AIME Qualifier

What is AIME and why should I qualify for it?

There are many math competitions in the United States.  Of those, only AMC → AIME → USAMO sequence would take you to the IMO (International Math Olympiad), the highest level math competition for high school students in the world.  The first step, AMC, is easy.  Anyone can take it.  However, scoring high enough to move on to the second step, AIME, is not easy.  In 2011, only 2703 students were invited to AIME out of total xyz numbers.  Considering there are over 35,000 high schools in the United states, on average fewer than one in 10 high schools can produce an AIME invitee.

If you want to be seen as “good in math,” you should be good enough to be invited to AIME.  Getting an A in your math class is just too common.  Every school has tons of A math students.  Fewer than one in ten can have an AIME student.  MIT asks you to fill in your AIME score in their application form.  They know your A in school math does not mean much.

If you are aiming to go to one of the top universities, take a look at this: A Perspective on Math Education for Top Students

What about other math competitions?

There are many other important math competitions.  However, you will find out that there is only one math, and preparing for this AMC → AIME is the requirement for all of them.  In addition, other competitions often require you to present your AMC or AIME score to qualify yourself to join the team or to take the test.

Why is this called “AIME Qualifier,” not “AIME”?

This “Qualifier” course is for those who have never made it to AIME to go over that hump and become qualified.  On the other hand, “AIME” course is for those who are already at AIME level to score even higher.

What score do I need to get to be invited to AIME?

  1. If you take AMC 10, you need to get 120 points (roughly 20 correct out of 25 problems).
  2. If you take AMC 12, you need to get 100 points (roughly 16 correct out of 25 problems).
    • Both AMC 10 and 12 are scored by giving 6 points for correctly answered questions, 1.5 for blank ones and zero for wrong answers.  Thus, 6 × 25 = 150 is the perfect score for both exams.

How is this course taught?

This course is taught as a live class via the Internet.  Using WebEx software and webcams, you will see and talk to the teacher and your classmates as if everyone is in the same room.  This means you can take this course from anywhere in the world with the Internet access.

All classes are recorded and provided to students for download/replay.  By downloading them, you can keep and review the lectures indefinitely.

We also offer pre-recorded lectures we call e-Learning.  These are lectures are short (under 5 minutes) and to the point without any distractions.  These lectures also use animations and simulations extensively to make understanding intuitive and instinctive.  A large part of teaching will be done by this e-Learning and students are expected to study them before joining the class.

Tell me more about your office hours.

James Choi will hold office hours for his students at least two to three times a week.  It will be held online via WebEx, the same way the classes are taught.  Students can drop by to ask questions.  The date and time will be announced on your course page.

Sabio participates in HMMT every year.  If I take this course, will I make it to the Sabio team?

Under two conditions.  1. If you are a top 8 among all Sabio students (homework and test grades) and 2. Sabio Academy gets accepted to participate in 2014 HMMT.

Sabio Academy has been participating in HMMT every year since 2010.  (First in Algebra in 2010, Sixth in Algebra/Geometry in 2011, and 4th in Geometry in 2013).  However, our participation is not guaranteed and we must re-apply every year.

Can I go to other math competitions?

Sabio Academy will only go to HMMT.  However, we will coach some select students to form, train and take their own team to other competitions.  Please inquire about the details.

Will there be homework?

Most definitely.  Some will be online homework that is automatically graded, others will be graded manually.

How many hours per week do I need to spend to study for this course?

We expect students to spend from 2 to 3 hours a week on their own to study.  This does not include class time or office hours.

What are the requirements for this course?

  1. You must have a headset communicate with the teacher.
  2. You must have a tablet to write during the class
  3. You must have a webcam (any of these models will work) to show your attitude to the teacher and classmates.
  4. You should be able to get near 100 on AMC 10 or near 80 in AMC 12.  If never took one, we will proctor a test to evaluate you.  If you score lower than that, we have other math competition courses.

Who is teaching this course?

The instructor is James Choi.

Do you use any textbook?

These are not required but recommended books.  These are books that all math students should have on their shelf anyway, not for just this course but for their future studies.  We will use PDF file hand out of the book that James Choi is writing.

When does the course start?

Contact the Sabio office.

How much is the tuition?

3 Payments of $880 each = $2640  (if paid 2 weeks before the start day)
3 payments of $990 each = $2970  (afterwards)

How do I enroll in this course?

  1. (Only if this is your first Sabio course) Fill out this form and pay $50 registration fee to create your ID/password in our database.
  2. Make sure you checked all the requirements above, then make an appropriate payment below by clicking the session of your choice.
  3. Installment 2 If paid before TBD $880 Afterwards $990
  4. Installment 3 If paid before TBD $880 Afterwards $990
  5. Upon receipt of the payment(s), you will be enrolled in AIME Qualifer course on our course page.


  1. Number Theory 7 sessions
  2. Counting and Probability 7 sessions
  3. Geometry 9 sessions
  4. Algebra 7 sessions

Our other math competition courses