UKMT Team Maths Challenge

On Friday 23rd of March Hemal Aggarwal, Peter Kippax, Farhan Awais and Raunaq  Shah Foridi went to Aston university to take part in the annual UKMT Team Maths challenge. There were four rounds to complete throughout the day.

The first round was the group round. For this, we had to complete ten questions between the four of us. Luckily, we got full marks. The next round was the crossnumber – like a crossword, just with numbers. To make things even more difficult, we were split into pairs, and each pair could see only the down or across clues, with many answers depending on other answers. We lost a mark on this round due to a minor slip-up but overall we were still very pleased with this round.

The next round was the shuttle. This had four, smaller 8 minute rounds, each consisting of four questions. One pair was given the first and third questions and the other pair had the second and fourth questions; the problems were structured in such a way that the answer of one question depended on the answer of the previous question, meaning only question one could be worked out straight away. However, questions could often be simplified beforehand. To make matters worse, we would only know if our answers were correct after we had finished all four questions, meaning that there were disastrous consequences if question one was incorrect. There was also a speed bonus if we managed to complete the round in under six minutes. Despite all this, we still managed to achieve maximum marks.

The final round was the relay, our worst round by far in practice sessions. In this round we were in pairs again, and each pair would take it in turn to answer a question. We skipped quite a few and didn’t get more than two thirds of the way through. At the end we discovered we had only got 32 out of a possible 60 marks, so we were not optimistic.

Then it was time for the results.

Third: … Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School.

Second: … King Edward VI Camp Hill School … for Girls.

And in First place: … King Edward VI … Camp Hill School for Boys.

We will be going to the National Final in June. This is a fantastic achievement, as over 1600 teams entered nationwide, with only 88 qualifying for the National Final.

All of the team should be very proud. Thank you to Mr Azam for driving us there and Mr Watkins for driving us back. Special thanks to Mrs Crockford for organising the team and running the lunchtime training sessions.


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