Frequently Asked Questions

You might not really know who we are and what we do. Hopefully this page can help answer your questions, but if not, feel free to contact us at or via the Contact Us page.

Who are we?

We’re a group of geeks completely crazy about maths! We've all been heavily involved in Olympiad-style maths and hope to get you guys involved too!

What is the NZMOSA?

A student run organisation formed to encourage and foster interest in Olympiad mathematics around New Zealand.

Why Maths Olympiad?

Maths Olympiad looks at maths with a kaleidoscope lens. We students are so used to rote-learning pages of formulas to regurgitate in exams, but we completely dismiss the true, other side of maths - application with creativity, and problem solving. In Olympiad maths, you’re forced to think creatively about how to apply these formulas: it essentially flips your thinking upside down.

Maths Olympiad will not only improve your maths skills but also equip you with problem solving skills and creativity to apply in every other field - not limited to science, engineering and computer programming, but also medicine, law, arts, and politics.

What am I meant to do?

All you have to do is download the set of problems we release on our each month and try them. Don’t worry if this is new to you, because we’ll be posting up some material that might help you solve some problems! Every year, we also hold the New Zealand Mathematical Olympiad, which all students above Year 7 can enter. This is our biggest event every year so make sure your school is involved! Click here for more information

Everything you need can be downloaded from our website. Be sure to like our Facebook page, which will have constant updates and reminders of all our latest events!

I'm not in intermediate or high school at the moment. Can I still take part?

Maths knows no boundaries. Love maths and maths will love you.

Our competition problems will be split into 3 divisions: junior, intermediate and senior. These divisions are determined based on year group, but if you’re really good at maths, you can attempt the higher division problems as well!

If you’re in primary school, there’s nothing stopping you from taking part! Although you’ll be competing with older students, we’ll keep a keen eye out for you.

If you’re in university or above, feel free to take part too! But only entries from school students will be eligible for prizes.

I'm stuck! Where can I get help?

Dont worry! We are here for you! We will be posting resources and materials on our website. These will include basic skills that build a mental bridge between the maths you are doing in class and Olympiad maths. There are also plenty of resources on the NZ Maths Olympiad Website.

I don't think I'm very good at maths; what can I do?

Even the greatest mathematician started somewhere. Keep trying!

It might be useful going through some of the material on our website to get your creative juices flowing. You can be at any mathematical level and still do well in our problems.

All this NZMO stuff is confusing! What is what?

NZ stands for New Zealand; MO stands for Maths Olympiad.

We are the NZMOSA, a student association for the Maths Olympiad in New Zealand. The NZMO is a competition that the NZMOSA runs. We are not called the NZMOSA because we are a student association based around the NZMO.

We are affiliated with the NZMOC (New Zealand Maths Olympiad Committee), an incorporated society responsible for many Maths Olympiad programmes in New Zealand. They existed before the NZMO (competition) existed.

The NZMOC runs a training programme that we often refer to as the New Zealand Maths Olympiad training programme (NZMO training programme). The aim of that programme is to prepare high school students through a selection process to send to the International Mathematical Olympiad each July. The training programme is not to prepare for the NZMO (our competition).

We understand it is easy to be confused. We do too, sometimes.

What's with the logo and the background?

The circles in the logo are part of a Pappus chain! They look cool and have a cool property.

The background is pi art. The digits of pi are represented by drawing lines between each successive colour, each representing a number. This particular design was drawn by Martin Krywinski, known for his visual depictions of mathematical constants, based on a concept by Cristian Ilies Vasile. See more here, on Krywinski's personal website.