DBHS students take on the AIME math test

14 DBHS students hope to advance to USAMO after taking qualifying tests.

This year, 14 Diamond Bar High School students out of the 117 test takers qualified to take the American Invitational Mathematics Exam after scoring in the top percentile for the American Mathematics Competition.

The 14 students who qualified to take the AIME are sophomores Jason Kim, Bingxu Meng, Aaron Sun, Allen Wang, Ryan Zhu; juniors Ruiyang Zhu, Warrick He, Wilson Zhu, Hanxu Jiang; seniors Sean Ru, Cyrus Phan, Catherine Lu, Sabrina Wu and Keshav Sriram.

The Brahmas either took the AMC 10 test meant for sophomores and below or the AMC 12 test which is meant for seniors and below. The AMC tests consist of 25 multiple choice questions that students are given 75 minutes to complete.

In order to qualify for the AIME test, these students had to either score in the top five percent of the AMC 12 or the top 2.5 percent of the AMC 10.

They all took the AIME exam in hopes of qualifying for the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad. After taking the USAMO test, a small number of students are chosen for the Mathematical Olympiad Summer program. From there, students take the selection test to see whether or not they can represent the U.S. as a part of the U.S. International Math Olympiad Team.

Wang was one of the 14 DBHS students who qualified for the AIME exam after scoring a 103.5 on the AMC 10 test.

“In middle school I was in math club, Mathcounts, and also took the AMC 8,” Wang said. “So naturally, after the AMC 8 I just started studying for the AMC 10 while in high school.”

He prepared for the AMC 10 test by studying out of math books such as “The Art of Problem Solving.”

“Making AIME I feel is not that hard as long as you put in an hour a day of studying, but if you want to make it to the next level you probably have to study for four or five hours a day,” Wang said.

Other students like Zhu did not put in as much studying into the AIME exam compared to the AMC exam.

“I didn’t really prepare for AIME; instead I took class for the AMC 12 which taught me subjects like number theory and geometry,” Zhu said.

The topics of the AIME test vary and can include counting, probability, combinatorics, number theory and geometry.

“There are only 15 questions so you kind of have to get lucky with the ones you get on the AIME test,” Wang said. “They also test you in different ways so you also have to know how to manipulate each individual math problem.”