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Math Contest at Moeng School

What a challenging evening was Monday, 11 June 2018 for 184 secondary school students at Moeng College! After finishing their supper, they stretched their mind with solving mathematical problems.

How the math challenge was prepared?

Prof Szekelyhidi and his research team – Ms Sebaameng Samuel and Mr Mogomotsi Koontse both TIs at BIUST – organised the event with the help of Ms Chipo Mokgathi, Senior Teacher 1. Mathematics at Moeng College. The professor compiled the questions and provided the solution sheet, the TIs secured the date, the math teacher arranged invigilation and marking of papers. A complete team work, but this doesn’t end here!

In the second half of June, Ms Samuel and Mr Koontse will visit the school again to discuss the correct answers. They will not only state what was correct, but also explain why that particular answer was the right choice. In this way students can really learn and master the concepts. Hopefully, many of the participants will be BIUST students in a few years’ time so the sooner they understand the theory, the easier math will be for them.

Before circling the 1st answer

Prof Szekelyhidi gave warm greetings to all participants, then outlined the whole event as a part of a regional contest, like the one held just before Easter at Lotsane Secondary School.

He explained what students should focus on, and how the scoring system would work. He emphasized the benefit of skipping an answer rather than giving an incorrect one based on guessing. Boys and girls were given 20 brainteasers, twenty MCQ (multiple choice) questions. Time was limited: 60 minutes, which is only 3 minutes for each question. The learners had to chose the only correct answer from a list so they were forced to think fast and sharp.

Besides, the scoring system did not encourage guessing since an unanswered question was worth more points than giving a wrong one. Here is how answers were marked:

Just two days went by after the math contest, and results came out thanks to Ms Chipo and her colleagues who worked really hard. Below are the names of the best 3 students and their scores in percentage. Congratulations to you, very well done:

We hope to meet you in the next regional round, and in the following ones. Who knows, you could end up in the National Olympic Math Team of Botswana representing your country in international contests.

Questions and answers

If you are interested in the Moeng Math Contest MCQs and their solutions, please download this file (black and white pdf file, 197 KB). It is also available from the Problems menu. The structure of the file as follows:

Finally, some photos were taken at the event which show how happy the students were. To see the pictures, please visit the Gallery.