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January 4th, 2017, 08:34 PM   #11
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If a student gets a sufficiently high score on the USAMTS, then that student automatically qualifies for the AIME.

Since the students are competing for prizes and the chance for automatic entry into the AIME competition (a limited, invitation only, national math competition), it's definitely not OK for the student to ask for help.

No, it wasn't yet over for some of the problems Rachel asked about. She posted questions from round 3 about a week ago, but the deadline for online submission of round 3 problems was yesterday (January 3, 2017).

@romsek -- cheating is a big deal. Rachel posted round 3 problems last week -- one week before the deadline, so those were "live" problems. She claimed her Math Team teacher gave her those problems "just for fun". Pehaps that's true, perhaps not, but in either case, someone is crossing the red line -- either Rachel or her Math Team teacher.

Last edited by skipjack; January 4th, 2017 at 11:17 PM.
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January 5th, 2017, 02:03 AM   #12
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I still fail to see any major issues surrounding this. Unless the institution running the show is living in the dark ages, i'm sure they are aware of students possibly seeking help online, and probably even spend a great deal of time checking the creativity and genuine effort of answers.
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January 5th, 2017, 02:23 AM   #13
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USAMTS is a national (USA) contest for high school students -- it's not institution based. Students submit an online application to be a participant. The students are required to acknowledge that they are not allowed to get outside help of any kind. The contest typically gets several hundred participants nationwide, and the organizers have a small staff. It's not automatic that they can detect cheating.

I was about to post a complete solution to two of the problems. I wasn't aware that the questions were "live" contest problems, although that possibility did occur to me. Fortunately, I held off (since I was low on time).

Last edited by quasi; January 5th, 2017 at 02:28 AM.
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January 5th, 2017, 02:30 AM   #14
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And how far do you suppose those students who do cheat will get in their mathematics career?
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January 5th, 2017, 02:47 AM   #15
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That's definitely not the point.

The successful cheaters hurt the non-cheaters.

High USAMTS scores confer benefits:

(1) Automatic entry into the AIME. Since the AIME has a fixed limit for the number of contestants, each cheaters who unfairly gains entry blocks the entry of a non-cheater who would otherwise have made the cutoff.

(2) When applying to college, high USAMTS scores are highly regarded (the USAMTS is known to be a very challenging contest). So a cheater potentially gets a college scholarship that they don't deserve, a scholarship which would have otherwise gone to someone else.
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