Inaugural New Zealand Mathematical Olympiad!

Hey everyone! Enjoying your well-earned holiday?

Some of you may know that on July 29 this year, we will be holding the first ever New Zealand Mathematical Olympiad (NZMO)!! It sounds intimidating, but don't worry: it really isn't hard. In fact, we've spent ages on the problems so that anyone can have a fair go at them, regardless of mathematical ability.

Yes, it's a competition, but although we'll have prizes for well-performing students, the point isn't to determine who the best person at maths is. I mean, there are already countless things for that! Instead, our biggest focus will be to show you (or at least try) that maths isn't just boring or scary, and that it's actually totally different to what school maths is like: it can actually be really cool and interesting!

We've already been in contact with HODs throughout New Zealand, and we have lots of interest already. If you haven't heard about it, try email your school's HOD (or a maths teacher) because they're still probably slaving away while you guys are busy cheering for the World Cup or catching up on seasons of Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones.

So what can you do in the meantime? Well, keep enjoying your holidays. You don't need to stress about studying for the NZMO. Just rock up on the day and have fun, I guess?? But if you really want to do something, here's what you can do:

  • Keep up with what's happening on our blog and Facebook page - some of the stuff you might learn could help you not just in the NZMO, but in school maths too!
  • Have a skim through the competition details for the NZMO, but seriously, it's a bit long. Just know that:
    • There are 3 divisions (same as monthly competitions), each with a different paper.
    • 90 minutes total, no calculators (you won't need it anyway), 6 questions, 60 marks.
    • Oh and, most importantly, you're not expected to do them all. To be honest, some of us would struggle to finish it all too!
  • Download and try our sample paper (only for intermediate division, sorry. We gotta save the good questions for later). You can actually ask us questions in the comments below or by private message if you want!

Phew this is a long post. We'll keep posting videos and/or blog posts about proofs and all that jazz over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!