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Welcome, New Coaches!

We created this page to give new coaches an overview of what the MATHCOUNTS Competition Series is all about and what they can expect as a coach. If you'd like more detailed information, you can download the PDF of our Guide for New Coaches here

The MATHCOUNTS Competition Series in a Nutshell

How Does It Work?

  • Schools register in the fall and work work with students during the year. Coaches administer the School Competition, usually in January.
  • Between 1 and 10 students from each school advance to the local Chapter Competition, which takes place in February.
  • Top students from each Chapter Competition advance to their State Competition, which takes place in March.
  • Top 4 individual competitors from each State Competition receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Competition, which takes place in May.


What's On the Test at Each Competition?

Sprint Round

  • 30 problems to solve in 40 minutes
  • no calculators allowed
  • focus on speed and accuracy

Target Round

  • 8 problems to solve in 24 minutes (given in four 6-minute pairs)
  • calculators used
  • focus on problem solving and mathematical reasoning

Team Round

  • 10 problems to solve in 20 minutes
  • calculators used
  • focus on problem-solving and collaboration

Countdown Round

  • maximum of 45 seconds per problem
  • no calculators allowed
  • focus on speed and accuracy
  • optional at the school, chapter and state level


The Role of a Competition Coach

Every good coach SHOULD:

  • Schedule and run practices for participating students
  • Help motivate and encourage students
  • Select the 1-10 Mathletes who will represent the school at the Chapter Competition in February
  • Take the students to the Chapter Competition or arrange with a parent or volunteer to get them there.

Coaches DO NOT need to:

  • Know how to solve every MATHCOUNTS problem. See resources below for why!
  • Spend their own money to be effective. See resouces below for why!


Making the Most of Your Resources

Don't worry—we've got tons of free materials to help you do this! One of the best things about coaching in the MATHCOUNTS Competition Series are all the free resources you get. (Plus, if you're a math teacher, MATHCOUNTS materials also make great classroom resources!) Learn more about your resources by watching the video Making the Most of Your Resources here.


2017-2018 MATHCOUNTS School Handbook

Hard copy mailed to every coach + free online resource for registered coaches here.

  • 250 problems designed to prepare students for every test round
  • answer key + step-by-step explanations of how to solve each problem
  • watch Using the MATHCOUNTS School Handbook video here


2018 School Competition

Free online resource for registered coaches here.

  • includes all 4 rounds + answer key
  • use as an official competition level or as practice
  • available to all registered coaches in November 2017


Past MATHCOUNTS Competitions

Free online public resource for everyone

  • last year's official School, Chapter and State Competition
  • each competition includes all 4 rounds + answer key
  • download PDFs here


Interactive MATHCOUNTS Platform, powered by NextThought

Free online public resource for everyone

  • past and current handbook and competition problems
  • lots of interactive and collaborative features
  • create an account for free here


MATHCOUNTS Trainer, presented by Art of Problem Solving

Free public resource for everyone online + through the App Store

  • app featuring lots of past MATHCOUNTS problems
  • real-time leaderboards for students to compete with each other for the top score
  • play the game online here


Problem of the Week (POTW)

Free online public resource for everyone

  • new problem released each Monday
  • each problem is multi-step and relates to a timely event
  • see this week's problem + the POTW Archive here



Free online public resource for everyone

  • new video released each month featuring Richard Rusczyk, MATHCOUNTS alumnus and founder of Art of Problem Solving
  • each video covers a particular math skill
  • watch the videos here


You can lead your students to success in the Competition Series using the free resources above, but if you are interested in purchasing additional materials, ask us about OPLET or our prep books available online at the MATHCOUNTS store.

Still Have Questions?

Contact us anytime at or (703) 299-9006! We're happy to help with any questions you have about coaching, the Competition Series or resources available to you. Download a PDF of the Official Rules + Procedures for this program here.