Rules & Guidelines

NCCTM State Mathematics Contest
Rules of Eligibility
Effective beginning the 2014-2015 contest season

The NCCTM State Mathematics Contest offers competition in four divisions: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Comprehensive. The division in which a student participates is based on their current math course, as explained in the rules below.

These rules are meant to determine the eligibility of students to compete in the divisions. The individual contest site directors have authority to apply these rules and decide whether or not particular students may compete in a specific contest. If there is doubt about the eligibility of a student, the sponsoring teacher should consult the site director as early as possible.
  • A student may compete in the Level 1 division if he/she has been enrolled in Math 1 during the present academic year.
  • A student may compete in the Level 2 division if he/she has been enrolled in Math 2 during the present academic year.
  • A student may compete in the Level 3 division if he/she has been enrolled in Math 3 during the present academic year.
Students taking more than one of these (Math 1, 2, or 3) courses during the same academic year (e.g. block scheduling) may elect a contest division for which he/she is eligible, but may not compete in both.
  • Students enrolled in a course beyond Math 3 are expected to compete in the Comprehensive division. If, however, a student is taking Math 3 and a course beyond Math 3 in the same academic year (e.g. Math 3 in the fall and Precalculus in the spring), then that student may opt to compete in the Level 3 or Comprehensive division (but not both, unless the student qualifies for AIME - see next paragraph).

A student may compete in only one division and at only one test site per year. However, the State Contest Committee invites non-Comprehensive contestants who achieve honor roll status* on the American Mathematics Contest (specifically AMC10 or AMC12) to compete in a local Comprehensive contest in addition to another division in which they are competing. (* "honor roll status" being synonymous with qualifying to take the AIME)

A student may compete only once in each of the Levels 1, 2, and 3 divisions. Students may repeat competition in the Comprehensive division.  Once a student competes in a Comprehensive-level contest, that student may not compete in Level 1, 2, or 3 divisions in subsequent years. [Note: this is a new rule, effective the 2013-2014 school year.]

Example: Glenda is a 9th grader taking Math 1 in the fall and Math 2 in the spring. She may compete in either the Level 1 or Level 2 division, but not both.

Example: Bill is a 10th grader taking Math 3 in the fall and Precalculus in the spring. He may compete in either Level 3 or Comprehensive, but not both. (However, if he achieves AMC Honor Roll status, he may compete in both, but not at the same site.)

Example: Pam is an 8th grader taking Math 1. She also earns honor roll status on the AMC 10 that same year. She elects to compete in Level 1 at one site and Comprehensive at another. Beginning the following year, in 9th grade, Pam must compete only in the Comprehensive division. (If she elected to only compete in Level 1 in 8th grade, however, she may compete in Level 2 in 9th grade, assuming she is then enrolled in Math 2.)

Example: Jerry takes Math 1 in eighth grade and competes in the Level 1 division. He takes no mathematics in the fall of the ninth grade, and Math 2 in the spring semester. He is eligible to compete in Level 2 division in ninth grade, but he is not eligible to compete in the Level 1 division because he has already done so.

Students who qualify for the State Finals in Level 1, 2, or 3 must compete in the Finals in the NCCTM Region in which their school is located, unless their school is located in Wake County.  Wake County schools will participate in the Central Region Finals in Greensboro. A map of NCCTM regions can be found here.

Example:  A student lives in Anson County but goes to school in Charlotte (Mecklenburg County).  She qualifies at East Carolina (Pitt County) for the Level 2 Finals.  Since the home school is in Mecklenburg County, this student must attend the State Finals in Asheville.

The State Finals in Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Comprehensive are intended for the benefit of North Carolina students and all participants must be enrolled in a school program approved by the state of North Carolina. Students may continue to compete as long as they have not graduated from high school and abide by these rules.

This latest version of State Math Contest eligibility rules reflects NC Public Schools’ transition to the Common Core curriculum, but other NC schools (e.g. private schools) not using this curriculum are still welcome to participate. If such a school is teaching Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II, for example, the following course substitutions will be permitted for purpose of placement in an appropriate contest division: Algebra I for Math 1, Geometry for Math 2, and Algebra II for Math 3. Any questions involving division placement for schools not using Common Core should be directed to site directors or the contest committee chair.

Calculator Policy:
The State Finals (in all divisions) will not allow the use of any calculator.
The Individual Qualifying sites may have different calculator rules, so students and teachers should check with each site before competing.