The Art of Problem-Solving--Worth It?

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: July 2004 Archive: The Art of Problem-Solving--Worth It?
By Loop123 (Loop123) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 03:57 pm: Edit

I'm a rising sophomore interested in competing in some of the math competitions next year (AMC, hopefully AIME). I find questions on the SAT easy, but I always seem to hit my limit on questions 12-15 on the AMC 12 or about 3-5 on the AIME. Is it possible to raise these scores with practice? The Art of Problem Solving book seems interesting and may be able to help me, but is it worth it? Can the same resources be found online? Also, I'm a rising sophomore who has yet to take trigonometry/precalculus. Would knowledge of these fundamentals make a significant difference in my performance? I'm new to this whole process and excuse me if I'm oblivious to something very obvious. Thanks guys.

By Billiam2 (Billiam2) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 03:59 pm: Edit

Get it. I wouldn't have gone far in contests without it

By Texas137 (Texas137) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 06:32 pm: Edit

The Art of Problem Solving books are great! Well worth the money. I sponsor a math team, and all of the serious competitors have used these, including 3 USAMO qualifiers. There is nothing else comparable for preparing for contests. Their forums are well-worth hanging out on also.

By Apocalypse_Now (Apocalypse_Now) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 08:05 pm: Edit

Learning trig/precalc will definitely help a lot, especially on AIME. So i suggest taking such a class as soon as possible. I don't know about AOPS book though. My advice is to buy copies of old AMC and AIME tests. I hear they're pretty cheap.

By Benzinspeicher (Benzinspeicher) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 10:09 pm: Edit

their problem sources are great! i wish i'd heard of this site while i was still in high school. i'm using it for any college math competitions that i may take part in

By Bianchi23 (Bianchi23) on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 12:04 pm: Edit

I checked the Art of Problem Solving Website and it said there are two volumes available with one being more introductary than the other. I am going to be a senior so I have had a fair amount of math and have taken several contests already. Should I buy both volumes?

By Tanman (Tanman) on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 01:47 pm: Edit

Try talking to your public librarian. I asked the library to look into the books (through a "book recommendation" form) and they bought 25 copies of each book (1 for each library location). Since few other people want the books, I can keep renewing my copies as long as I want.

By Texas137 (Texas137) on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 02:03 pm: Edit

Bianchi - I'd select based on where you are in terms of contests, rather than how many math courses you've had. The books don't really cover school-type subjects. It's strictly contest math. The first volume covers all but the hardest AMC problems. If you have never qualified for AIME, you should probably start there. The second volume would be approp for AIME and beginning USAMO type problems. If money was no object, I would say you should buy both (plus the solution books), and just figure you'll move pretty quickly thru the first one. Even if the problems are fairly easy for you, it would still take you a month or two and you could build up speed and pick up a few tricks. If money is an issue, does your school have a math team that could buy the books? Or do you have a younger friend who might want to buy them from you? That's what happens in my group. The older kids buy them and pass them down to the younger kids.

By Benzinspeicher (Benzinspeicher) on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 09:38 pm: Edit

i want this book!!!

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