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Alcumus Contest

This year's Alcumus Contest is now closed. Thank you to all who participated! Winners will be announced in May via email!


The Alcumus Contest is split into four divisions, one for each of the four courses for which the contest is available. Students must be enrolled in the corresponding AoPS Academy course to participate in the contest. The contest uses the AoPS online learning system Alcumus, which is divided into 5 subjects. The subjects that will be used to determine the scores for students in each division are as follows:

  • Prealgebra: Prealgebra, Number Theory
  • Algebra 1: Algebra, Counting & Probability
  • Geometry: Geometry
  • Algebra 2: Intermediate Algebra

For example, a student who is enrolled in Algebra 1 will only earn contest points from problems in the Algebra and Counting & Probability subjects in Alcumus for the Algebra 1 Division of the contest. Students who are enrolled in multiple AoPS Academy courses may compete separately in multiple divisions, earning points in each respective division when solving problems in corresponding Alcumus subjects.

To change subject and topic in Alcumus, students can click the "Change Focus" link in the upper left box.

Students earn points for each Alcumus problem solved during the contest. Students may encounter some problems multiple times during the contest. The first time a student encounters a problem between 5:00am ET August 15, 2020 and 5:00am ET April 5, 2021, the student will earn between 250 and 1000 points for solving the problem correctly, with harder problems worth more points than easier problems. No points are earned if the problem is not solved correctly. If the student encounters the problem again during the contest and solves it correctly, then the second and third correct answers will each award 1/6 of the points available the first time the student encountered the problem. No further points will be awarded for solving the same problem.

Ties will be broken based on the longest streak, with the student who had the most consecutive days earning points through the duration of the contest being ranked higher (note that this does not necessarily coincide with the student's current streak). In the event that two students also have the same longest streak, they will be tied in the rankings. For a day to count towards a student's streak, they must earn points prior to 11:59 PM ET. With this in mind, we encourage students to set aside a consistent time each day to work on math contest problems.


Prizes for the top 10 students in each eligible course will be awarded after the contest ends. Top scorers will be awarded Amazon gift cards in the amounts shown below.

  • 1st place: $100
  • 2nd place: $75
  • 3rd place: $50
  • 4th - 6th place: $25
  • 7th - 10th place: $10

Students must be enrolled in the corresponding course at AoPS Academy on April 5, 2021, to be eligible for a prize.

Students can start to earn points on August 15, 2020, but the scores and leaderboards will not be revealed here until sometime in early October.

Have questions?

Check out the Contest FAQs!
  • Do the points in Alcumus match the points in the contest leaderboards?
    • The points in Alcumus will not necessarily match the points in the leaderboards. They are scored differently and have slightly different rules. Think about Alcumus as the platform that the contest is using, not the contest itself. To put it a little differently: the contest is not Alcumus, it is in Alcumus.
  • I did some questions on Alcumus but the score on the leaderboard hasn’t changed.
    • The points in Alcumus are updated instantly, while the leaderboards for the contest are updated daily. The time and date of the most recent update is shown on the leaderboard. Contestants should expect a delay in Alcumus points being updated on the contest leaderboards.
  • I completed Alcumus problems before I started the course. Do these count?
    • Unfortunately they do not. Only problems completed while enrolled in a course and between 5am ET August 15th 2020 and 5am ET April 5th, 2021 will be counted.
  • I completed Alcumus problems before I started the course. How do I make progress if I’ve already completed all of the sections?
    • You can still earn points on problems that you've already encountered. Students get full points the first time they see the problem during the contest window. No student starts at a disadvantage! Correctly solving a problem for the 2nd and 3rd time will award contestants 1/6th of the points available the first time the problem was encountered.
  • I’ve completed problems in Alcumus every day, why doesn’t the leaderboard reflect what I think my streak should be?
    • For a day to count towards a student's streak, they must earn points prior to 11:59 PM ET. Also remember that streaks are only active for points gained within a single subject. For example, completing problems in Algebra 1 on Monday, and in Geometry on Tuesday and Wednesday will net you a one day streak in Algebra 1 and a two day streak in Geometry, not a three day streak.
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