Redwood MS

Registration for Toga Junior Math Club has ended. Please view the announcements for information regarding test day. The first test takes place on September 6th.

This page is no longer updated; please instead check the Togamath home page or send us an email with any questions.

When: Tuesdays, 7pm-8:30pm (September 2015 to March of 2016)

Where: rooms in Saratoga Math Quad (download map)

Cost: Math Club (lessons & test) $300/student; Test Only (AMC-8 & Math Olympiad) $50/student

Math Club Team Type

Redwood students are placed into different teams based on their math experience: 

  •  Black Team  is for advanced students who are adept at solving middle school and high school math contest problems.  We will address some college-level concepts as well.  If you LOVE interesting math problems, this is the place to be. 
  •  Blue Team  consists of intermediate students who have some past experience with math contests, and are comfortable with middle school math contests.  We will focus more on fundamental competition topics and some harder high school topics.
  •  Green Team  is for beginners who are interested in contest math but still have a lot to learn.  We will not cover any basic middle school topics in algebra and geometry.  Students will be expected to have a strong understanding of these topics. 

Mathcounts Team and Individual Qualification

Highest scoring mathletes in lesson and test track, regardless of their team placement, will be chosen to represent Redwood Middle School as either Team Members or as Individuals based off of a two part selection process. First, the top 12 individuals will be selected based purely off of their performance on the AMC 8, HS CaML* (the first three), Selection Exams, and the Mathcounts School round. Indexes will be created and assigned according to the following formula:


    ktest = 6, 2, 3, 6  for AMC 8, HS CaML, Selection Exams, and Mathcounts School round respectively, 
    scoretest = the student's score for that test
    µtest = the mean black team score on that test, and
    σtest = the standard deviation of black team scores on that test.

In other words, the higher a student is from the average, the higher their index will be, with each test being weighed equally in total.

The students with the highest 12 indexes will then be selected, with ties broken by the HS CaML tests*. These top 12 individuals must commit to practicing throughout the entirety of their Christmas vacation. If a student cannot commit, he or she must forfeit his or her spot to the next best candidate. 

Throughout these practices, the top 12 individuals will be observed with no bias given towards previous scores or even the cumulative index that distinguished them. They will be divided into the four team members, six individuals, and two alternates strictly according to the adviser's discretion based off of practice performance AND teamwork capability

Making decisions

All decisions regarding placement of students and curriculum of Redwood Math Club math club are strictly made by the high school coaches and ultimately okayed by the club adviser.  All placement decisions are initiated by the coaches and the advisor.  

Other Factors

In very few occasions, we do use our judgement for students in the gray area. In these cases, all coaches are given the names of the student that are in the bubble so that they can pay particular attention for students' behavior, constructive role, and other intangibles in the class. Some students in the bubble can be promoted based on an individual coach's recommendation followed by confirmation from remaining coaches who have had the chance to observe the said student in comparison to the rest of the students in the bubble and the entire classroom. Once the agreement is reached, I give the final okay only after I feel comfortable with the reasons for promotion.

Outside Contests

Classroom learning behavior, constructive participation, and the results outside contests (Mathleague, Berkeley Mini Math Tournament , and others) are used as an extra data points in making the decision.  Because these are voluntary contest that not all students take, the results from the outside voluntary contests will NOT be used directly to rank students. Once again, cumulative scores are used to identify the possible candidates for movement between the group.  High school coaches and I use these information as extra data points to help us in making an informed decision, but are not used directly in the cumulative score.

Transparency vs Privacy

While some may wish for us to publish the full results of individual scores, this will not happen as I need to balance the privacy of individual students.

Frequently Asked Questions new!!

Who is eligible to take placement test?

Any registered Redwood Middle School student (6th, 7th, and 8th) wanting to join the Redwood Math Club.

What does the Placement Test cover?

Since math club is designed for self motivated students, the student must be familiar with all appropriate contest material, including Algebra and Geometry.  Some questions will require a justification to the answer.

The Placement Test will also be comprised of questions of difficulty similar to that of Math Olympiad for Elementary and Middle School, MS  & HS CaML, AMC-8 and -10, and include some questions from AIME.  You can obtain past contests of AMC-8, -10, and AIME from web-site.

Where can I find study materials?

The Internet.  AMC-8, AMC-10, AIME, JMO, and other Olympiad materials can be found in Art of Problem Solving web-site.  Math Olympiad materials can be found by visiting You can find many contests and their solution floating out there.

Can I get a copy of the previous placement exam?

Yes. 2013-14 and 2014-15 placement test are on this site under pages 2013-14 Placement and 2014-15 Placement.

When is the placement test given?

Usually on the last Tuesday of August or the first Tuesday of September after school.  Testing site will be announced.

What should I bring to the placement test?

Please bring multiple pencils, erasers, straight edge, and a wrist watch (without a calculator).  Bring your own facial tissue if you have the sniffles.  No electronic device will be permitted.  Scratch paper will be provided.

What should I do if I need help during the placement test, or test in general?

Sorry, but proctors can't do the problems for you.  Proctors cannot answer any question about the specifics of any test problems.  If you're bothered by disruptive behavior by another student, please simply get proctors attention.  

Focus strictly on your test. 

What if I get sick or otherwise cannot come to the placement test? Is there a second placement test?

No.  You get a single opportunity.  Don't miss the test.

How do I know if I qualify for the math club?

We will post the result on this web-page about a week after the placement test.

How are qualifying scores determined?

Black and Blue group is determined strictly by the placement score from highest to the lowest from 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. Then, Green (and Yellow) group is chosen from best scores from remaining 6th and 7th graders.

What do I do once I register for the math club?

Parents can register their mathlete(s) through LGS Recreation once we forward the list of eligible students to LGS Recreation.  

Qualified students (not parents) will receive the instruction to join 2015-16 Redwood Math Club via Schoology.  Students will receive the access code with a direction.

How will I be notified of the contest results during the school year?

You can find your contest results in Schoology.  Additionally, Schoology will be used to communicate with Redwood mathletes.  Parents can use their student's account to see their mathlete's progress.  

Is the initial team placement permanent?

No.  After the initial placement, mathletes can be moved to different team based on subsequent performance on contests, selection tests, and the quality of your performance math club lessons.  Your parents will be notified by a parent coordinator after Mr Yim makes the decision.  Mr. Yim will not respond to any request to change to higher level team.

What do I do if I don't qualify for Redwood math club, but am still interested in doing math contests?

You can sign up for test-only option.  The space is limited.  Test-only students are allowed to take AMC-8, Math Olympiad, and MS CaML.

PJ Yim,
Sep 17, 2013, 9:02 PM
PJ Yim,
Nov 2, 2011, 9:03 PM