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Massive Day for Maths in NZ

Massive Day for Maths in NZ

Primary and secondary school students in New Zealand will join hundreds of thousands of students from about 40 countries on Thursday 1 August to take part in the 36th annual Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC) sponsored by the Commonwealth Bank.

Students of all levels of ability, from all types of schools in very different locations around the country, will sit a 75-minute secondary paper or 60-minute primary paper which contains quirky questions with an emphasis on fun and problem solving.

The AMC is one of the first and possibly one of the largest competitions of its kind in the world, with around 1000 prizes and 70 medals awarded annually. Since it began in 1978, it has become a truly international event, attracting approximately 15 million entries. Each year, there are entries from some 40 countries across South East Asia, the Pacific, Europe, and Africa.

Adjunct Professor Mike Clapper, Executive Director of the not-for-profit Australian Mathematics Trust which administers the competition, said, 'The Australian Mathematics Competition provides an excellent opportunity to develop problem solving proficiency and to diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of individual students'. 'The competition contains questions which will be accessible to all students but the most difficult questions will be challenging, even for the brightest students', he added.

Students who are outstanding both within their country or Australian state and overall in the competition are awarded medals at annual ceremonies. The New Zealand AMC Medals ceremony will be held in Wellington on 1 October this year, during the New Zealand Association of Mathematics Teachers 13th Biennial Conference.

The Australian Mathematics Trust is under the trusteeship of the University of Canberra.

The following sample question appeared in the 2012 Upper Primary (Years 6 and 7) paper:

Problem: Lee's mobile phone gives him a warning that only 20% of the battery charge remains. If it is 48 hours since he last charged his phone and he uses the phone in the same way, how much longer, in hours, can he expect to use the phone before it runs out of battery life? (A) 12(B) 20(C) 24(D) 80(E) 192

Answer: (A)

Method: 80% of the battery charge lasts 48 hours, so 10% will last 6 hours and the remaining 20% will last 2 × 6 = 12 hours.


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