How to Join UMTYMP

See the About UMTYMP page for information about the program, and the UMTYMP FAQ for general questions about admissions and eligibility. Each spring, students can apply to start UMTYMP in the fall, either in Algebra I or Calculus I. It is not possible to start in UMTYMP Algebra II, Geometry or Math Analysis (PreCalculus.)

Students in grades 7-10 who will have completed the "traditional" high school curriculum by the end of the school year (Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, PreCalculus with Trigonometry, or equivalent courses) can take our Calculus Qualifying Exam in May. Contact our office directly by mid-April to register for this exam.

The vast majority of students join UMTYMP in Algebra I.  Each year about 900 students apply to UMTYMP Algebra and take our Algebra Qualifying Exam; all students in grades 5-7 are eligible to take the exam. We generally accept about 150 students in the Twin Cities, and about 25 each in Duluth and Rochester. Usually, dates and registration information are posted on this page by mid-December each year.  However, this year, we ask that you please fill out this Google Form to be alerted when we have more information about the logistics of the Spring 2021 UMTYMP Qualifying Exams.

UMTYMP Algebra Qualifying Exam

Students who wish to begin UMTYMP Algebra in the fall must take the qualifying exam in the spring.

Registration for the qualifying exam costs $60 for the Twin Cities and Rochester sites, and $45 for the Duluth site. Scholarships for students with financial need are available. Please contact the office if the exam fee is a hardship.

Which Exam Should I take?  (Twin Cities Students)

In the Twin Cities, students who take an early exam (generally held in February or March) but do not qualify for UMTYMP may register to take a qualifying exam again (during the exam usually held in April).

General Testing Schedule (not applicable to 2021)

In February we hold a Practice Test and Orientation session. Students spend time with UMTYMP faculty, learn about the format of the exam, and then have an opportunity to take a short practice test in the same room in which they’ll take the actual qualifying exam the following week. Attendance at this session is not linked to higher test scores in the sense of learning new content, but some students benefit from the chance to become accustomed to the surroundings and the process before the actual exam.

The February exam is ONLY available for students who have not previously participated in this session. Students who do not qualify in February may take the exam again in April.

Students who are not eligible for the February exam, or who do not wish to attend the Practice Test and Orientation session, may register for the exam in March.  If they do not qualify for UMTYMP based on the early test results, they will have an opportunity to register for the April exam.

Information about the Exam

What is on the UMTYMP Algebra Qualifying Exam?

NEW: beginning in 2019, there will be additional components to the Algebra Qualifying Exam, but the main portion will consist of the traditional 50-question qualifying test. This 50-question test is a specialized aptitude examination built on pre-algebra mathematics knowledge. A good mastery of elementary and junior high school mathematics is expected, and innate problem-solving skills and strategies are essential. The exam stresses accuracy, understanding, and speed.

Two sample questions are shown below. In each problem, students are given two quantities, labeled (a) and (b), and are asked to determine whether:

  • (a) is greater than (b),
  • (b) is greater than (a),
  • they are equal, or
  • there is not enough information to say.

Speed is important on the exam; students have an average of 30 seconds to solve each of these questions.

Two Example Equations for the Qualifying Exam





How can I study for the Algebra Qualifying Exam?

It would be very difficult to study for the exam, since it measures speed and reasoning skills more than any particular area of mathematics. The most we can offer is the UMTYMP practice test sessions described above, in which students learn about the testing process and work with University faculty members to develop their reasoning skills and test-taking strategies. Experience has shown that this kind of information can reduce a student's anxiety about the test, which can (but may not always) lead to an increased score.