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 *
- 2022 – 4 silver medals, 2 bronze medals
- 2021 – 1 gold medal, 5 silver medals
- 2020 – 2 gold medals, 3 silver medals, 1 bronze medal

* Middle European Mathematical Olympiad *
- 2022 – 1 gold medal, 2 silver medals, 2 bronze medals, team competition – gold medal
- 2021 – 3 gold medals, 2 silver medals, team competition – gold medal
- 2020 – 2 gold medals, 1 silver medal, 2 bronze medals, team competition – does not take place

* Baltic Way Mathematical Contests (team competition only) *
- 2022 – gold medal
- 2021 – 5. place
- 2020 – bronze medal

* Romanian Masters of Mathematics *
- 2022 – 3 gold medals, 2 silver medals, 1 bronze medal
- 2021 – competition did not take place
- 2020 – 1 silver medal, 2 bronze medals

* European Girls Mathematical Olympiad *
- 2022 – 1 gold medal, 2 silver medals
- 2021 – 2 silver medals, 1 bronze medal
- 2020 – 1 gold medal, 1 silver medals, 2 bronze medals