The Senior Challenge is aimed at all 16-19 year olds studying mathematics i.e. year 13 and below in England and Wales, year 14 and below in Northern Ireland and S6 and below in Scotland. It is also suitable for students who may no longer be studying mathematics but have completed their GCSE (or equivalent). The challenge involves answering 25 multiple choice questions in 90 minutes and is sat in school under normal exam conditions. Pupils fill in the answer sheet in B or HB pencil and the Challenge is marked by UKMT using an optical mark reader. We aim to return the results to schools by the end of November, but where we have a valid email address we will email the results even sooner.
Papers are posted to arrive two weeks before the challenge date. If your school has not received your papers a week before the Challenge date, please contact us without delay.
Questions from the Senior Challenge can be used as enrichment material in the classroom.
The top 60% of students nationally receive a gold, silver or bronze certificate in the ratio 1:2:3 and each institution receives a Best in School certificate. Top performing students are then invited to take part in follow on rounds and the very best can represent their country in the International Mathematical Olympiad. Around 1000 top scorers in the Senior Challenge are invited to take part in the British Mathematical Olympiad Round 1 and around 2000 are invited to take part in the Senior Kangaroo.
Sample past papers / Solutions
The Senior Challenge 2014 thresholds were:
Bronze 57-70 Silver 71-83 Gold ≥ 84 Kangaroo Qualifier ≥ 89 BMO1 Qualifier ≥ 101
Please note these are for guidance only; the thresholds are recalculated each year based on the national score distribution.
For more information please check frequently asked questions.
You may buy collections of past papers
For students with visual impairment:
We can provide challenge papers in large print or braille format. If you would like to take advantage of this please contact us before the closing date for the challenge. You can see an example of the large print paper here. We also have a limited supply of sample braille papers - please contact us for further details.