Promoting a love of problem solving

The Intermediate Mathematical Challenge is a 60-minute, multiple-choice Challenge.

It encourages mathematical reasoning, precision of thought, and fluency in using basic mathematical techniques to solve interesting problems.

The problems on the Intermediate Mathematical Challenge are designed to make students think. Most are accessible, yet still challenge those with more experience.

Date: Wednesday 1st February 2023 - Please note:  Schools on China Standard Time (UTC +08:00) need to sit the Challenge on Thursday 2nd February 2023

Eligible year groups: England, Wales and Overseas - Year 11 or below, Scotland S4 or below, Northern Ireland - Year 12 or below

Time allowed: 60 minutes

Entry fee: £13 for a pack of 10 entries

Entries open now!

Paper posted entry deadline (having papers posted out): Midnight, Tuesday 3rd January 2023

Paper download and online entry deadline: You can now place paper and online entry orders right up to the day of the Challenge, including on the day itself. You just need to make sure you leave yourself enough time to pre-populate, download and print your answer sheets and question papers.

How to take part

  1. Entries must be made by registered UKMT centres on behalf of students.
  2. You can order a paper or online version or a combination of both (schools outside of the UK can only participate on paper by downloading and printing their question papers)
  3. The Challenge must be sat under exam conditions.
  4. We mark both the paper and online entries electronically and notify you of the results.

Challenge entries

Purchasing entries

Entries into the Intermediate Mathematical Challenge can be purchased via your online Challenges Profile.

If you purchase online entries you will be provided with an online login for each student, which enables them to log in to the Challenges site and participate in an online format.

UK Schools - If you purchase paper entries we will send you question papers via post, however answer sheets will need to be downloaded and printed in school. If you miss this deadline, you will still be able to purchase paper entries however you will need to download and print your question papers alongside your answer sheets. Your student's answer sheets will then need to be uploaded to your Challenges Profile for us to mark electronically. Please note that we are no longer able to mark hard copy answer sheets, so please ensure these are not sent back to the UKMT via post.
Overseas Schools - If you purchase paper entries you will need to download and print both your question papers and answer sheets. Your student's answer sheets will then need to be uploaded to your Challenges Profile for us to mark electronically. Please note that we are no longer able to mark hard copy answer sheets, so please ensure these are not sent back to the UKMT via post.

Download the Challenge Handbook to help navigate you through hosting the Intermediate Mathematical Challenge.

Preparing for the Challenge

We hope that taking part in the Intermediate Mathematical Challenge is a stimulating and rewarding experience for all students, whether or not they have prepared.

You can utilise our previous online Challenges, download past papers, solutions and investigations here. They are a great resource containing high-quality problems designed to encourage mathematical thinking and prepare students for the Challenge. We are also delighted to be working with DrFrostMaths to help teachers use past problems in the classroom.

We also sell downloadable past papers and books which can help with your preparation.

Scoring

Scoring rules for the Intermediate Mathematical Challenge are as follows:

  • 5 marks are awarded for each correct answer to questions 1 - 15
  • 6 marks are awarded for each correct answer to questions 16 - 25
  • Each incorrect answer to questions 16 - 20 loses 1 mark
  • Each incorrect answer to questions 21 - 25 loses 2 marks
  • Answers left blank will be marked as 0

Awards and follow-on rounds

All students will receive a certificate of participation. To recognize the highest performers in the Challenge, we award the top-scoring 50% of participants Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates in the ratio 3:2:1. Students that are 'Best in Year' or 'Best in School' will also receive a badge to denote this on their certificates. Certificates have the student names pre-populated and can be downloaded and printed as soon as results are released.

In addition, we invite around 1,500 of the very highest performers to take part in either the Cayley, Hamilton or Maclaurin Olympiad (depending on their school year) and around 8,000 to take part in either the Grey or Pink Kangaroo (depending on their school year).

The 2022 award thresholds are:

Gold 81+, Silver 65+, Bronze 50+    (All years)

Yrs 10&11 (England & Wales), S3 & S4 (Scotland), Y11&12 (Northern Ireland)Pink Kangaroo 81+; Yr9 and below (England & Wales), S2 & below (Scotland), Y10 and below (Northern Ireland): Grey Kangaroo 65+ Kangaroos are UK only

Yr11 (England & Wales), S4 (Scotland), Y12 (Northern Ireland): Maclaurin Olympiad 117+; Yr10 (England & Wales), S3 (Scotland), Y11 (Northern Ireland): Hamilton Olympiad 111+; Yr9 and below (England & Wales), S2 and below (Scotland), Y10 and below (Northern Ireland): Cayley Olympiad 101+

Contributing to our work

As a charity, we do not make a profit from entry fees. We spend all the money we raise on advancing the education of young people in mathematics. If you would like to support us further then please consider making a donation.

Our volunteers are at the heart of everything UKMT does from creating the Challenges to running our Enrichment activities. If you would like to find out more about volunteering with us please do get in touch.