Polish Mathematical Olympiad

About the Olympiad The Mathematical Olympiad is the most prestigious maths competition for high school students in Poland. It is the oldest school subject based olympiad in Poland – it first took place during the school year of 1949/1950. The contestants grapple with problems that need out of the box thinking as well as considerable theoretical knowledge to solve. Starting with the 51-st Olympiad (now the 74-th is in progress) the competition is organized by the Association for Mathematics Education (SEM in Polish). Other than running the Mathematical Olympiad, the association also organizes the Junior Math Olympiad for elementary school students as well conferences dedicated to mathematics and mathematics education and creats educational materials such as the SEM Little Library book series, posters, etc. The association has a web page – in Polish. The course of the Olympiad. Stage I competition (introductory) runs from September and consists in solving problems individually at home. Problems are given in three batches of four each; solutions need to be mailed to the appropriate District Committee of the Olympiad by a set date. The list of participants who have qualified for the stage II competition is published by the end of January. Solving all problems is not a necessary to qualify. Stage II competition (district) takes place in February in the form of a written examination. They are organized by District Committees separately for each district, but the problems are the same for all of Poland. The contest takes two days and each day it lasts for five hours with three problems given. Stage III competition (central) is held around late March or early April. It involves a four-day retreat during which all participants are gathered in one place. The first two days are devoted to solving problems like in the stage II contest. The next day is a day off for the contestants filled with various attractions while the committee is busy grading the solutions. The last day is the final gala of the Olympiad during which the results are announced and prizes given. Advantages from the Olympiad. Participation in the central stage of the Olympiad will guarantee each finalist:
  • grade 6 (the highest possible in school) in mathematics for the year,
  • a 100% score in mathematics at the extended level on the final high school exam (which in Poland is also an entrance exam to college),
  • entry into many programs of study in universities, not only in mathematics.
Laureates get of a free entry without an exam into even more academic departments than finalists. In addition, the six best will be the Polish delegation for International Mathematical Olympiad and the next few will go the Middle European Mathematical Olympiad and the Mathematical Competition of Baltic States. The top four female contestants take part in the European Girls Mathematical Olympiad. About 10-20 top scorers each year participate in the scientific camp of the Mathematical Olympiad (which is what the name implies and not a boot camp before international competitions). Successes of Polish students in international mathematical contests in the last three years. International Mathematical Olympiad Middle European Mathematical Olympiad Baltic Way Mathematical Contests (team competition only) Romanian Masters of Mathematics European Girls Mathematical Olympiad