# Calculating medal success

An outstanding 60 Alton College students achieved gold (14), silver (26) and bronze (20) medals in this year’s Senior Maths Challenge. This consists of 25 challenging non-calculator multiple-choice maths questions in 90 minutes. In this tough mental test, students start with 25 marks, get 4 marks for each correct answer and lose 1 mark for each incorrect answer, to discourage guessing. A total of about 100,000 students nationally take the Senior Maths Challenge so 60 students being awarded medals is an amazing achievement.

Three students have got through to the British Maths Olympiad 1 (BMO1); Paul Cumner, previously at Robert May’s School who was the College’s top scorer with a mark of 112 out of 125, Will Young, previously at The Petersfield School who scored 111 and Muhanned Al-Khafaji, previously at Bohunt School who also scored 111. Only the top 100 students in the country qualify for the British Maths Olympiad.

A further 10 students got through to the Senior Kangaroo (SK) round. They are: Steven Robertson, Marco Li, Dan Kelley, Joe Mobbs, Cai Thomas, Cameron Neasom, George McMullan, James Dedman, Charlotte Cranmer, Matthew Stevens-Keane. The next 2000 best students (who don’t qualify for the BMO1) are invited to take the SK.

Alton College also hosted the regional final of the Senior Team Maths Challenge on Wednesday 30 November where the College team finished fourth out of 19 teams.

Three examples of this year’s exam are (an easy, medium and hard question):

Q1: How many times does the digit 9 appear in the answer to 987654321 × 9 ?

A: 0 B: 1 C: 5 D: 8 E: 9

Q12: What is the smallest square that has 2016 as a factor?

A: 42^{2} B: 84^{2} C: 168^{2} D: 336^{2} E: 2016^{2}

Q23: Let *n* be the smallest integer for which 7*n* has 2016 digits. What is the units digit of *n*?

A: 0 B: 1 C: 4 D: 6 E: 8

Find out more about studying Maths at Alton College

***Answers are B, C and D.

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