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!
CARIBOU MATH CONTESTGrades K-12
The Caribou Mathematics Competition is a worldwide online contest that is held six times throughout the school year. Each of these days, contests are offered for each of the grade levels K/1, 2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10 and 11/12 in multiple languages.
The goals of this project are to:
- To improve students’ problem-solving techniques by providing a wide variety of challenging math activities suitable for all students in grades K-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 50 min to complete the test.
|Oct 19, 2022, 12:00 PM||Grades K/1, 2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12|
|Nov 23, 2022, 12:00 PM||Grades K/1, 2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12|
|Jan 18, 2023, 12:00 PM||Grades K/1, 2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12|
|Feb 15, 2023, 12:00 PM||Grades K/1, 2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12|
|Apr 5, 2023, 4:30 PM||Grades K/1, 2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12|
|May 3, 2023, 4:30 PM||Grades K/1, 2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12|
Contest Price: $30/single test, or $15/test for all tests
UW CEMC MATH CONTESTSGrades 7-12
The University of Waterloo develops and administers many internationally recognized contests to help inspire the next generation of students to develop an interest in and love for mathematics.
CSMC/CIMC (2 h): Nov 16, 2022, 10:30 AM
|Up to Grade 12|
|Pascal, Cayley, Fermat (60 min): Feb 27, 2023, 12:30 PM||Grades 9, 10, 11, respectively|
|Fryer, Galois, Hypatia (75 min): Apr 6, 2023, 12:00 PM||Grades 9, 10, 11, respectively|
|Gauss (60 min): May 17, 2023, 12:00 PM||Grades 7, 8|
Contest Price: $30/ test
UW CEMC COMPUTING CONTESTSGrades 5-12
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.
The Canadian Computing Competition (CCC) is a fun challenge for secondary school students with an interest in programming. It is an opportunity for students to test their ability in designing, understanding and implementing algorithms.
Approximately 20 of the top CCC Senior contestants classified as Canadian School Official are invited to the Canadian Computing Olympiad (CCO), held at the University of Waterloo. This week-long event involves workshops, a contest and other extra-curricular activities. It is also used to determine participation in the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI).
|BCC (45 min): Nov 9, 2022, 12:00 PM||
|CCC Junior/Senior (3 h): Feb 16, 2023, 12:00 PM||
Contest Price: $30/ test
CANADIAN MATHEMATICAL SOCIETY CONTESTSGrades K-12
The Canada Jay Mathematical Competition (CJMC) is the CMS’ newest Canadian math competition open to students in Grades K-8, with questions based primarily on Grade 5-8 curriculum. This competition has been created by mathematicians from across Canada. It was renamed in 2022 from the original name Canadian Mathematical Gray Jay Competition (CMGC) to match the renaming of the Canada Jay bird.
The problems are meant to be a fun fall activity for students and teachers to complement their math curriculum and build students’ problem-solving skills. The CJMC offers engaging problems that allow for discussion after the competition and get students excited about math. The competition has 15 questions which take place over 90 minutes. It consists of 3 blocks of 5 questions with an increasing level of difficulty from beginning to end.
The Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge (COMC) is Canada’s premier national mathematics competition open to any student with an interest in and grasp of high school math. The purpose of the COMC is to encourage students to explore, discover, and learn more about mathematics and problem-solving. The competition serves to provide teachers with a unique student enrichment activity during the fall term. It is the most prestigious math competition in Canada and one of the most prestigious in the Americas. The COMC is the only way to be invited to the CMS’ free, exclusive training camps and compete internationally as part of Math Team Canada!
Depending on their grade level and performance, students participating in the COMC will also have the opportunity to be considered for university scholarships, get invited to math camps, garner awards, and win prizes
|CJMC (90 min): Nov 17, 2022, 12:00 PM||Up to Grade 8|
|COMC (150 min): Oct 27, 2022, 12:00 PM||Up to Grade 12|
Contest Price: $50/ test
AMERICAN MATHEMATICS COMPETITIONS (AMC)Grades 8-12
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.
|AMC 8 (40 min): Jan 17, 2023, 12:00 PM||Up to Grade 8|
|AMC 10/12 A (75 min): Nov 10, 2022 12:00 PM||Up to Grade 10/12|
|AMC 10/12 B (75 min): Nov 16, 2022 1:30 PM||Up to Grade 10/12|
|AIME (by invitation)||Up to Grade 10/12|
Contest Price: $50/ test