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Frequently Asked Questions

Individual Maths Challenges - Information for Teachers

Q. My school cannot sit the challenge on the specified day. Can we sit it on any other day?
A. Challenges may NEVER be sat before the specified day.
If your pupils sit the Challenge AFTER the specified day we will only mark your scripts if they are received by us within a week of the official Challenge date. Under these circumstances we will tell you the scores, but will not issue Challenge certificates. We are happy for schools to issue their own certificates provided it is clear that they are not official UKMT ones. At our discretion, we may allow pupils with a qualifying score to proceed to the follow on round.
We will only reconsider the awarding of certificates under very exceptional circumstances e.g. school destroyed by fire.

Q. Is eligibility for the challenges based on age or school year?
A. School year.

Q. I haven't yet received my Challenge question papers. What should I do?
A. Provided we have received your entry form with either cheque payment or an official school purchase order, all Challenge papers are posted to arrive in schools at least one week before the Challenge date. Please check that the school finance office has paid or sent an official purchase order, then contact UKMT asap. Note that Challenge papers are large packages, and as such will generally not fit in pigeon holes.

Q. How do we obtain past papers and solutions?
A. Most recent past papers are available on our front page. Downloadable pdfs containing past papers and solutions can be purchased via our website, or books such as Ten Years of Maths Challenges. See the publications section of our website for ordering details. We cannot take orders for publications over the telephone.

Q. If we have more participants than we paid for on Challenge day, can we submit photocopies?
A. No. The Optical Mark Reader which marks pupils' scripts cannot read photocopies, so we are unable to accept these. Extra students cannot be paid for retrospectively. Any extra candidates would be sitting the Challenge unofficially, would be ineligible for UKMT awards, and would have to be marked in school.

Q. What happens if completed scripts get lost or delayed in the post?
A. This happens from time to time so please keep either photocopies or scans of your pupils' scripts. If the worst comes to the worst, these can be marked in school. We strongly recommend that you don't use a Royal Mail Signed For service as this doesn't seem to work well on a large campus.

Q. I thought I had entered the Challenge, but I keep receiving marketing literature.
A. An entry is registered once we receive an entry form with either cheque payment or an official purchase order. Very occasionally, things go astray in the post. Please contact us if your entry has definitely been sent.

Q. Please can you contact me to confirm you have received my Challenge entry?
A. If you provide us with a valid email address on the entry form, we will automatically send a confirmation email once your Challenge entry has been received and processed.

Q. I have spoilt a UKMT certificate. Can I get a replacement?
A. We are happy to replace certificates free of charge. Please return your spoilt certificate to the UKMT, along with a stamped addressed envelope, and we will send you a replacement by return.

Q. Can pupils whose first language is not English use dictionaries?
A. Bi-lingual paper dictionaries are acceptable, as long as they are not part of a volume that also contains mathematical information, or handwritten mathematical notes. Electronic dictionaries are not acceptable.

Q. Are blind or partially sighted pupils able to take the challenge?
A. Braille and Large Print papers are available if ordered before the closing date. Please contact us specifying your requirements.

Q. What about pupils with special needs?
A. Pupils with a statement can have whatever additional provision is specified for examinations e.g. extra time, a reader etc. Generally speaking, if a pupil normally has special provisions made for them during formal school exams we will allow the same for the Challenges and their follow-ups – contact us if in doubt.

Q. Are all UK schools/colleges/tutorial colleges eligible to take part?
A. Schools can only register to participate in the UKMT Maths Challenges (including the TMC) if they are registered with, and inspected by, the relevant UK government inspectorate. (OFSTED in England; The Education and Training Inspectorate in Northern Ireland; Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education in Scotland; and Estyn in Wales.) Pupils must be full-time students at the establishment, and in Year 13 or below.

Q. Can non-UK schools take part?
A. We are currently accepting entries from non-UK schools who are already registered as UKMT Centres; there is an additional cost, which will be specified on the entry forms sent to non-UK schools, to cover the additional postage and administration costs.
We are not currently accepting new non-UK registrations. In order to deal with the increasing level of overseas demand for our competitions we would need to devise new procedures and we are working on this as quickly as we can.
We advise interested non-UK schools to contact us again in September by which time we hope to have an updated policy.
We regret any disappointment, however we must take this action now to ensure a sustainable and straightforward entry procedure for all schools.

Team Maths Challenges

Q. Which age groups are eligible for the Team Maths Challenge (TMC)?
A. The TMC is designed for pupils in Year 8 and Year 9 (England and Wales), S1 and S2 (Scotland) and Year 9 and Year 10 (Northern Ireland). Teams should include no more than two pupils from the upper age group. You may include younger students in your team if you wish, but please be aware that the questions are aimed at the age groups stated. There is also a Senior Team Maths Challenge for pupils in Years 11, 12 and 13.

Q. Our school finishes at Year 8 or starts at Year 9 (in England). Can we pair up with another school to field a team of Year 8 and Year 9 pupils?
A. Yes you can, subject to the usual rule that there can be no more than two Year 9 pupils in a team. For administrative purposes we need to receive a single entry form and full payment from one lead school, with the name of the other contributing school (and contact teacher) in the space provided on the entry form.

Q. How many pupils are in a team? Can I bring additional pupils to act as reserves?
A. Teams should comprise no more than four students. Reserves and substitutions are not permitted.

Q. How many teams can I enter?
A. Due to the popularity of the competition and the fact that many venues reach capacity, there is a limit of one team per school to allow as many schools and colleges as possible to participate.

