Benefits and Challenges of Writing Math Contests

There a number of benefits of writing Math contests (or other contest for that matter). Some of these benefits are outlined below:

  • The major benefit of having your child participate in a contest is that it causes them to put focused attention on the topic and thus reap the associated benefits. Devoting time and effort to a subject allows your child to become more competent in the material.
  • Contests stimulate your child’s interest in the topic.
  • Math contests encourage your child to value intellectual pursuits.
  • Contests help prepare your child for life to come. Much of our society is competitive in nature, for example, competing for jobs, university placements, resources, etc. Competition teaches your child to deal with success and failure, and the pressures of competition.

There are however also some challenges that you should be aware of when considering a contest for your child:

  • The quality of the contest. Look into whether the contest is reputable and well designed. A good contest focuses on the ability to think about and solve complex problems.
  • Another factor to consider is your child’s ability and the level of the contest. While contest can provide a target for improvement, content that is well beyond the child’s ability can be demotivating and discouraging. Keep in mind however, that contests are designed to be challenging to allow top students to be identified. So seemingly low scores may actually place your child in comparatively high percentiles worldwide.
  • Lastly, students may ‘label’ their abilities based on results of contests. This can cause them to become complacent or demotivated. It is important to remind your child that learning is an ongoing process.

When practicing for contests, remember to keep the environment fun and motivating!



Register for a contest today!


The Caribou Mathematics Competition is a world wide online contest that is held six times throughout the school year. Each of these days, five contests are offered, one for each of the grade levels 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10 and 11/12 and each one in English, French and Persian.

The goals of this project are to:

  • To improve student’s problem solving techniques by providing a wide variety of challenging math activities suitable for all students in grades 3-12.
  • Motivate students to get back to their school math when a question needed a technique or formula which they did not remember.
  • Show that mathematical puzzles can be fun and that competing in math contests with interactive questions is exciting.

Cash prizes are given out to the top performing students and schools in the Caribou Cup. Additionally, contest and Caribou Cup certificates can be printed after each test is marked.

Students are given 60 min to complete the test.

Date Grades
Oct 16, 2019, 9:30-10:30 AM Grade 2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12
Nov 13, 2019, 9:30-10:30 AM Grade 2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12
Jan 15, 2020, 9:30-10:30 AM Grade 2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12
Feb 26, 2020, 9:30-10:30 AM Grade 2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12
Apr 8, 2020, 9:30-10:30 AM Grade 2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12
May 6, 2020, 9:30-10:30 AM Grade 2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12

Contest Price: $30/single test, or $15/test for all tests

Register for a contest today!



Prepared by the Mathematics Contest Center, which prepares some of the top mathematics competitions in North America, the Mathematica Centrum offers the following contests to students in Grades 3-9.

  • Thales (Grade 3, 45 min)
  • Byron-Germain (Grade 4, 45 min)
  • Fibonacci (Grade 5, 50 min)
  • Pythagoras (Grade 6, 75 min)
  • Euler (Grade 7, 75 min)
  • Lagrange (Grade 8, 75 min)
  • Newton (Grade 9, 75 min)
Date Grades
 April 22, 2020, 9:00 -10:15 AM (Registration Deadline Jan 20, 2020) Grade 3 – 9

Contest Price: $50/test

Register for a contest today!



The Math League Contest is a highly regarded contest formed in 1977 by two award winning mathematicians.

The following contests are offered to students in Grades 3-9.

  • Grade 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • High School
  • Algebra Course 1 (High School)
Date Grades
Oct 15, 2019, 9:00-9:30 AM
Nov 12, 2019, 9:00-9:30 AM
Dec 10, 2019, 9:00-9:30 AM
Jan 7, 2020, 9:00-9:30 AM
Feb 11, 2020, 9:00-9:30 AM
Mar 17, 2020, 9:00-9:30 AM
High School
Feb 25, 2020, 9:00-9:30 AM (Registration Deadline Jan 20, 2020) Grade 6, 7, 8
Apr 15, 2020, 9:00-9:30 AM (Registration Deadline Jan 20, 2020) Grade 4, 5, Algebra 1

Contest Price: $50/single test, or $15/test for 6 High School tests

Register for a contest today!



The University of Waterloo develops and administers many internationally recognized contests to help to inspire the next generation of students to develop an interest in and love for mathematics.

Date Grades
CSMC/CIMC: Nov 20, 2019, 9:00-11:00 AM Up to Grade 12
Pascal (G9), Cayley (G10), Fermat (G11): Feb 25, 2020, 9:00-10:00 AM (Registration Deadline Feb 3, 2020) Grade 9, 10, 11
Fryer (G9), Galois (G10), Hypatia (G11): Apr 15, 2020, 9:00-10:15 AM (Registration Deadline Feb 3, 2020) Grade 9, 10, 11
Gauss (G7/8): May 13, 2020, 9:00-10:00 AM (Registration Deadline Feb 3, 2020) Grade 7, 8

Contest Price: $30/ test

Register for a contest today!


Also developed and administered by the University of Waterloo, the Beaver Computing Challenge (BCC) introduces computer science to students. It is designed to get students with little or no previous experience excited about computing.

Date Grades
Nov 13, 2019, 9:00-9:45 AM Grade 5-10

Contest Price: $30/ test

Register for a contest today!


Developed by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), The American Mathematics Competitions (AMC’s) are a series of examinations and curriculum materials that build problem-solving skills and mathematical knowledge in middle and high school students. The first contest took place almost 70 years ago and the AMC’s continue to be prestigious contests in the United States. Although the first of a series of tests used to determine the United States team for the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), the AMC’s welcome Canadian participants.

The AMC 8 is a 25-question, 40-minute, multiple choice examination in middle school mathematics. Possible topics include but are not limited to: counting and probability, estimation, proportional reasoning, elementary geometry including the Pythagorean Theorem, spatial visualization, everyday applications, and reading and interpreting graphs and tables. In addition some of the later questions may involve linear or quadratic functions and equations, coordinate geometry, and other topics traditionally covered in a beginning algebra course.  Students who are in grade 8 or below and under 14.5 years of age on the day of the competition are eligible to participate in the AMC 8.

The AMC 10 and AMC 12 are both 25-question, 75-minute, multiple choice examinations in high school mathematics designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem-solving skills. The AMC 10 is for students in 10th grade and below, and covers the high school curriculum up to 10th grade. Students in grade 10 or below and under 17.5 years of age on the day of the contest can take the AMC 10. The AMC 12 covers the entire high school curriculum including trigonometry, advanced algebra, and advanced geometry, but excluding calculus. Students in grade 12 or below and under 19.5 years of age on the day of the contest can take the AMC 12.

Date Grades
AMC 8: Nov 12, 2019, 9:00-9:40 AM Up to Grade 8
AMC 10/12: Jan 30, 2020 and/or Feb 5, 2020, 9:00-10:15 AM (Registration Deadline Jan 27, 2020) Up to Grade 10/12

Contest Price: $50/ test

Register for a contest today!


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