The math contest is a local county-wide contest for 5-8th graders in Santa Cruz County. In its 51st consecutive year, the math contest offers students with both an individual test and team competition format. Students get certificates of completion and various prizes and awards for each winning candidate. Students who pass the math section of the Santa Cruz Local Arts & Crafts Festival will be eligible for taking the math fair exam, which is given annually. The festival is organized by the School District. It is held during the second weekend of February, at theodge College, a small, traditional school for the students of Santa Cruz.

Each participating student receives a handmade puzzle, a sheet of graph paper, and a copy of the new best mathematics book (if the book is brand new). The Canadian math contest is open to both boys and girls and is divided into two separate categories: the High School and the College Level. All students are to complete the following requirements before they become a contestant in the math contest. They must be prepared to answer test questions relating to mathematical concepts, including algebra, geometry, arithmetic, trigonometry, calculus, and quadratic equations; work with numbers other than digits (such as decimals, fractions, and percent signs); understand concepts like sorting and subtraction; and write a brief response to a math question.

Winning medals for each category are awarded at the end of the event. There are a few rules that apply to all math contests. Jewelry and picture frames, bags, boxes, and notebooks are among the prize items. For high school students, the medals will be redeemable towards a college degree through the Santa Cruz schools. Students who do not receive a medal are free to take the exam for another year.

The rules for winning a math contest are very simple, but the judging procedure can be a little bit tougher. Math instructors do not usually grade the problems themselves. Instead, they assign a specific point system for students based on how well they solve problems. There are usually only ten problems to solve for each category, and some middle-level questions may be added into the mix to increase the difficulty of the problems.

This year, organizers have added the high school students' version of the math contest to the Santa Cruz events. Students will have to solve at least fifty-five problems for each category, while winning a gold medal. Unlike the international mathematical Olympiad, there is no age limit for participation. All students can participate.

International math contests are much larger and are held annually. However, the math contests in Santa Cruz are much more modest, often only featuring one or two problems per day. International contests allow high school students to earn college credit as well. Many of these contests also incorporate written essays into their proceedings. The rules for participating in a Santa Cruz math contest are the same as those for any other contest.

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