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Tan Lapate ’22: United States of America Mathematical Olympiad
Dr. John Donovan

This spring, a number of Holderness School students have performed exceptionally well on several national mathematics competitions, with one student achieving a perfect score on an epic 15-question, three-hour exam – one of only four students in the country to do so.  

The American Mathematics Competition (AMC) is an annual national mathematics test sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).  There are two tests, the AMC 10 for students in tenth grade or earlier and the AMC 12 for eleventh and twelfth.  These tests are 75 minutes long and contain 25 multiple choice questions.  Students who perform exceptionally well on the AMC are invited to take the American Invitational Mathematics Exam (AIME), a 3-hour exam with 15 questions, described as “much more difficult than the AMC.”  Students who achieve at the highest levels on the AMC 12 in combination with the AIME, are invited to take the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO) examination.  The USAMO is a six question, nine-hour test that takes place over two days.

This year over 50,000 students – including 11 Holderness students – competed in the AMC test.  From that test, 4610 students were selected to take the AIME test, including three Holderness students – Evan Guan ’24, Sam Zhao '23, and Tan Lapate ’22.  Only a single Holderness student has qualified for the AIME in past years.

Tan Lapate scored a perfect score on the AIME test and was only one of four students (of 4610) to earn a perfect score.  This qualified Tan to compete in the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO), which took place during Spring Break.  Tan achieved the 4th highest score of the 290 who competed in the USAMO. Holderness gave Tan a standing ovation as Dr. Donovan stressed the magnitude of this moment,

"This is an incredible accomplishment, Tan is among the top handful of young high school mathematicians in the country.  I can’t wait to see what he will do at MIT!"

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