47 mathematicians took part in the Senior Mathematics Challenge earlier this month with great success. 33 of the students gained certificates, with nine qualifying for the follow-on Kangaroo Challenge, placing them among the top 6,600 sixth form mathematicians nationally, and one being invited to sit the British Mathematical Olympiad. The senior mathematics challenge is a national competition open to 16-18 year-olds from state and independent schools and colleges alike, which takes place early in November each year. Students are faced with 25 baffling, multi-choice questions covering a range of areas of mathematics based on GCSE knowledge. QMC students have entered the competition every year, pitting their wits against the country’s best contemporary brains. This year, 10 students gained Gold awards, qualifying for the even-more-tricky Kangaroo Challenge and, in the case of top performer, William McDade, for entry into the Olympiad, placing him in the top 1,000 mathematicians in the UK. Both of these later rounds took place last week and students are eagerly awaiting news of their results. Success in the Olympiad ultimately leads to the opportunity to represent the UK in international competition.
A further 13 students gained Silver awards and 10 will receive Bronze certificates for their achievements in the competition. These results are among the College’s best in recent years and will help our young mathematicians to secure places at top universities. The UK Mathematical Trust which runs the competition is supported by the higher education sector and business, with problem-solving skills highly prized by universities and employers. All of these competitions test numerical skills as well as their geometry and algebra; calculators are not permitted. The Kangaroo Challenge is a one-hour test and the BMO1 Olympiad consists of 6 highly complex problems and lasts for a gruelling three-and-a-half hours. David Smith, Director of Learning in Mathematics, was delighted with the results. “We are very proud of our students’ achievements again this year. We wish William and the other nine first and second year students who qualified for the follow-on competitions all the best when they receive their results from the latest rounds.”