On November 15, junior Addison Neuen competed in the American Mathematics Competition (AMC) and advanced to the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME). The competition begins when ten students from PHS with the highest Calculus grades are selected to complete a multiple choice test called the AMC 12. Neuen is among the 5% of students who progressed to AIME. 

Neuen explained that when he heard the great news, he was in shock. “When Mr. Peters first told me that I had qualified, I actually believed that he was joking,” he remarked.

Neuen noted that preparation for the rigorous testing involved working diligently in all of his math classes. He explained that he has never skipped out any homework assignments and makes sure that he completes any extra material given as well. “All of this repetition ensured that the knowledge was fully ingrained in my brain and that I would never forget it,” he said. “This was certainly required for success on the AMC test.”

The long hours of work are far from over, however. The next level of testing is the United States of America Mathematics Olympiad, in which select students who scored the highest on the previous two exams combined participate. From there, only six students are chosen to join the Olympiad team. 

“What I believe helped me along the way was my open mindedness, positive attitude and persistence when it came to taking the first test,” said Neuen, offering advice to remember the importance of an open mind. “Even if you do not know a conventional way to answer a question, think of some type of logic that you do know in order to work out the problem. Don’t give up.”

Story by Lily Saylor