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How To Benefit from Math Competitions

Math competitions may not be something you’ve considered for your child, but here are some key reasons you may want to participate:

  • Taking competitive, timed tests in elementary and middle school is great practice for the standardized tests kids will inevitably take in high school like the SAT, ACT and AP tests.
  • Math Olympiads provide stronger students with additional challenge help them understand how they stack up against their peers.
  • Competition scores can also be used on college applications and resumes.

How to Use Math Competition Scores on College Applications: 
College applications will ask for details regarding extracurricular activities. You can use your math competition experiences here or in the essay portion of your application. Essay questions may ask you to share a story about yourself that is central to your identity, to describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content, or to discuss an accomplishment or event that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood. If you believe that your math victories apply, use the essay prompts to illustrate your abilities for the Admissions boards

How to Use Math Competition Victories on Resumes:
College applications may ask for resumes, which gives you the opportunity to include details about your competitions there, but math competition victories can also have benefits beyond college. Employers value analytical skills and critical thinking now more than ever. Companies want to invest in young professionals who can make sound, logical decisions. And for those of you who have competed on teams, the ability to work with others and achieve a common goal is a valuable skill in almost any career.

Math Competitions as Skill Building Opportunities:
Math competitions are also an excellent skill building opportunity that can help students enhance their time management and stress management skills, thereby improving their overall productivity.

Written by Irina Khavinson, Co-Founder of the Russian School of Mathematics

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