The Primary Mathematics Challenge is a fun and exciting mathematical Challenge aimed at pupils in years 5 and 6 England and Wales, P6 and P7 in Scotland, and Years 6 and 7 in Northern Ireland. The PMC is open to schools and home-schooled pupils only. To find out more please check our FAQs.
The PMC is not designed to be just another test in the school year. We are of the belief that the PMC encourages enthusiasm, boosts confidence in mathematics and shows the different way questions can be asked. We believe in the importance of Problem Solving as a means of helping pupils develop their reasoning skills.
“A very well organised competition, easy to access and administer, the tough questions went far beyond the material covered in our Maths classes but a wonderful opportunity to extend and challenge our most able mathematicians.”
“A wonderful challenge, thank you.”
The PMC is designed to make pupils think outside the box. The questions asked are not necessarily subjects that have been covered in the curriculum by this time, but the questions can create a great starting point and lead to discussions later in the year. We try to make sure the questions are not heavily reliant on formal mathematical knowledge but can be solved by logical reasoning.
The PMC paper has 25 questions. 20 of these are multiple choice. The questions are graded; starting with easy ones and graduating to harder questions. The final five require an answer where no choices are given.
Answering PMC questions does not depend on mathematical knowledge alone, but on the ability to think things through, be logical and find ways to solve problems. Pupils also need to read the questions carefully!
For the November paper the teachers decide how the certificates be awarded. Decisions are therefore an ‘in-school’ task. The spirit of the PMC is that, in each school, there will be a number of gold, silver and bronze pupils who deserve certificates. We know every school has pupils of varying ability, so we do not want to limit the achievements of any pupils taking part. A number of certificates are provided in the pack.