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Mathfax tests analytical skills

Each year students from school districts around the country embark upon a test of scholastic confidence and mental composure within the realms of an invisible war of luck and logic. In short, this year’s Mathfax competition, which began on Nov. 6, is in full swing as students will practice on Nov. 27 for the Dec. 4 test.

Founded in the fall of 1996, Mathfax was created to “sharpen the participating students’ test-taking math skills that are needed to do well on college entrance exams,” according to the Mathfax website, www.educontest.com.

In addition to the rigors of the math curriculum, students find that although the tests prove extremely difficult they are surprised at the numerical knowledge that lay dormant in their brains.

“I didn’t realize I knew as much I did,” Jenny Ficklin, ’04, said. “When I took the Mathfax test I realized that regular math we learn in school can be applied to all kinds of problems that I thought I couldn’t do.”

High schools math teachers rely on the Mathfax tests to challenge students’ abilities and further prepare them for the dreaded SATs, PSATs, and various other college entrance exams.

“About 50% of test questions are similar to SAT questions,” Lonney Godfrey, head of math department, said. “It enhances test-taking skills in that you have time limits and students must go beyond regular thinking and really analyze the questions.”

A nationwide competition, Mathfax is organized into divisions according to school size. Each class then competes against classes of the same level and subject. Campus students compete in the private schools’ division against approximately 15 other schools.

“It gives our school recognition because we do so well every year,” Carolyn Simpson, ’03, said. “It is amazing that such a small school can have so much talent and the school should be recognized for that.”

Save the daunting lack of the throngs of students most schools hold, students have continually demonstrated mathematical excellence.

According to present test results available on Mathfax’s website, this year’s campus scores rank within the top five in each regular math class and the top four in each honors math class.

Although Mathfax testing proves to be taxing on students in light of an already superior math curriculum, students and teachers agree that the competitions eventually give students a mathematical advantage as they continue to further their education

The next Mathfax tests will be given on Dec. 4, Feb. 5, and Mar. 5.

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