Tue, Jan 03, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Top test takers in AMC 8 honored

TOUGH:The local organizer of the math contest said the questions on the most recent test were the most difficult in years, hence the reduced number of perfect scores

Staff Writer, with CNA

Thirty Taiwanese students scored perfect marks in the American Mathematics Contest (AMC) 8 and the average score of the students was well above the global average, test organizers said on Sunday.

The Nine Nine Cultural and Education Foundation, organizer of the test’s Taiwanese section, said 30 students registered perfect scores of 25, accounting for 10.56 percent of all test takers worldwide with full marks. The average score of Taiwanese students was 16.1 compared with the global average of 10.76.

Taiwanese accounted for 37 percent of all test takers in the top 5 percentile (19 points or higher), the foundation said at an award ceremony for this year’s top performers in the nation.

It said the questions on this edition’s test were the most difficult in recent years, causing the number of students with perfect scores to fall substantially both in Taiwan and around the world.

The most recent AMC 8, for students in grades eight and below, attracted more than 150,000 participants globally, including about 10,000 in Taiwan. The test has 25 multiple-choice questions that have to be completed in 40 minutes. The Taiwanese test took place on Nov. 20 last year and the foundation revealed the aggregate results for the first time at Sunday’s awards ceremony.

One of those honored, eighth-grader Yang Che (楊徹) of Penghu County, was the first student from any of Taiwan’s outlying islands to record a perfect score. Yang learned by solving problems found in reference books, a form of training that has enabled him to solve problems taught in high school, his father said.

The father also said his son’s experience proved that there was no regional gap in learning.

Meanwhile, the mother of 11-year-old Chen Hsuan-hao (陳宣豪), who also scored full marks, said her son has shown a knack for math since kindergarten, when he joined his elder sister in math classes at cram schools. Now, his mother has hired tutors to teach him physics, biology and astronomy, hoping that her son can one day compete in Olympiads in these fields.

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