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NSF Coaching : FAQ – Mathcounts
MATHCOUNTS Competition:
NSF MathCounts Coaching:
MathCounts Coaching Registration Process:
Registration Changes:
Coaching Classes Related:
Parents Contribution:

MATHCOUNTS Competition:

1. What is MATHCOUNTS?

MATHCOUNTS is a National Math Competition open for students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades. MATHCOUNTS reaches over 250,000 US middle school students with more than 125,000 competing in the MATHCOUNTS competition series. In the most recent MATHCOUNTS alumni survey from the respondents who competed in MATHCOUNTS at state level, the average SAT score for the three sections was 2194, which shows students who compete at this level not only excel at mathematics.
There are 4 rounds of MATHCOUNTS: School, Chapter, State and National. First the student participates in the School round and if gets selected advances to Chapter. From Chapter round, the top scoring team and the individuals advance to State round and from State, 4 top individuals will compete in Nationals representing their state. Generally, the School Competition takes place in January, Chapter in February, State in March, and the National Competition in May. More information about MATHCOUNTS competitions can be obtained from www.mathcounts.org.

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2. How can my child participate in MATHCOUNTS competition?

To participate in MATHCOUNTS, your child needs to start from the school. Check with your school if there is a coach who conducts the school level competition. From there he needs to advance to Chapter, State and Nationals.

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3. My child's school does not participate in MATHCOUNTS, what can be done about it?

You can talk to your school and conduct the MATHCOUNTS School Competition and take the top scoring students to the Chapter Competition. Sometimes, it may not be easy to convince the school management. Many schools don’t like to participate in just one specific competition as only very few kids can participate. Schools want to give opportunity to a large set of students. One way to approach this is to start a math club which meets once a week. This will allow any kid to participate in a weekly math learning activity. The club in addition to helping learn can expose the kids to many competitions including MATHCOUNTS, AMC 8, Math League etc.

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4. My child is home schooled, can he participate in MATHCOUNTS?

Yes, your child can still participate in MATHCOUNTS. An affidavit is available in the website www.mathcounts.org for the homeschool children. Prior to the Chapter Competition, it has to be filled and given to the chapter coordinator and if your child advances to the State Competition, it is forwarded to the state coordinator by the chapter coordinator. If he/she advances to national Competition, the affidavit is forwarded to the national office by the state coordinator.

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NSF MathCounts Coaching:

5. How does the online coaching work?

Students login into their NSF account using the student login credentials. In their View Status for Coaching page, there will be links to JOIN the class. You will join meeting using the web-address and dial in to the phone number provided for your class. You may also use computer-based audio if your internet speeds support good quality audio and your computer has microphone and speakers. The first half an hour of the class will be dedicated to going over difficult homework problems from previous week followed by discussion of new problems.

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6. What materials do we need to have in order to attend the online coaching?

This is an online class. You need a Computer, Computer Audio, Microphone and Telephone (with ability to mute).

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7. Is it mandatory for my child to participate in MATHCOUNTS competition if he/she attends coaching?

No, it is not compulsory to participate in the competition. If your child is interested to participate, he/she may register through their school. If not, your child can attend coaching just for math enrichment and improve accuracy and speed.

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8. What is the objective of NSF MathCounts coaching?

Several NSF students are winning top places in the Spelling Bee, Geography Bee, Brain Bee competitions year after year. Though there are many kids highly talented and skilled in Math, we want to see more NSF students representing and winning the MATHCOUNTS competition. So, we started a systematic coaching for this competition in 2009-10 and we saw few kids advancing to the National Competition and placing in top 50 places. We are hoping to see more NSF kids in the Nationals and winning the championship.

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9. For what grade levels is NSF MathCounts coaching available?

There are two streams of coaching:

  • NSF MathCounts coaching (6th - 8th grades, but high school students have taken the coaching in the past to sharpen their math skills and to practice speed)
  • NSF Pre-MathCounts coaching (3rd, 4th and 5th grades)

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10. What is Pre-MathCounts?

Pre-MathCounts is to generate enthusiasm and passion for math in kids. Another objective is to prepare 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students in math concepts and problem solving skills needed to compete and excel in MATHCOUNTS National competition during their 6th, 7th and 8th grades.

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11. What are the various NSF MathCounts coaching levels and the criteria to join those levels?

There are three levels Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. For details, refer to Mathcounts – Level Determination page

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12. How long are the NSF MathCounts and Pre-MathCounts coaching?

The coaching is 15 weeks long with 2 hours session each week (with the exception of holidays) starting around October every year.

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13. What do they actually learn in the coaching classes?

MATHCOUNTS releases handbooks every year. The students will solve the problems from those books and other similar problems. They may learn the underlying concepts of these problems and additional concepts that will be helpful to solve MATHCOUNTS problems.

