When our students sit the UK Senior Mathematical Challenge in November, the top 20% get either a silver or a gold certificate. Two-thirds get a silver; one-third (i.e. the top 7% of candidates who sat the paper) get a gold certificate. Those who get a gold are automatically entered for the follow-on Senior Kangaroo Challenge, which takes place in December. We had six who qualified.
The top 25% who sit the Kangaroo get a Certificate of Merit. The rest get a Certificate of Qualification, for having earned the right to sit it. Of our six, four achieved a Merit, which means they placed in the top 2% of mathematicians in the country for their problem-solving skills.
The Kangaroo Challenge is a 60-minute paper with 20 questions. Unlike the Senior Maths Challenge, the questions aren’t multi-choice. Each of the problems requires careful thought and sound logical reasoning as well as accurate calculation without the aid of a calculator. Each answer is a 3-digit number.