Open Letter to the AMC Office at the MAA

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By now, many students and parents in the math competition community are aware of leaks of problems for the AMC 10A and 12A math contests that were held on Wednesday, November 8th, 2023. Reports of the leak surfaced the weekend before the exam with a petition being started on November 4th asking the MAA to take action to preserve the integrity of the exam. Below is the MAA’s statement on their website (accessed Nov. 9th at 11:45am Pacific Time):

Areteem staff has decided to publish an open letter to the MAA which is found below:

Dear AMC Office at the MAA,

We were disheartened when we first heard about the potential leaks of the AMC 10A and 12A exams over the weekend. It is unfortunate that not only a small number of students or educators shared the exam online, but also the problem sets were sold on certain social media outlets as well. However, even the actions of a single person can have widespread consequences that affect thousands of students. We were disappointed in the lack of action by the MAA.

For some students, the AMC 10 and 12 are tests their teacher tells them about and they decide to try it out. For many students, however, these tests are circled on their calendars as soon as the dates are announced. The exams are a way for math-oriented students to showcase their passion and long term commitment.  Students take it seriously and make it a mission to accomplish their goals. Many prestigious STEM oriented colleges specifically ask for AMC 10/12 and AIME scores on applications. Qualifying for AIME, USA(J)MO, etc., can be what sets one college applicant apart from another. Students who want to make it to the US International Math Olympiad team often spend years studying in the hopes of being selected. When the stakes are this high, students can feel an immense pressure to do well; rising above this challenge can be a source of joy for math students.  Meanwhile, certain individuals and organizations who lack integrity take this as an opportunity to profit and gain from academic dishonesty.

How, then, are students supposed to feel when they hear that questions have been leaked and others have seen the questions/answers already? School life is already quite stressful for many teenage students. Now, in addition to just being stressed before the exam, they have to wonder if other students have an unfair advantage? Even with thousands of people signing a petition to make a change to the 10A and 12A tests and many more people emailing or calling the AMC office directly, there were no impactful actions taken to ensure the integrity of the exams and show the MAA’s commitment to protect academic honesty for the tests.

On behalf of all educators who are dedicated to promote in-depth math education and the families who are serious about developing integrity in the younger generations, we urge the MAA to take actions both this year and going forward to ensure the honor and fairness of the AMC competition exams.

  1. The leaks should continue to be investigated to make sure any offending students, educators, or organizations are identified and held accountable.  End results and findings should be shared with the math community.
  2. Steps should be taken immediately to ensure this year’s scores are fair to all students. A new exam could be given to all or some students with reliable proctoring, cutoffs or scoring methods for qualifying for AIME and/or USA(J)MO could be adjusted, etc. Regardless, decisions and their rationale should be explained and made clear to all students and educators involved.
  3. New security and fairness measures should be implemented for future contests (starting from this year’s AMC 8, AIME, USA(J)MO) to make sure that all students have an equitable testing environment and no student has any unfair advantages over others. 

Our staff has reached out to the MAA and offered our help. We are always committed to do whatever we can to help build a safe and friendly community for math enthusiasts. We encourage parents and students to share their comments and stories below and come together to improve the situation.

Note: Areteem supports only constructive discussion.


Dr. Kevin Wang and Areteem Staff

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  1. I strongly urge MAA to fully investigate and disclosure the investigation results about the leaks of the AMC 10A and 12A exams. More important, how to compensate those students who are affected by this? How to prevent this from happening in the future?

  2. Young students are our society’s future. I hope they can learn a lesson from the wrong doings and grow into trustworthy person.

  3. Many students has prepared for a whole year for this exam. MAA shall take concrete measures to correct the results of AMC10A/AMC12 this year to avoid this serious damage to the reputation of AMC/AIME. A new test shall be scheduled to ensure fairness

  4. I think this letter should be sent to MPFG as well. MPFG cut off is based on AMC score, not AIME score. Due to the large scale AMC 10/12 A leakage, some student’s score might not affect their real skill, so counting AIME score for MPFG will be fair

  5. Zero tolerance to cheating and zero tolerae to ignorance to cheating! It’s a shame for MAA didn’t do any correction before Nov 8th even when they already knew exam leaking issue. MAA must void all exam results from Nov 8th’s AMC 10A and 12A exams and reschedule make-up exams.

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