The MATHCOUNTS Competition is a fun and challenging math program designed for middle school students to increase their academic and professional opportunities.

The competition builds math skills, promotes logical thinking and sharpens students’ analytical abilities. MATHCOUNTS motivates and rewards students by fostering teamwork and a competitive spirit. It involves students and teachers in year-long coaching sessions and helps students at all levels improve their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

Team Registration

  • Each team will consist of exactly four students in grade 6 – 8
  • Teams must be comprised of active NSBE Jr. members
  • Attendance at the 47th Annual Convention in Orlando, FL is required

MATHCOUNTS® Competition Components

MATHCOUNTS Written Competitions are designed to be completed in approximately two hours at Annual Convention:

The SPRINT ROUND (40 minutes) consists of 30 problems. This round challenges students’ accuracy in completing all of the problems in a limited period of time. Calculators are not permitted.

The TARGET ROUND (approximately 30 minutes) consists of eight problems presented to competitors in four pairs (6 minutes per pair). This round features multi-step problems that engage students in mathematical reasoning and problem-solving processes. Problems assume the use of calculators..

The TEAM ROUND (20 minutes) consists of 10 problems that team members work to solve together. Team member interaction is permitted and encouraged. Problems assume the use of calculators.

The MATHCOUNTS Final Countdown Round is designed for individual students to compete. A problem is presented to two students at a time. The question will be read aloud, as well as presented on a screen. Students can use a pencil and scratch paper. Students have 45 seconds to determine the answer and hit a buzzer when they are ready to answer. The other student can continue to work while their opponent is presenting. The student that answers the most questions out of three correct moves on to the next round. Calculators are not permitted.

Competition Rules

Pencils and paper will be provided for students; however, students may bring their own pencils, pens and erasers if they wish. They may not use their own scratch paper or graph paper.

Calculators are not permitted in the Sprint Round, but they are permitted in the Target, Team and Tiebreaker (if needed) Rounds. When calculators are permitted, students may use any calculator (including programmable and graphing calculators) that does not contain a QWERTY (typewriter-like) keypad. Calculators that have the ability to enter letters of the alphabet but do not have a keypad in a standard typewriter arrangement are acceptable. Smart phones, laptops, iPads®, iPods®, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and any other “smart” devices are not considered to be calculators and may not be used during competitions. Students

may not use calculators to exchange information with another person or device during the

competition. Coaches are responsible for ensuring that their students use acceptable 

calculators, and students are responsible for providing their own calculators (and batteries).® and other MP3 players should not be brought into the 

Pagers, cell phones, iPods competition room. Failure to comply could result in dismissal from the competition.

Should there be a rule violation or suspicion of irregularities, the MATHCOUNTS® coordinator or competition official has the obligation and authority to exercise his or her judgment regarding the situation and take appropriate action, which might include disqualification of the suspected student(s) from the competition.

Use of notes or other reference materials (including dictionaries and translation dictionaries) is not permitted.

Communication with coaches is prohibited during rounds but is permitted during breaks. 

All communication between guests and students is prohibited during competition rounds. Communication between teammates is permitted only during the Team Round.


Competition scores do not conform to traditional grading scales. Coaches and students should view an individual written competition score of 23 (out of a possible 46) as highly commendable.

The individual score is the sum of the number of Sprint Round questions answered correctly and twice the number of Target Round questions answered correctly. There are 30 questions in the Sprint Round and 8 questions in the Target Round, so the maximum possible individual score is 30 + 2(8) = 46.

The team score is calculated by dividing the sum of the team members’ individual scores by four (even if the team has fewer than four members) and adding twice the number of Team Round questions answered correctly. The highest possible individual score is 46. Four students may compete on a team, and there are 10 questions in the Team Round. Therefore, the maximum possible team score is ((46 + 46 + 46 + 46) ÷ 4) + 2(10) = 66.

Ties will be broken as necessary to determine team and individual prizes. For ties between individuals, the student with the higher Sprint Round score will receive the higher rank. If a tie remains after this comparison, specific groups of questions from the Sprint and Target Rounds are compared. For ties between teams, the team with the higher Team Round score, and then the higher sum of the team members’ Sprint Round scores, receives the higher rank. If a tie remains after these comparisons, specific questions from the Team Round will be compared.

Note: These are very general guidelines. Competition officials receive more detailed procedures.

In general, questions in the Sprint, Target and Team Rounds increase in difficulty so that the most difficult questions occur near the end of each round. In a comparison of questions to break ties, generally those who correctly answer the more difficult questions receive the higher rank

Protests concerning the correctness of an answer on the written portion of the competition must be registered with the room supervisor in writing by a coach within 30 minutes of the end of each round. Rulings on protests are final and may not be appealed.

Application Procedure

MATHCOUNTS® registration is completed via an online application through Jotform. The application can be found here. Each team interested in participating for the 2020 - 2021 program year must submit an application for the program and meet all of the team requirements. Completing all of the information in the application is vital.

Critical 2020 - 2021 Dates

For quick reference, the following target dates are listed to ensure your participation in MATHCOUNTS®. For further information on the upcoming NSBE conferences,  please visit



MATHCOUNTS® Team Application

Final submission deadline is Sunday,  October 11, 2020. Participation confirmation will be sent out by Friday, October 16, 2020.

MATHCOUNTS® 2020 - 2021 Challenge

Teams must submit a list of (4) participating students to and download the MATHCOUNTS School Handbook from the MATHCOUNTS® website by Friday, October 16, 2020. Student report cards must be submitted to by Sunday, October 11, 2020, to be eligible to compete at convention.

National Competition

Held at NSBE’s Annual Convention March 10 - March 14, 2021, in Orlando, FL.

Give Today!

Our K-12 students are hard at work keeping themselves engaged digitally.  You can give them a boost by donating to our PCI and SEEK Funds today!