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UKMT Junior Maths Challenge - question

(107 Posts)
incorrigible Mon 06-Jun-16 20:16:06

Am I right in assuming it's mostly Year 8s that get through to the Olympiad?

Floggingmolly Mon 06-Jun-16 20:17:47

Not always.

AtiaoftheJulii Mon 06-Jun-16 20:55:05

Probably more, but not massively more. Nearer 60-40 than 90-10. But that's just my impression.

I think one of my daughters got through in y8 but not y7. My son did the Olympiad both years. Other two daughters didn't get through at all.

incorrigible Mon 06-Jun-16 21:55:12

Thanks Atia. What about state v private proportions? Any ideas?

AtiaoftheJulii Mon 06-Jun-16 23:55:22

No idea, except a lot of non-grammar state schools that I hear about either don't do it at all or only let a limited number sit it.

I realised that one of the daughters above didn't do the JMC because she wasn't actually at school then, and then later her comp didn't offer the IMC. She did do the SMC in y12, and my youngest did the JMC in y7 and y8 at that same school, but I'm pretty sure it was by invitation only.

I don't really understand it, it's not expensive to enter.

Have you got a dc doing it next week? The sample pupil solutions are really useful to look at, to give them an idea of how to present their answers.

MidLifeCrisis007 Tue 07-Jun-16 06:29:06

My DD's dorm mate got through with 115. She's year 7 (and super bright obviously!).

Respect to those that did qualify as the second section of the paper was very tricky.

incorrigible Tue 07-Jun-16 08:08:25

Thanks all. DS is y7 at non selective state school and got into the Kangaroo this year. Just trying to gauge his chances for the Olympiad next year. Local selective independent, where his nearest maths rival from primary went on a bursary, usually gets a few through to the Olympiad but not sure which year group they're from.

noblegiraffe Tue 07-Jun-16 08:41:13

I don't really understand it, it's not expensive to enter.

Because outside of a select group of able pupils (top set in a comp, or a school with a selective intake), it's not really appropriate.

No point in entering pupils for a competition if they can't answer the questions.

Ailicece Tue 07-Jun-16 08:57:11

DS is in y7 of an independent that is non selective at intake but very academically focused, and he got through to the Olympiad along with three others, with scores of 120+. Four others got through to the Kangaroo. Their year group (30 boys in total) is particularly strong in Maths so that's unusually high. AFAIK nobody in y8 got through to the Olympiad (not sure about the Kangaroo) so in our case it definitely isn't true.

DS says the Olympiad itself is incredibly hard so doesn't expect to do well this year (even though he scored 127), but he'll hopefully have another chance next year.

incorrigible Tue 07-Jun-16 09:18:10

Thanks Ail. Does your school coach specifically for the question style used in the tests? I mean in addition to normal maths lessons that is?

The kangaroo is next week but there's only one past paper for that online. Wondering what I can use to supplement it.

Ailicece Tue 07-Jun-16 09:28:48

Yes the top set has been doing practice papers as part of their normal Maths lessons and I think they've done any available Olympiad and Kangaroo ones too. DS enjoys the Kangaroo and says he wishes he was doing that rather than the Olympiad! No idea where you could find additional papers but your DS clearly has natural ability. Good luck to him smile

relaxitllbeok Tue 07-Jun-16 10:42:26

noblegiraffe I don't really buy the idea that the JMC is inappropriate outside top sets/selective intake. Surely almost any y7/y8 can do some of the questions in the JMC, and can attempt enough to occupy themselves for an hour trying? Am I being very naive? I could see excluding a bottom set of children who really struggled with maths - but which of the first 10 questions of the 2016 paper do you think an average y7 could not even attempt, and why?

DS's non-selective [yes, except by ability to pay fees] independent school enters the entire cohort I'm pretty sure, as well as selected young ones; they also all do the PMC earlier on (so then the JMC is a natural progression anyway). As far as I know they don't teach specifically for it, but they do seem to make problem-solving a big part of what they do on a day-to-day basis.

Agree about it seeming to be mostly y8s who get through but not by a huge margin. Don't know about the independent/state split. What I am very struck by is the preponderance of independent schools in the UK national finals of the TMC each year, at least in my area (outside my area I can't always tell by the name of the school, and haven't bothered to analyse the list). In our area, all the finalist schools are independent, even though several of them are not academically selective, and regularly beat state schools with excellent reputations that, because of size, have five to ten times as many pupils from whom to pick the team. Why? It's not that the independent schools coach for this; it's not that the questions rely on material beyond the syllabus the state schools are doing; it's not that the state schools don't enter. I am genuinely perplexed. I mean, pleased that my kid's school does well, but something is weird.

noblegiraffe Tue 07-Jun-16 12:08:03

relax the average Y7/8 would get Q1 wrong. Ok they could attempt it. They could guess all the answers. But getting a poor score is hardly confidence-boosting is it?

incorrigible Tue 07-Jun-16 13:04:56

Looking at the maths dept of our local (very) selective independent it is packed full of subject specialists with MAs and PhDs. I don't know if they're good teachers, but their enthusiasm for their subject is presumably a given.

