Students will sit a maths competition next week.
Students will sit a maths competition next week.

Forty years on, school maths comp makes its mark

IT’S estimated more than half a million students have taken part in a maths competition that’s been going 40 years and is on again next week.

Next Wednesday, 125 primary school students from seven schools in Lismore will sit down and take the exam.

The students in Years 5 and 6, will help take the total number of participants Newcastle Permanent Primary Schools Maths Competition to more than 500,000 since its inception in 1981.

An impressive 16,915 students from 287 schools throughout regional NSW will sit the exam next week. Compared to the 2,337 students from 70 schools recorded for the first exam 1981. What’s even more impressive is that the students will sit the 35-question exam with zero help from calculators, rulers, or any other mathematical instruments.

That’s right, they will just have to make do with what calculations they can do in their head and on pen and paper.

Newcastle Permanent branch manager David Parker said the exam was a “rite of passage for primary school children”.

“Our Primary School mathematics Competition provides students with an opportunity to gain invaluable problem solving skills without relying on tools and technology – such as a calculator or ruler – a great asset in today’s world,” he said.

“Forty years on from its humble beginning, it’s so positive to see our local students and schools continue to engage in this important and educational initiative.

“We’re really excited to see so many students in Lismore taking part, and wish everyone good luck as they take part in the 40th annual exam on Wednesday.”