United Kingdom mathematics competitions

In the United Kingdom, there are 7 years of high school running from 7 to 13 (in England and Wales, years are named slightly differently in Scotland and Northern Ireland). Most mathematics competition are administered by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust

Junior Competitions (years 7 to 8)

There is a nationwide multiple choice paper open to all pupils in year 8 or below, called the Junior Mathematics Challenge, held in May each year. It has 25 questions, of which the last 10 are harder: and as such carry more marks, and the total number of marks available is 135. Contestants scoring above varying cut-off points are awarded bronze, silver or gold certificates. The top 1000 or so contestants are invited to take part in the Junior Mathematical Olympiad. The Junior Mathematical Olympiad has 5 Olympiad-style questions and 10 answer-only questions, and the paper is marked out of 60. High scorers can win bronze, silver or gold medals: in addition, the top 40 win book prizes.

Intermediate Competitions (years 9 to 11)

The nationwide multiple choice paper for this age group is identical (except for difficulty level) to that of the Junior Mathematics challenge. It is named the Intermediate Mathematics Challenge,and is held at the beginning of February. The top 400 in each year group enter an Olympiad paper, called the IMOK Cayley, IMOK Hamilton and IMOK Maclaurin for years 9,10,11 respectively. These papers consist of 6 Olympiad-type questions, marked out of a total of 60. Book prizes and invitations to the National Mathematics Summer School are awarded to high-scorers. The nest 1000 in each year group enter the European Kangaroo, a Europe-wide multiple choice *paper comparable to the Intermediate Challenge.

Senior Competitions (years 12 and 13)

The Senior Mathematical Challenge is a 25 question multiple choice paper open to all school-age students (so year 13 and below, though it is targeted at the oldest two years) in the country. It is usually held in the second week of November. The scoring system is slightly different from that of the two other Maths Challenges, and the paper is out of 125. Bronze, silver and gold certificates are awarded, and the top 1000 students are invited to take part in the first round of the British Mathematical Olympiad. (From 2006-7, other may enter at a price of £15). This is held at the beginning of December, and consists of 6 Olympiad-style questions. (As of 2005-6: before this point, there were 5 questions). The paper is marked out of 60, and the top 60 receive a book prize. After this, 100 students (selected on the basis of age and British citizenship, not just score) are invited to take part in the second round of British Mathematical Olympiad, which consists of 4 Olympiad-style questions and is marked out of 40. On the basis of this, 20 students are selected for training in preparation for the International Mathematics Olympiad.

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