South African Mathematics Team Competition (SAMTC)

Contact person: Dr Ruaan Kellerman ([email protected] or 012 420 2572)

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Senior team members at work during a training session
The Interprovincial Mathematics Olympiad is a yearly event when the cream of the mathematically talented students competes against each other on provincial level. Two junior teams and three senior team, each consisting of 10 members are selected per province. A position in one of the teams is earned on grounds of continuous achievement and specific achievement in the SA Maths Olympiad, one of the activities of the South African Mathematics Foundation.
The competition has been running for the past 22 years and the emphasis is on the fun element. Gauteng North traditionally provides fierce competition to the other provinces.

 How it works

After one or two workshops to prepare for the day, every team meets at a university in their province (University of Pretoria for Gauteng North).  Traditionally the competition starts with an individual section where every member of the team is presented with a paper consisting of 15 questions (worth 100 points) to be completed in an hour. The papers are marked while the team members relax for half an hour. A total for the team out of a possible 1000 points is calculated. The individual section is then followed by the team section. Here the team as a whole is presented with 10 questions that they have to complete in 60 minutes. Strategy is of vital importance. Because mathematics is often practised as a solitary activity the idea of a team paper is quite novel. Team members have to work together but at the same time utilise the strengths of the individual members.
The questions are of such nature that only one final answer is presented which earns either 100 points or nothing. A score out of 1000 is calculated for the team section. The results of the team section often swing the overall results. The two scores are added to present a score out of 2000 for the team. Results are then communicated.
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Published by Ronel Oosthuizen

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