Skip to content
Texas A&M University

Rules & Overview

Subject Exams Information

The subject exams are multiple question, short response tests. Answers must be given in simplified form (rationalized denominators, etc.) with units if appropriate; calculators are not allowed.

Five different subject tests will be offered - AB, BC, CD, DE, and EF. Each version will cover two of the appropriate courses, A/Pre-Algebra, B/First year Algebra, C/Geometry, D/Second year Algebra, E/Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry, and F/Advanced Mathematics. A student may take any examination which includes any course for which he/she is presently enrolled. The only exception to this is the EF exam which is open to any student.

Note that all subject exams are comprehensive. Thus, the BC exam may have questions pertaining to any of the material found in subjects A, B, and/or C.

Back to the top

Power Team Rules

Each school may enter team(s) of up to six students (per team). Each team collaborates on one or more open-ended problems, which allow the team to devise appropriate examples, make conjectures, and prove (or attempt to prove) their conjectures.

Team participants are not allowed to consult with anyone but their team mates. Participants are not allowed to look on the web for any information regarding the power team exam, nor are they allowed to search books or other reference materials. Team entries are expected to be neat and legible. If not, they face the possibility of being disqualified by the judges.

Power Team Exams will be posted for the participating teams to download one week prior to the contest. Teams will have until the day of the contest to formulate their responses.

All hand delivered submissions are due by 9:00 am on the day of the contest! E-mailed or FAXed submissions will be accepted provided they are received no later than 8:30 AM. on the day of the contest. E-mailed solutions should be sent to Faxed solutions should be sent to 979-862-4190, attention Oksana Shatalov.

Back to the top

Best Student

The Best Student exams are multiple question, short response tests containing a wide variety of problems requiring somewhat more ingenuity than the subject area tests. There are Open and Closed divisions. The Closed division is limited to students who have not completed the tenth grade. In addition to trophies and ribbons, the top two students in each division will be given books. Furthermore, the top two students in the Open division will each receive a $2000 scholarship to study mathematics at Texas A&M University.

Back to the top

Buzz Contest Rules

The Buzz Contest is the mathematical equivalent of a spelling bee. Its 1992 revival at Texas A&M University marked the 10th anniversary of the last time Texas high school students had played the game at the 1982 Lamar Mathematics Day competition. Since then, this contest has been a popular feature of the Texas A&M University Math Tournament.

The general structure of the game is as follows: The students line up and count off. The first student calls N, where N is an integer between 1 and 20, which is randomly determined, the second student calls N+1, and so on. If a student gets his or her number wrong, he or she is eliminated and the next student in line must say the number the previous student should have said. All of this is done very quickly; a student may be eliminated for "delay of game".

So far, the game as described is too easy. To complicate matters, some numbers are designated as special. When it is a student's turn to call out a number and that number is special, the student should not say the number, but should instead say some combination of codewords relating to the number. The codewords and their meanings are:

BANG: The number contains a 5 (in its base-10 representation) or is divisible by 5.

BUZZ: The number contains a 7 (in its base-10 representation) or is divisible by 7.

CRASH: The number is prime.

FIBBI: The number is a Fibonacci number. The Fibonacci numbers are constructed as follows:
F1 = 1, F2 = 1 and Fn+2 = Fn+1 + Fn. . So F3 = 2 , F4 = 3, F5 = 5, etc.

Thus, the first 6 Fibonacci numbers are 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8.

POP: The number is the product of two distinct primes.

SQUAWK: The number is the sum of two squares. For example, 9=32 + 02, and 5 = 22 + 12

WHIZZ: The number is square-free (is not divisible by a perfect square other than 1).

ZIP: The number is a perfect k th power with k greater than or equal to 2.

Note that the actual game might involve at least one new buzzword and corresponding property.

These codewords are not all in force at the beginning, but are introduced or removed gradually at the will of the moderator and in any order. For example, suppose Michael, Deena, Christa, Heath and Amy are still in the game. The codewords Fibbi, Bang, Pop and Zip are in force, and it is Deena's turn on number 29. The sequence would sound something like this.....

Deena: 29

Christa: Bang

Heath: 31

Amy: 32 (This is wrong; Amy is eliminated.)

Michael: Zip

Deena: Pop

Christa: Pop, Fibbi

Heath: Bang (This is wrong; Heath is eliminated.)

Amy: Bang Pop (The next number is 36.)

Please note that a lot of students are likely to fall in the 40's and 50's as it is very easy to lose track of what number we're on. The proctor will not advise the students. It is the responsibility of each student to keep track for themselves even as others are eliminated.

The discussion at this link should help you determine which, if any, of the code words apply to a particular number.

The last remaining student must say correctly what the second-to-last student should have said to win the contest. Trophies will be awarded to the first and second place finishers.