Students enjoy sum success in British Mathematical Olympiad

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Senior mathematicians at The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) have once again made excellent progress through the annual round of maths challenges set by the UK Mathematics Trust (UKMT).

The UKMT’s senior challenges are aimed at students aged 16-19, normally still studying maths but not yet at university. Candidates sit exams in school that are designed to stretch their mathematical thinking, and performance in each level determines whether a candidate is invited to sit the next exam.

Last November 100 GSAL students sat the Individual Senior Maths Challenge, and six scored highly enough to be invited to sit the follow-on British Mathematical Olympiad (BMO) or Senior Kangaroo exam. Only 3000 students nationally qualify to sit these subsequent rounds.

The BMO is a three and a half hour exam requiring candidates to tackle six complex and involved mathematical problems. Henry Li U6 was GSAL’s highest achiever, earning distinction. Fellow U6 students Kelly Xie and Katie-Lou White also scored well in the exam to attain certificates of qualification.

Henry, who hopes to study maths at university next year, said: “I did the Olympiad last year too and achieved qualification, so I’m really happy to achieve distinction this time. It’s a challenging exam that tests your logic skills and it’s hard to prepare for it beyond what we study in school.”

The Senior Kangaroo is the other invitation only round after the Senior Challenge, and three sixth form students were invited to sit the one-hour paper. Lexy Shipley L6, Eric Rodriguez Boidi L6 and Toby Hillery U6 all earned certificates of qualification (only the top 25% nationally are awarded merit certificates).

Photo: (L-R) Katie-Lou White, Henry Li and Kelly Xie

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