Every year, the Mathematical Association of America holds a series of competitions
evaluating students’ ability to apply concepts currently taught
in the classroom.
One such test is
AMC 8, which is taken by students in eighth grade and below in November of each
year. When the results were tallied and distributed in January, Village
Christian Middle School was well represented on the leaderboard.
Eighth grader Peter Wang took home a gold medal and was named to the AMC
8 Honor Roll for scoring among the top 2 percent of participants, while
seventh grader Johel Tutak won silver (top 6 percent), and seventh grader
John Riley Krieg and sixth grader Joshua Oh both earned bronze (top 20 percent).
“To qualify this achievement, it means that God is smiling down upon
what we do, blessing us and empowering us,” said VCS math teacher
Aaron Bergmann, who helped prepare the students for the competition. “This
means that our math program here at Village can stand up alongside any
other in the nation. It means that we are honoring our commitment to being
college bound from kindergarten.”
The multiple-choice test was made up of 25 questions. Students were given
40 minutes to complete the exam.
“It was really difficult but it was good because Mr. Bergmann helped
us in class,” Oh said. “I was surprised by my score. I didn’t
expect to do as well. I’m also the youngest grade level, so I was
The competition is open to all students in the United States, all U.S.
embassies, and Canadian and foreign school students and tests problem-solving
“[What I like about math is] you can do so many different things
with it like build buildings and make things fly that shouldn’t,”
To prepare, the students had two weeks to study AMC 8 tests from 2000 to
2010. But the real work was done years earlier, Bergmann said.
“The students had to have prepared for years beforehand in their
elementary math classes and then be placed into my honors class,”
he added. “I only had them for about three months by the time we
took the test, but the teachers that came before me have collectively
had a far greater effect.”
This was the third year VCS participated in the competition, and given
the students’ passion for math, there could be many more to follow.
“If you solve a problem it will make you feel very happy –
like you completed something hard,” said Wang, who also took the
AMC 10 test for high school sophomores and is currently studying pre-Calculus.
Krieg agreed. “I like the feeling when you finish a really hard problem.
It makes you want to run a mile and come back. It’s like, ‘Yes
I finished it!'”