Q. When is the final deadline for entries?
A. Please try to enter by the start of December (so we can plan numbers for materials and catering). However, several heats fill up earlier than that, so we recommend you enter as soon as possible, after checking dates, venues and availablity in the Team Challenge Venues section of our website. We cannot allocate your team to a venue or 'reserve' you a place until we have received your entry form with cheque or official school purchase order.

Q. What are my payment options?
A. When returning your entry form, you can either include a cheque (if paying in advance) or an official school purchase order, in which case we will send an invoice to your school finance office, payable via cheque or BACS. We are unable, at this point, to accept credit or debit cards.

Q. I have sent off my entry form to the UKMT. What happens next?
A. Once your entry form (with cheque or official school purchase order) has been received, we will send you:
1) Within a fortnight of receipt of entry: Email confirmation of your Regional Final date and venue (including a venue risk assessment).
2) At least a month before your Regional Final: Full instructions and event details (including timings, maps and directions) and a template letter for requesting parental permission. This information (previously sent by post) is now sent by email. Please ensure you include a valid email address on your entry form.
3) 1-2 weeks before your Regional Final: Reminder postcard.

If any of the above information does not reach you within the timescales indicated, please contact us (preferably via email) and we will resend it. If you are not the person who will be accompanying your school's team on the day, please pass on the instructions and event details to the relevant colleague.

Q. I have misplaced my copy of the event details/risk assessment etc. How can I get another copy?
A. Please contact us via email to request another copy.

Q. When will the Regional Finals take place?
A. The Regional Finals will take place between mid/late February and the end of April at venues across the UK. A full list of dates and venues will be available in the Team Challenge Venues section of our website from early October. The National Final will be held on Monday 17 June 2019 at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London.

Q. At what time will the event start and finish?
A. Regional Finals take place during the school day and typically run from 10.00/10.15am to around 3.00pm, although some will start and finish slightly earlier depending on local circumstances. The start and finish times of your Regional Final will be confirmed with the event details emailed to you after you enter your team.

Q. Do pupils have to wear school uniform?
A. Many do come in uniform, but we leave this entirely up to you. Your pupils may wish to bring trainers to wear during the Relay round and for some venues this is compulsory (this will be indicated in the email giving full event details if so).

Q. Will lunch be provided?
A. A sandwich lunch will be provided for one supervising teacher per team. As the competition is heavily subsidised and we want to keep the entry fee as low as possible, we are unable to also provide lunch for pupils (except at the National Final), who should therefore bring their own lunch and refreshments.

Q. Can I bring an additional teacher?
We appreciate that some institutions require that a minimum of two adults accompany their team. As we can only cater for one teacher per team, any additional teachers should bring their own lunch and refreshments.

Q. Can a colleague take over from me at lunchtime if I need to go back to school?
We start the morning with an important briefing session explaining in detail what teachers will be required to do for the delivery and marking of each round, which someone arriving at lunchtime would miss. We therefore ask that the teacher who attends the briefing is available to stay for the whole event.

Q. Can parents come along to watch our Regional Final?
A. Due to safeguarding and space restrictions at venues we cannot accommodate spectators.

Q. Can I change my original choice of venue?
A. Yes, provided there is still a place available at the venue to which you wish to change. Please check venue availability in the Team Challenge Venues section of our website and then contact us, giving as much advance notice as possible. If a place is available, we will then email you confirmation and details of your new venue.

Q. I would like to withdraw my team from the competition. What should I do?
A. Please let us know, giving as much notice as possible (we may then be able to reallocate your place to another team). If you are forced to withdraw on the day of the event, please telephone the UKMT rather than contacting the venue directly - we will then pass on the message to the relevant person at the venue. With advance withdrawals, we can issue a full refund of the £37 entry fee provided that you are able to give at least one month's notice prior to the date of the Regional Final you were due to attend. If you withdraw after this time (or fail to show up on the day) and your payment is still outstanding, you will still be required to pay for the place to cover costs already incurred (e.g. administration, materials and catering).


Q. Can we pay by BACS or credit card?
A. If you send us an official purchase order with your entry form we will send you an invoice giving the necessary details for making payment by BACS and:
SMC, IMC, JMC – we will register your entries and send email confirmation in the usual way (please ensure there is a valid email address on your entry form).
TMC – we will allocate you a place and send you confirmation of your Regional Final date and venue.
Publications ordered with entries – will be posted.

We can accept credit or debit card payment only for publications and only via the website.

Q. I paid by personal cheque. Can you send me a receipt?
A. We do accept personal cheque payments and we will provide a receipt for you to claim the money back from your school. Please write on your entry form or enclose a brief note with your payment asking us to send you a receipt.

Information for Parents

Q. Can home schooled pupils take the challenges?
A. Challenges must be taken in a school or college. Parents will need to contact their local school to ask if they participate in the Challenges, and make arrangements locally for their child to take part at this school.

Q. How do I find out how my child performed in the recent Maths Challenge?
A. Please contact your child's maths department directly. All results are posted to schools as quickly as possible after the event, and our latest news should indicate when results are posted to schools. Please note that certificates arrive some time after the results.

Q. My child is an excellent mathematician. Do you have any additional resources for him/her?
A. The UKMT runs mentoring schemes for the very able mathematicians. Further information and past questions can be downloaded. Please speak with your child's maths teacher if you would like them to participate. Alternatively, a variety of publications are available which may be of interest.

Publishing of UKMT material

Q. Can we copy/publish UKMT materials?
A. See our Policy on the use of UKMT intellectual property.


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