the contest problems. Only the Team Leader can enter answers for the team.
- The Team Round will automatically be submitted when the 20-minute timer is done. The timer cannot be paused once it has started, and the round cannot be submitted early. Team members can stay on the contest until the timer runs out, or leave the page early. The last saved answers (entered by the Team Leader) will be automatically submitted at the contest end time.