Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications

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October 20, 2022
Written on . Posted in Math Contests.

9 Compelling Reasons to Enter a Math Contest

Have you been thinking about entering a math contest, but are a little unsure if it's the right decision for you? Then read on! In this post, we cover some of the most compelling reasons to gather your team and enter math contests like HiMCM®/MidMCM and MCM®/ICM® today.

1. Challenge Your Brain

Can you think of a better way to test your brain power then by developing a solution to one of these problems:

  • Roller Coasters: Develop an Objective Ranking System
  • Drone Clusters as Sky Light Displays: Design an Aerial Drone Light Show
  • Shop and Ship: Optimal Placement of Warehouses for 1-Day Ground Shipping
  • Swim, Bike, and Run: Minimize Congestion and Road Closures for a Triathlon
  • Art Gallery Security: Determine Most Secure Configuration for an Art Exhibit

These are some of the previous problems posed to participants in our HiMCM math modeling contest for high school students. Check out this collection of math modeling problems to see the range of topics covered. Brain challenges for sure!

2. Develop Problem Solving Skills You Can Use In Other Areas

Problem solving skills can be difficult to develop in everyday life. Math contests give you an opportunity to research and solve complex real-world problems. And the skills it takes to accomplish this will be endlessly useful to you. From excelling in future classes, to strategizing workplace challenges, to improving performance, to assessing risk of important decisions, the problem solving skills you acquire by participating in a math contest will come in handy for the rest of your life.

3. Demonstrate Your Knowledge

You enjoy math, research, and analysis. Why not show off your skills? Thousands of students have participated in our math contests internationally. Winning one of our contests is a great way to show what you and your team can do, while getting recognition on an international stage.

4. Develop Interpersonal Skills 

Our math contests are team-based competitions, so teamwork is essential. You and your team members will be working on all of the interpersonal skills that come into play in a team setting: active listening, communication, collaboration, and building consensus to name a few. By the time you have submitted your paper, you will have polished your interpersonal skills quite a bit!

5. Improve Technical Writing 

The final stage of our math contests is submitting a written report, documenting your proposed solution to the math modeling problem. As you continue through school, and even as you enter the workforce, you will likely be responsible for creating all kinds of reports. This experience will make future technical writing a lot easier for you.

6. Improve How You Handle Time-Based Pressure

Our contests are time-based, happening over a period of five days to two weeks. Once the problems are posted for participants, there is a limited amount of time to get to work with your team to develop the strongest solution possible.Yes, it can be a little bit stressful, but in terms of life skills, this is one that will definitely not go to waste. Discover new ways to handle stress, manage time, find motivation, and stay focused on the end goal.

7. Strengthen Friendships

One of the most fun parts of our math contests is that you get to team up with your friends. The hours you spend working on the problems will fly by when you have your friends alongside you. And of course, it won’t be all work and no play. Many of our participants talk about the laughs and fun they had by participating in our contests.

8. Spur Creativity

Sometimes, we can get stuck in one way of thinking and it can be hard to break that. Not only will you be able to discuss creative solutions with your teammates, but by reading the solution papers submitted by teams after the close of the contest, you may be surprised to discover strategies you never even thought of, providing ideas on how you can think outside the box.

9. Earn an Impressive Resume Credential

Not only do you get bragging rights by winning one of our math contests, but even saying you completed one of COMAP’s math modeling contests is a huge resume builder. You can leverage this for an internship, on a college application, or even a job. Many students have reported that participation and success in our contests gives them a leg up when applying for internships and jobs.

It’s also important to note that our math contests really do offer something for everyone. You don’t have to be the smartest person in your class, or even win the contest, to get value from participation. We are very proud that our contests are created for each and every student

Are you convinced that a math contest is right for you? Learn more about HiMCM/MidMCM and MCM/ICM, gather your team, and register today. 

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The Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications is an award-winning non-profit organization whose mission is to improve mathematics education for students of all ages. Since 1980, COMAP has worked with teachers, students, and business people to create learning environments where mathematics is used to investigate and model real issues in our world.


COMAP develops curriculum resources, professional development programs, and contest opportunities that are multidisciplinary, academically rigorous, and fun for educators and students. COMAP's educational philosophy is centered around mathematical modeling: using mathematical tools to explore real-world problems.

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