Senior maths team

This month our team of Hussein Daginawalla, Ian Fan, Matthew Maynard and myself left for John Colet School in Wendover to compete in the regional qualifier of the Team Senior Maths Challenge, one of many across the country. This event is an annual competition where schools - represented by four mathematically able studnets - co-operate to solve a series of challenging puzzles and intricate mathematical questions.

The competition consisted of three varied rounds. The first round required us to answer ten difficult questions within 40 minutes. We worked through the questions with a light-hearted atmosphere (a few other teams even gave us odd looks from all our laughter!) After a small confusion over whether one answer required a square root or not, we handed in our answers to our invigilator and were absolutely delighted to find out we attained full marks.

Following that round was the Crossnumber; here we had to fill in a crossword where all the answers were numbers instead. The problem was, however, we were divided into pairs: one pair only with the across clues, one only with the down clues. Finally, the day ended with a mini-relay round. This consisted of four rounds of four questions with a short time limit. Up to this point, we had not lost a single mark, so the pressure was on. It came to the wire as we wrote down our last answer with only six seconds to spare, practically throwing our answer sheet towards our invigilator. The tension was high as we received our answers back to find – much to our delight – we had once again achieved full marks, comfortably securing our victory and place in the finals.

It was a splendid opportunity and a thrilling competition from beginning to end. Now, we eagerly await the national finals in February where the problems and competition will prove to be even tougher to beat.