What is the USA (Junior) Mathematical Olympiad (USA(J)MO)?
The USA(J)MO competition is a proof based math competition held by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) for middle school and high school students who do well on the AMC 10 and 12 and AIME competitions. It is offered over a two-day period once a year and is the second invitational exam for students wishing to qualify for the US Math Olympiad Team. Top scoring students are invited to join the Mathematical Olympiad Program (MOP) during the summer. You can visit the official MAA AMC Invitational Exam page by clicking here.
- Students who do well on the AMC 10/12 and AIME exams are invited to participate in that year’s USA(J)MO competition.
- Both the USAJMO and USAMO feature the same problems. Students compete in the USAJMO if they qualify through their AMC 10 score and compete in the USAMO if they qualify through their AMC 12 score.
- The exam is offered once per year over a two-day period.
- The test has 6 proof-based questions and a time limit of 9 hours. Each day features 3 questions over 4.5 hours.
- Each question is worth up to 7 points. 7 points are earned only for a correct and fully justified solution. Partial (but incomplete) progress towards a solution typically receives 1 or 2 points.
- The questions test knowledge in algebra, geometry, counting and probability, and number theory. The test covers material typically covered in high school math, including concepts in trigonometry, complex numbers, and logarithms.
- Questions are meant to be challenging and test students on advanced topics and problem solving. Calculus is not required for the exam, but sometimes methods in calculus can be used to solve problems.
- No calculators are allowed on the test.
- The test is given by schools, universities, and other educational institutions. Contact your local institution for information on how to register.
Qualifying for USA(J)MO:
See our AIME: All You Need to Know post for more information on the AIME exams and qualifying for USA(J)MO.
To summarize, top students qualify based on their USAJMO or USAMO index scores.
- The USAJMO Index Score is equal to (AMC 10 Score) + 10 * (AIME Score).
- The USAMO Index Score is equal to (AMC 12Score) + 10 * (AIME Score).
- Typically index scores of 210-230+ qualify for the USAJMO and USAMO, but these vary year to year.
Why take the USA(J)MO?
Students who qualify for the USA(J)MO are among the highest performing students in the US. Numbers vary by year, but typically between 200-300 students qualify for USAMO and 150-250 students qualify for USA(J)MO. Qualifying for USA(J)MO takes skill and hard work, giving them a great achievement to put on their resume and on college applications.
Invitations to the Mathematical Olympiad Program (MOP):
The top 12 scorers on the USA(J)MO are invited to MOP for training. From these 12 students, 6 are chosen for the US International Math Olympiad team. Roughly 18 additional students (seniors excluded) are also invited to MOP for training.
How to Prepare:
The easiest way to prepare is to practice solving old AMC 10/12, AIME, USA(J)MO, and ZIML problems. In addition to USA(J)MO problems, students can practice writing full solutions other AMC or ZIML problems as practice.
ZIML Daily Magic Spells and Monthly Contests provide problems similar to the AMC 10/12 and AIME that test their mathematical problem solving skills. Click the links below to visit the ZIML site for:
- Daily Magic Spells: Practice everyday with a free math problem!
- Online Monthly Contests: Compete against other students from around the world in a timed monthly test. ZIML Division JV and V are recommended for students preparing the for the AIME.
- Contest Practice Page: Get a feel for math contests such as ZIML, AMC 10/12, and AIME with a full set of practice exams and problem archives.
Areteem provides many programs that help students build the foundation and problem solving skills to succeed on the AIME. Click the links below to visit Areteem’s classes site for:
- Intensive AMC Prep: Preparation courses and private lessons for students willing to work hard for quick improvement.
- Live Online Classes and Self-Paced Online Classes: Year-round courses that systematically build knowledge and problem solving skills in Algebra, Geometry, Counting & Probability, and Number Theory. Math Challenge III is recommended for students preparing for the AIME.
- Summer Camps and Winter Camps: Onsite camps that provide intensive training that is both fun and challenging for students. Camps are a great way to make new friends, learn new math, and have fun over summer and winter breaks!