Note: the following describes all procedural rules at Mock Math Challengers competitions. As of November 2016, these rules also match the rules set out by the Canadian Math Challengers Society. We do not describe rules involving registration and eligibility below as they differ between the Mock Math Challengers competitions and the actual Math Challengers competitions. For more information about the actual Math Challengers competitions, please refer to the Canadian Math Challengers Society's website here.

Competition Format

Participants may only work on the designated round at any time.

The Blitz round is an individual round with 26 short answer questions to be answered in 40 minutes. Marks are only awarded for the correct answer put on the answer line for every problem. All answers must be complete, legible and simplified to lowest terms. The use of calculators, books, or other aids, is not permitted, but calculations may be done on scratch paper. The problems are designed to generally increase in difficulty, but all problems are worth the same amount.
The Bull’s-eye round is an individual round with 12 short answer questions in 36 minutes. This round is divided into three parts. Each part has four questions, and generally the problems increase in difficulty from the first question to the fourth question in each part. Each of the parts is focused on a different topic: the first topic is Problem Solving, the second topic is Numbers & Combinatorics, and the third topic is Geometry. The Problem Solving section includes problems involving algebra, computations, and generally any problem that doesn’t fit specifically into any of the other two sections. The Numbers & Combinatorics section includes problems from number theory, probability, and combinatorics. The Geometry section includes both Euclidean and coordinate geometry problems.

Every part has 12 minutes dedicated to it, and individuals may only work on the appropriate part at any given time. Calculations may be done on scratch paper. Marks are only awarded for the correct answer put on the answer line for every problem. All answers must be complete, legible and simplified to lowest terms. All problems are worth the same amount in this round. Calculators, books, or other aids are NOT allowed during this round.

The Co-op round is a short answer round with 15 questions, to be done in 36 minutes in a teams of up to 5. Team members may work together in any way to solve the problems. Calculations may be done on scratch paper. Marks are only awarded for the correct answer put on the answer line for every problem on the competition paper marked with "Team Answer Sheet". This version of the competition paper is the only booklet that will be scored. All answers must be complete, legible and simplified to lowest terms. All problems are worth the same amount in this round, and are NOT necessarily designed to increase in difficulty. Scientific calculators are allowed during this round. However, books or other aids are prohibited.

The Face-off round is a fast-paced, buzz-in, one-on-one verbal competition for the top 10 scoring individual competitors. Based off the individual rounds (Blitz and Bull’s-eye), the top 10 participants will take part in a final oral Face-off round according to the following single elimination system:

  • Round 1: Individual 10th place against Individual 9th place: winner called #9A.
  • Round 2: #9A against Individual 8th place: winner called #8A.
  • Round 3: #8A against Individual 7th place: winner called #7A.
  • Round 4: #7A against Individual 6h place: winner called #6A.
  • Round 5: #6A against Individual 5h place: winner called #5A.
  • Round 6: #5A against Individual 4th place: winner called #4A.
  • Round 7: #4A against Individual 3rd place: winner called #3A.
  • Round 8: #3A against Individual 2nd place: winner called #2A.
  • Round 9: #2A against Individual 1st place: The winner of Round 9 is declared the winner of the Face-Off stage.

As it can be seen, the winner of every round advances to the next round, and the loser of every round gets eliminated from the Face-off stage.

Competitors have 45 seconds to beat the other competitor in answering the question correctly, earning them a point for that round. Calculators are not permitted, but pencils and scratch paper are provided. Each competitor has only one attempt at a problem. When answering a problem, the competitor presses the bell or buzzer assigned to him or her, and has 3 seconds to give an answer. If the 3 seconds have passed and the competitor has not answered, he or she forfeits the right to answer that question. The other competitor may not press his or her bell during the 3 second answer period, but may do so afterwards if the first competitor does not answer correctly. The 45 second Face-off clock will continue to tick down during the answer period.

Each round will consist of 3 problems (with the exception of the final three rounds), and whoever answers the most of the three problems correctly—not necessarily two out of the three—will progress to the next round. If the participants are tied after three questions, a "Sudden Victory" policy will be put into effect where the next participant to answer a problem correctly will progress to the next round. In the final three rounds, the first participant to answer three problems correctly will progress to the next round (or win, in the case of Finals).

The winner of the Face-off round will receive a separate prize. In the actual Math Challengers competition, separate awards and/or prizes are awarded to the winner of the Face-off round. It is important to note that the results of the Face-off round do not influence the individual scores of any competitor or the team scores of any team.


A competitor's individual score is equal to his/her Blitz score (out of 26) added by twice his/her Bull’s-eye score (out of 12). The maximum possible individual score is 50. In the event of a tie in individual scores and a ranking must be established between the competitors involved in the tie for Face-off seeding, Face-off qualification or otherwise, the Blitz and the Bull’s-eye rounds are used to break ties. Of the competitors tied in individual score, the competitor(s) who correctly answered a problem with a largest problem number wins the tie-breaker. If more than one person answered this problem with the largest problem number correctly, then the second highest problem number is looked at between the remaining tied competitors. This process continues until all the Blitz answers have been compared. If a tie still persists (which means that the individuals involved in such a tie answered the exact same problems correctly on the Blitz), a similar process is done with the Bull’s-eye round answers. If two or more individuals answered exactly the same problems correctly then a separate tie-breaker round will be used to determine the individual rankings between those involved in such a tie.