In contrast, state schools are struggling to recruit maths specialists. If they don't have enough then it's the key stage 3 kids that get the non specialists.
Non specialist maths teachers areess likely to care about the sort of enrichment the ukmt challenges offer.

My DS does have a maths (BSc) specialist teacher at his state school and I don't regret our choice of school in the slightest as he would have hated the high pressure option. But as maths is his special talent I'm keeping a close eye on it.

So, in terms of practising for the Kangaroo, I'm wondering if section A of the Olympiad, or section B of the original Challenge level would be the closest match. Looking at it I think the latter. Yes?

noblegiraffe Tue 07-Jun-16 13:14:15

several of them are not academically selective, and regularly beat state schools with excellent reputations that, because of size, have five to ten times as many pupils from whom to pick the team

But that's nonsense. An independent school might not be overtly academically selective, but I bet if you compared its intake with that of a normal comp you would find that it generally does have a much higher proportion of high achievers.
Children of parents who can afford private education (so will usually be highly educated themselves) and who care about education enough to pay for it will do better in school, even before you take nice facilities and small class sizes into account.

noblegiraffe Tue 07-Jun-16 13:16:20

incorrigible the Kangaroo is multiple choice like the challenge. The Olympiad is a few questions requiring a written proof, so a completely different style. You'd be better off practicing the harder multi-choice questions.

Pythonesque Tue 07-Jun-16 13:28:35

My daughter's doing the junior kangaroo next week too. We remembered on the weekend that we'd been planning to print off the past paper for her to have a go at ...

I think this is only the 2nd or 3rd year that a junior kangaroo has existed. If my daughter had been interested in doing any more practice I'd have printed off the lower level of the intermediate kangaroo (? grey) as probably being most useful.

I think the maths challenges are designed for interested and able students, but in the hope that large numbers will enter. Schools need to be encouraged to think it is worth doing. Sometimes the children with the ability to really fly in this area won't necessarily be obvious in school maths.

By the way my daughter's year 8, 3rd year sitting the JMC. Silver certificate year 6, gold certificate last year, cracked the kangaroo this year. Her brother just got a silver this year too.

I'd love to think that one or both might make an olympiad round one day but will just keep encouraging them generally. [ex IMO competitor ... not for UK]

RedHelenB Tue 07-Jun-16 14:16:38

At my dds school they just get presented with the paper - no practice. Year before dd2 refused to do it as she didn't like being penalised for "having a go" but did it this year and got silver. Didn't realise other schools actually practised it beforehand!

TigerCubDad Tue 07-Jun-16 14:43:09

Pythonesque: I'd love to think that one or both might make an olympiad round one day but will just keep encouraging them generally. [ex IMO competitor ... not for UK]

Fortunately, the JMC Olympiad designation is not equivalent to IMO standards - by the way, your being an ex-IMO competitor is very impressive!

At my daughter's school (independent), the ratio between Y8 and Y7 achieving Kangaroo or Olympiad designation is also around 60:40.

Mirandawest Tue 07-Jun-16 14:46:23

When did you find out about progress into the next round? DS is in year 7 and did the junior maths challenge in April but hasn't mentioned anything about how he did. He doesn't necessarily tell me everything he does though.

swingofthings Tue 07-Jun-16 15:38:02

DS and DD go to the local state school with GCSE results at or just below national average and they did it from Year 7. I think DS got a bronze in last year (Year 7), DD got Gold in Year 10. No preparation for it at all, they actually only know they are doing it the day before. They don't really care about it, the school suggests it and they go because it takes them away from normal class!

I don't think DS has heard back this year yet.

incorrigible Tue 07-Jun-16 15:50:30

Schools were given the Challenge results a few weeks ago. Don't remember exact date but it was mentioned on the UKMT Twitter feed at the time.

irvineoneohone Tue 07-Jun-16 15:59:24

noble, "the average Y7/8 would get Q1 wrong."
Is this really true?

noblegiraffe Tue 07-Jun-16 17:28:33

irvine yes, they would forget BIDMAS and put the answer as D, 6-5x4 = 4.

MidLifeCrisis007 Tue 07-Jun-16 17:50:12

I got Q1 wrong. I did higher level maths as part of the IB and had never heard of BIDMAS.

DH got it wrong too.

We are both chartered accountants... whistles

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