Registration for the Hammond Middle School Math Contest is Now Open

January 12, 2011

I am pleased to announce that Hammond School will be the host to a Middle School Math Contest on Saturday, January 29th, 2011, from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm. This contest will be a joint collaboration between Hammond School and the Columbia Middle School Math Circle. The organizers of the contest will be Patrick Rybarczyk, a mathematics teacher at A.C. Flora High School and head of the South Carolina All-State Math Team, and myself, an upper school mathematics teacher at Hammond School.

Each school may bring 4 to 12 students – with the students divided into teams of 3 or 4. (The only exception to this will be if a school brings exactly 5 students, then they must be divided into a team of 3 and a team of 2). Each team from a school should be given a unique name which begins with the name of their school – for example, “The Hammond Radicals”. The cost of participation in the contest will be $10 per student.

The contest will be similar in format to the Mathcounts Competitions in that there will be two individual rounds and a team round.

Details of Rounds and Scoring:

  • The first individual round will consist of 25 multiple choice questions with 5 answer choices for each question. The time limit for this round will be 50 minutes. Each question answered correctly in this round will earn 5 points, each incorrect answer will earn 0 points, and each question left blank will earn 1 point – this is to make the test statistically guessing neutral.
  • The second individual round will consist of 15 free response questions. The time limit for this round will be 45 minutes. Each correct answer in this round will earn 5 points and each incorrect or blank answer will earn 0 points.
  • An individual’s score will be the sum of their points from these two rounds.
  • Each team from each school will participate in the Team Round. This round will consist of 10 free response questions and will have a time limit of 20 minutes. Each correct answer on the team round will earn 10 points and each incorrect or blank answer will earn 0 points towards the team’s score.
  • A school’s score will be the sum of their four highest individual scores (regardless of which team) plus the score of whichever of their teams scores highest on the Team Round.
  • Awards will be given to the top three individuals, the top three schools, and the highest scoring student from each grade who did not already receive a top three individual award.
  • Ties will be broken for the individual awards by looking at the questions in the reverse order on the free response round until only one student has the correct answer. Ties for the team round will be broken by the looking at the questions in the reverse order on the team round.
  • Students from schools with fewer than 3 participants may register as individuals. They will be eligible for individual awards, and will be placed into teams with other individuals to participate in the Team Round for practice only.

Schedule of the Day:

Registration (Bank of America Theater, Hammond School) – 8:30am-9:00am

Multiple Choice Round – 9:10am – 10:00am

Free Response Round – 10:10am – 10:55am

Team Round – 11:10am – 11:30am

Break with snacks – 11:30am – 12:00noon

Awards Ceremony (Bank of America Theater, Hammond School) – 12:00noon – 12:30pm

I hope that you will consider bringing a group of students to participate in this year’s contest. I believe that math contests are a great way to inspire students to study mathematics and promote higher level critical thinking and problem solving skills. I also hope that this contest will serve as a good warm-up for students participating in the Mathcounts Chapter Competition in February.

To register for this contest, please go to the following website and fill in the indicated information:


The deadline to register for the contest will be at 10pm on Thursday, January 20th, 2011, but please respond as early as possible so that I may begin making preparations based on the number of students we might expect. You may return to the website to edit your information at any time. Payment for the contest should be made out to Hammond School. Payment may be remitted during the registration period on the morning of the contest, or may be mailed to:

Hammond Middle School Math Contest
c/o Marcus Neal
854 Galway Lane
Columbia, SC 29209

I look forward to hearing your response,

Marcus Neal (Contest Coordinator)

Teacher of Mathematics

Hammond Upper School




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