A team's score is equal to one-fourth the sum of the top four individual scores of the team plus twice the number of questions answered correctly on the Team round. With the individual scores of a maximum of 50 each and Team round score a maximum of 15, a perfect team score is 80. If a team consists of less than 4 individuals, scores of 0 will be used for any individual(s) missing and will be included in the calculation of the team's average. For example, if a team has three members whose individual scores are 40, 36, and 32, and the team's Team round score is 7, then this team's total score is equal to \frac{40+36+32+0}{4}+7\times 2 = \boxed{41}. This is why it is disadvantageous to have a team with less than four members.

Other Regulations

  • The use of notes, books, dictionaries, translators, or any other reference material is not permitted during any round of this Mock Math Challengers Competition.
  • Calculators are not permitted for the Blitz, Bull’s-eye, or Face-off rounds. On the other hand, non-programmable calculators are permitted for the Co-op round. Also, participants may not use a device that has internet access, that can communicate with other devices, or that contains previously stored information.
  • During the Blitz, Bull’s-eye, and Co-op rounds, there will be no scrap paper provided. Competitors are not allowed to bring their own scrap paper to the competition either. The competitors are expected to do all their computations, scratch work, diagrams, and writing on the space provided in the test booklet. Competitors may write wherever they want on the paper except for the clearly marked areas where they must write the final answers to the problems.
  • Competitors are not allowed to ask any questions during any of the round of this Mock Math Challengers. Invigilators are instructed not to answer any questions.
  • If a competitor has to leave the room for any reason during any of the rounds, he or she may only be allowed to come back into the room after that round is finished.

Competitors must write their answers to any of the problems on the answer line following every problem. The markers will not look for the answers anywhere else in the test booklet. The written answer must be clear and in a legible and acceptable format. If an answer is dubious or if the markers cannot clearly read an answer, they will mark it as incorrect.

Although the Mock Math Challengers competition is a team competition, there are rules pertaining to communication within and between teams during the competition. In short, talking, signaling, passing messages, or any other form of communication, and group work of any kind, are permitted only during the Co-op round, and only between members of the same team. At no time during the competition (that is, any time that the proctors are actively supervising the competitors) is inter-team communication permitted. Parents, coaches, competitors, visitors, media personnel, photographers, and other non CSSMA staff also should remain as silent as possible during the Blitz, Bull’s-eye, and Co-op rounds, and refrain from speaking, signaling, using electronics, or communicating through any other form during the Face-off round in the competition rooms. Observers are welcome to take photographs, but such must not interfere with the running of any part of this Mock Math Challengers competition.

The purpose of the Mock Math Challengers competitions is not awarding lavish prizes but rather to serve an educational goal. However, depending on event, Mock Math Challengers competitions may award the following prizes. The actual Math Challengers competitions award their own prizes at their events.

  • Prizes for the members of the top team
  • A prize for the Face-off stage winner

The Math Challengers competition problems can require participants to give their answers in a variety of different formats: integer, common fraction, simplest radical form, dollar values...etc. For the sake of fair evaluation of all competitors, the Canadian Math Challengers Society has strict guidelines on the answer formats that they will accept under different circumstances on their competitions. We strongly encourage coaches and competitors to familiarize themselves with the acceptable answer formats prior to attending Mock Math Challengers competitions. Following is a description of the acceptable (and unacceptable) answer formats.

Units are not needed, and the competitors are strongly urged not to provide any units in their answers to any of the problems. We will include the correct units, where appropriate, in the designated area in the test booklet. However, if a competitor provides units, for whatever reason, his or her provided units must be correct, and exactly as asked in the problem. Otherwise, the answer will be marked as incorrect.

All answers must be expressed in the simplest form (unless otherwise specified). Simplest form includes integers, common fractions in lowest terms, radicals with rationalized denominators and no non-trivial perfect power (depending on the fractional root being taken) divisors in the radicand, and exact values whenever possible (so 2\pi rather than 6.28). If a common fraction can be simplified further into an integer, then the answer must be provided in an integer format. An exception is for questions with monetary units where the answers must be provided as decimal expression. Also some problems require that the answer be provided correct to a certain number of decimal places and the answer must be provided exactly as specified. There are exceptions to the above rules for the answer format, and these will be given in the problem statement. Whatever that is given in the problem statement overrules the regulation outlined in this paragraph.

The following PowerPoint slideshow (created by the Canadian Math Challengers Society) also describes the acceptable forms of answers at Math Challengers competitions, including the Mock Math Challengers competitions:

Forms of Answers