90 minutes. 25 questions. 1 pencil. That’s right, it was time for the most thrilling event of the entire year: the Senior Challenge from the UK Mathematics Trust (UKMT). Okay, maybe it isn’t that exciting, but it is still one of the most prestigious maths events to participate in, with thousands of students undertaking it nationally each year. In recent years, serious concerns have been raised over the nationwide level of mathematical ability in the UK, and the challenges from UKMT offer students an opportunity to sharpen their maths skills in preparation for later life.

The senior challenge is open to all secondary students, but is mainly taken by those in Years 11 to 13. With questions such as:

this challenge is not for the faint of heart, and is designed to bring out the best young mathematicians in the country. Nevertheless here at DCGS over 80 Sixth Form students took part, accompanied by three particularly able boys from Key Stage 4.

UKMT senior challenge - full paper

What comes next in this exciting series of events?' I hear you ask. Well, the top 60% of students get a certificate - either bronze, silver or gold - and the best 3000 students in the country are invited to participate in the next round, either the Senior Kangaroo (an event inspired by the work of the Australian Mathematics Trust) or the British Maths Olympiad. Students successful here could be invited to train for international competitions, and who knows, fame and fortune may await. We can but wish the best for all those involved.