# UW Math Olympiad

A unique math competition conducted orally, where you can talk to our judges and explain your solutions, for grades 6–10.

**The 2024 UW Math Olympiad is now over. Thank you to everyone who participated! Please see the archives for results and problems.**

## Rules and format

This style of Olympiad is likely to be quite different from any other type of mathematical contest you have experienced. There will be two levels of problems: one for grades 6–7, and another for grades 8–10. Initially, you will be given a set of **5 problems** to solve over **3 hours**. If you solve 3 or more of the initial 5 problems, you will be given **2 additional harder problems**. The number of points you get is simply the number of problems you solve.

This is an **individual oral Olympiad**. This means that when you solve a problem, you will discuss your solution with a judge. After you explain your answer, the judge will decide whether or not your solution is correct. If your solution is incomplete, the judge will help you understand why your solution is incomplete. At that point you will have an opportunity to continue to work on the problem, and try to present it again. Each student will have **3 attempts to present each problem** to the judges.

Our judges are friendly mathematicians who have volunteered their time on a Sunday morning to talk about math with you! They want to be there, and they want you to succeed as you work on these problems.

The rules will also be carefully explained on the day of the Olympiad, and any additional questions will be answered during the opening ceremony.

## Typical schedule

The UW Math Olympiad is typically held on a Sunday in early June, though the exact day may vary.

Time | Activity |
---|---|

9:30–10:00 | Registration |

10:00–10:30 | Opening ceremony |

10:30–1:30 | Problem solving time |

1:30–2:00 | Lunch |

2:00–3:00 | Presentation of solutions |

3:00–3:30 | Closing ceremony / awards |

On the day of the event, **bring scratch paper, pencils, and a nut-free snack**. If you would like to bring a simple scientific calculator, you are free to do so, but you shouldn’t need one.

Parking at UW is free on Sundays. The closest lot will depend on the building we are using in any particular year, but you can find general information here . Alternatively, the UW campus is generally accessible by Link light rail and King County Metro buses.

## Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge the generous help and support from the Northwest Academy of Sciences . This event is partially supported by NSF grant DMS-0953011.

## FAQ

## Can I join UW Math Olympiad if I am not in grades 6–10?

Highly motivated 5th-graders may participate, however, we discourage this because the format of the Olympiad can be overwhelming for younger students. No other grades will be admitted.

## Is registration required? Is there a capacity limit?

Due to nature of this competition, there is a limited capacity dependent on the number of judges we have. Therefore, registration is required and will close when we hit our capacity limit.

## Are there prizes?

During the awards ceremony, the top scorers in each grade bracket (6–7 and 8–10) will be given certificates to commemorate their achievement.

## What is the best way to prepare for the UW Math Olympiad?

Remember that this competition is very different from other competitions, in that you need to explain your answers carefully and clearly so that the judge is convinced that you are correct. The best way to prepare for anything is to practice. This means solving problems (from any source), and trying to explain your answers carefully to a parent, teacher, or friend! Tell them to be skeptical, and if they don’t understand, take that to mean that you should improve your explanation, not that they are less capable than you.

The UW Math Circle is also an excellent way to practice talking about math, though the program is not intended as preparation for the Olympiad and is by no means required.

If you’d like to practice with actual UW Math Olympiad problems, check out the Archive. If you want some solutions or just a physical collection, we wrote a book! It is called Math Out Loud: an Oral Olympiad Handbook , and it contains practice problems and worked solutions from the first 10 years of this Olympiad. All profits go to supporting the UW Math Olympiad.

## I have a different question.

Please contact Julia Pevtsova at julia [at] math [dot] washington [dot] edu and Steve Klee at klees [at] uw [dot] edu.