Official Rules

OFFICIAL RULES (updated 2015)


Colleges may enter either a team of five or more students or individual students if fewer than five students wish to compete.  A student is eligible to compete if s/he have not earned a two-year degree (or higher) or if s/he has not achieved junior standing (or higher) at a four-year institution.  Part-time students are eligible. A committee, including the SML Coordinator, shall be appointed to approve eligibility.


In addition to meeting the general eligibility requirements the student must have successfully completed a minimum of 12 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) of college course work by the end of the second exam, including courses in progress at the time of the second exam which are completed successfully. Students enrolled in a four-year institution or in high school at the time of the competition are NOT eligible for the grand prize, nor are previous recipients of the grand prize. Official transcripts and a letter signed by the student and local moderator certifying eligibility will be required in order to award the prize.


To register, moderators should visit the AMATYC website at All registrations will be handled electronically. Once all fields are completed and transmitted successfully, your registration will be confirmed by an acknowledgement email from the AMATYC Office. If you register and do not receive an acknowledgement confirmation, you will need to contact the AMATYC Office to be sure your form was transmitted correctly. Registration begins August 1st. Registrations accepted after September 30 will incur a $15 late fee.

New registrations are welcome anytime during the testing year. However, to insure receiving materials in time to compete in the first round and to avoid the late fee, register online by September 30th.


To participate in the Student Mathematics League for the academic year, colleges must register and pay the registration fee. The completed registration form and fee payment is due September 30. Registration fees are waived for colleges who are Institutional members as of October 1, if their completed registration form is received by September 30. All registrations (including those from Institutional member colleges) and fees received after September 30 will incur a late charge. Registration forms will not be accepted after October 31. The Round 2 tests for the Student Mathematics League will only be sent to colleges who have paid the registration fee by October 31.The annual registration fee is established by the Executive Board. This money is used for prizes and operating costs.


The moderator at each college is responsible for the proper administration of the examinations, examination security before and during the period in which they are to be administered, and the scoring and reporting of examination results. The moderator will also construct ten potential exam questions and send them to the Test Developer by April 1.


The two examinations that constitute the contest are administered locally during a period in October/ November and February/March. Tests last one hour and are administered on any one day of a testing window designated by the Director. At the discretion of the moderator, students arriving before the end of the hour may be allowed one full hour (thus the maximum time of the session is two hours). Each test may be administered only once at each school. The administration of the Student Mathematics League test shall comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any accommodation will be in accordance with the procedures used on the campus where the test is administered.

The tests will arrive by email to the moderator named during the registration process. Local moderators are to collect the examinations after they are administered and are to keep them until the examination window closes. Answers to each exam are distributed by email after the testing window closes.

Tests should be graded upon receipt of answers and the official results should be sent immediately to the Student Mathematics League Chair:

Steve Hundert
College of Southern Maryland
22950 Hollywood Road
Leonardtown, MD 20650


The level of the tests is precalculus mathematics. Questions are from a standard syllabus in College Algebra and Trigonometry and may involve precalculus algebra, trigonometry, synthetic and analytic geometry, and probability; questions that are completely self-contained may be included as well. All questions are short-answer or multiple choice (multiple choice questions will have at least 4 response choices). No partial credit is allowed in scoring. The test will be sent to each participating school to arrive prior to the test window. Printing errors that are not corrected prior to the test period will invalidate that particular question, and all students will be marked correct for that question.


Students are permitted to use any scientific or graphics calculator that does not have a QWERTY (i.e. typewriter) keyboard.


The SML Coordinator will verify and summarize the overall results at the close of the submission window and send these results back to the colleges. No results for a previous round will be accepted once the next round begins. For scoring purposes the top five contestants from each college on each exam comprise that college’s team (thus the team may change its composition from one exam to the next).

The moderator at a college who wishes to protest a question on an exam must do so in writing to the SML Coordinator within two weeks of the last day of the examination window of the round containing the disputed question. The SML Coordinator will consult the Test Developer. The SML Coordinator’s decision after consulting the Test Developer is final.

The results of each round of the competition are final once the deadline for submitting scores to the SML Coordinator has passed. Any college that fails to meet the submission deadline will be disqualified for that round.


To be eligible for an individual award, a participant must compete on both exams. The team score consists of the best five scores on the exam in each round. The individual student team members may change from exam to exam. A team may consist of fewer than five students if necessary, and in this case the team’s score is the sum of the scores of the students participating. The grand prize for the qualified individual with the highest total score on the two exams is a $3,000 scholarship to be used to continue his or her education at an accredited four-year institution. In the case of a tie for the grand prize, the scholarship will be evenly divided. The top ten ranking individuals will receive appropriate prizes of a mathematical nature, as will the five highest ranking members of the first place team. The five highest ranking teams, as well as the team and individual champions from each of AMATYC’s eight regions, will receive plaques at the following year’s AMATYC annual conference. In addition, certificates of merit will be awarded to the top five individuals from each participating school. The prizes, plaques, and certificates are sponsored by the AMERICAN MATHEMATICAL ASSOCIATION OF TWO-YEAR COLLEGES.