The goal of the BC Secondary Schools High School Math Contest is to provide interested students (and their teachers) with a chance to have fun and stretch themselves a little mathematically. We are not trying to single out the very best of the province - there are other contests which do that. Instead, we want to get as many students as possible involved in doing and enjoying mathematics.
Originally, two or three colleges in BC ran their own regional math competitions. Now more than ten universities and colleges join together to offer their local high school students a chance to have fun at a regional math contest.
The contests are made up centrally by a group of faculty from various institutions but are administered locally.
The questions vary in degree of difficulty, but our intention is that students who are reasonably good at high school math can successfully answer many of the questions. There are, of course, several more challenging problems as well, for the students who find high school math "too easy". One of our local high school teachers has said that it is good for students to get a chance to try problems which require more ingenuity than proficiency with algorithms: she said that many of her students surprised themselves by what they accomplished.
The preliminary round of the contest is typically held in early April and is written in the participating high schools. It consists of 12 multiple-choice questions and takes 45 minutes. There are two levels: the junior contest is written by students in grades 8-10, while the senior contest is written by students in grades 11 and 12. The high school teachers mark the papers, using an answer key provided. There are no restrictions on the number of students who may write this round.
The final round is typically held at the beginning of May on campus at a sponsoring university or college. Again, there is a junior level and a senior level. For the final round hosted at UFV, each participating school may send up to 8 students total. (For example, a school may send 5 senior contestants and 3 junior contestants, or perhaps just 8 junior contestants.) This round is made up of 10 multiple-choice questions and 5 long-answer questions.
While the students are writing the final round, their teachers have a chance to participate in professional development activities centred around - what else? - mathematics enrichment activities. Then while the contests are being marked, everyone enjoys a lunch provided by the hosting institution and then gets to try out the enrichment activities.
Prizes for the final round are awarded at the end of the day. At UFV prizes include tuition waivers for the top seven seniors and top seven juniors, as well as gift certificates, books, puzzles and other goodies.
Unfortunately, the BC Secondary Schools High School Math Contest had to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021, as organizers at the post-secondary hosting institutions did not feel that there was a way to gather students on campus safely.
Tentative Contest Dates for 2022: We hope to be able to safely run the BC Secondary Schools Math Contest again in 2022. If we do, ...
- Preliminary round will take place within the first two weeks of April.
- Registration for the final round at UFV will be due by Friday, April 22.
- The final round at UFV will take place on May 6.
Please remember that these dates are provided to clarify when the contest will run, if it is determined that it can be run safely. A final decision on whether this can be done will be made early in 2022.
The UFV Department of Mathematics and Statistics is grateful to UFV and the Canadian Mathematical Society for their financial support towards our hosting of the BC High Schools Math Contest.
2021 | Contest was not held
2020 | Contest was not held
2019 | Provincial Report for 2019 (including local winners)
2018 | Provincial Report for 2018 (including local winners)
2017 | Provincial Report for 2017 (including local winners)
2016 | Provincial Report for 2016 (including local winners)
2015 | Provincial Report for 2015 (including local winners)