Math competitions are a great way for your child to be rewarded for their math skills. Competitions allow for your child to be challenged appropriately based on their skill level while having the opportunity to earn recognition and even win prizes.
One such competition is the Math Kangaroo USA Competition in Mathematics. The competition’s objective is to “popularize mathematics among school children and teenagers and to inspire them to master their mathematical skills.”
The competition is open to any student who can independently complete a multiple-choice test. Open registration is from September to December and this year students can opt to participate virtually or in-person at a partner location in participating states. There is a $21 registration fee but financial assistance to cover the fee is available to families in need. Registration is still open after the December deadline but the registration fee increases.
The test only involves one round of questions. The test structure is grouped by grade level with the two corresponding grades taking the same variation of a test (i.e. grades 1-2 will take the same test grades 3-4 will take the same test up to grade 12). For grades 1-4 students are given 24 questions while grades 5-12 answer 30 questions. Each test is 1 hour and 15 minutes. If your child is familiar with taking multiple choice test using the Scantron answer format they should have no problem completing this test.
Students are only eligible to participate at their grade level not below or above. This is to ensure the provided questions are age appropriate. Questions are worth 3 4 and 5 points with each point value representing 1/3 of the test. Point values are listed beside each test question. The final score is the total of the tallied points per question. Partial credit is not given for answers and students don’t lose credit for a wrong answer.
The level of difficulty increases gradually throughout the test. The first third of the test will focus on simple problems or equations based on basic standard math curriculum. The second section will require a bit more effort and reasoning skills to answer the questions. The last section will have the highest level of difficulty involving problems with multiple steps required to solve.
The unique feature of this test is the organization provides sample tests to allow your child to practice and get a feel for the topics and types of question they can expect to find. Organized by year the website offers previous sample tests for free (with answers).
Once the winners have been announced the answer keys for the year are available on the website as well.
Winners are notified in May via email after the competition. Students with the top 20 highest scores are listed on the National Winners List and participants with the three highest national scores. A list of past national and state winners and a list of prizes are available by year on their website.
Math competitions can open up a whole new world of fun and the possibilities of math for your child. If your child loves math and is looking for a challenge we at Mathnasium of Nashua would be more than happy to assist you and your child on their math journey. Give us a call or send us an email to get started!
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Mathnasium of Nashua
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