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MathCounts Coaching Registration Process:

14. How do I register my child for the coaching classes?

Go to our website www.northsouth.org. Under US Login select Parent Login. Login with your parent ID. In the “Parent Functions” page, click on “Register for Coaching”. You may pick a coach based on your child’s level and the time that best suits you.

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15. How do I choose the coaching level and class for my child?

Again, please refer to Mathcounts – Level Determination page for NSF Mathcounts coaching level recommendations. There may be more than one coach available for your child’s level. You can pick a coach with most convenient time that will work for you.

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16. What is the cost of NSF coaching?

The registration fee for this coaching is $150, 2/3rd of which is tax deductible. In financial hardship cases, a waiver will be considered upon request.

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17. My child is in 5th grade. Can I register for MathCounts coaching?

No, only students in 6th grade and up can join this coaching.

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18. I cannot afford the registration fee for the course at this time. How can I register for coaching?

Please send an email to nsfmathcounts@northsouth.org describing the financial difficulty. We will go over your situation and let you know if your fee will be waived.

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19. The classes have already started. Can I still register?

No, once the registration is closed, you cannot register. It is first come, first served, so register at the earliest to ensure a seat for your child.

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20. If I choose a class for my child but not pay, am I reserving a spot in that class?

No, your registration is not complete until you pay. You will receive a confirmation email after you pay and complete the registration. Just choosing the appropriate class will not guarantee a spot for your child in that class.

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Registration Changes:

21. I registered my child, but I haven't yet received any communication...

Your child's coach will contact you few days before the beginning of the class. If you have to contact us on any important issue, send an email to nsfmathcounts@northsouth.org. Someone will contact you.

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22. How can I change class to a more convenient day and time?

Parents can change the classes themselves from the Parent Functions page, using “Change Coach” option, for up to two weeks after the coaching session starts, provided space is available. If you find another class for the level you want with a convenient day and time, you can go ahead and change yourself.

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23. Can I change the class level after I am registered?

Please read the answer for the last question. If space is available, you will be able to change in first two weeks.

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24. Change coach is grayed out. How can I change coach?

You are allowed to change the coach from the Parent Functions page up to two weeks after the coaching starts. Subsequently, this option is grayed out. Please send an email to nsfmathcounts@northsouth.org with the details and if the situation permits, we will accommodate your request.

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25. Can I get a refund if I cancel my coaching course?

Two-thirds of the registration fee you pay is tax-deductible and is used as a scholarship to help a poor child go to college in India. Coaching is done by all volunteers who give their time and effort for this noble cause. If you insist on getting a refund of your registration fee, NSF will do so only before the second coaching class. You can request a refund on the “Parent Functions” page after you do Parent Login in www.northsouth.org.

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Coaching Classes Related:

26. What do I do if my child is going to miss a class?

Please email your coach and get the materials that will be covered during that class. You can work them out at home. If you have any question in it, you can forward them to your coach and get it clarified.

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27. How does class participation work in the online class?

Parents are requested to ensure that their child participates in every class and is respectful of other students. Students should be discouraged from disruptive behavior such as writing on the shared whiteboard or chat window while the coach is teaching. Their phone should be set to mute setting unless they are called upon to speak.
Different students are at different levels so don’t let your child get overwhelmed or discouraged if some concepts are new to them.

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28. Can I get answers along with homework problems?

No, the coaches give just the problems for homework. The answers (not solutions) will be available for download from the NSF site after the homework due date. In the next class, these problems are discussed and the solution is provided. This will give an opportunity for the kids to try the problems on their own.

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29. Is it okay if I help my child with the homework?

Yes and No. No, do not jump right in and do the problems for your child. This will not give a chance for your child to do some deep thinking and be challenged. Yes, when a child is stuck with a problem you can give some hints for the child to think in the right direction and arrive at the answer.

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30. I am too busy with my work. Can I rely on the coach to take care of my child?

No. NSF Coaching is a good starting point in the right direction to prepare your child for the MATHCOUNTS competition. As we said earlier, coaches are volunteers and each coach has about 20 children to handle. So don’t rely solely on the NSF coaching for your child to win the competition.

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Parents Contribution:

31. As a parent, how can I help my child?

You can provide a quiet environment for your child to work every day especially during the online coaching session. Kids will be on the phone and on online session during the class, so a quiet, undisturbed place will help your child a lot. To fare well in MATHCOUNTS competition speed and accuracy are important skills to acquire. So every day practice in solving math problems will be helpful.

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32. How can I help in NSF Mathcounts and Pre-Mathcounts coaching?

You can volunteer to be a coach. You can send an email to nsfmathcounts@northsouth.org telling us your background, class timings you can teach and why you want to become a coach. Based on the needs and your background we will evaluate and assign you with a specific level.

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