Round 1

Click here for final instructions

  • Round 1 is taken and administered in schools. Candidates enter as individuals, not as members of a team.
  • It takes place on a single day in early February. In 2010 it will be on Wednesday 3rd or Thursday 4th February; schools can choose either of these days to suit their own commitments, but neighbouring schools should coordinate their days to avoid cheating.
  • Any School in the UK is welcome to enter as many pupils as they want. Schools in Northern Ireland are free to enter either the UK competition or the All Ireland one. Any pupils are eligible (regardless of whether they are UK citizens).
  • The competition is divided into two levels: foundation and advanced. When registering, a school chooses the level for each candidate (using whatever criteria it prefers – there’s no age limit for either level), but may enter different candidates for both. The two competitions may be sat in the same room, but they must be timetabled at the same time as some of the test material is used at both levels.
  • The foundation-level competition lasts up to two hours, but less if the school prefers. The school will receive the full two-hour paper a day in advance as a Word file, and may trim it to suit their pupils and timetable. Performance at this level doesn’t qualify for round 2.
  • The advanced-level competition lasts two and a half hours, and (of course) contains harder questions (as well as some easier ones so that no-one is too disheartened). Candidates for round 2 are selected on the basis of the advanced level.
  • Papers: the test papers will be sent out by email (for photocopying by schools except where other arrangements have been made) a few days before the exam, as follows:
    • Foundation level: this will be sent as a Word file about 3.00 pm on Friday 29th January, so that schools can tailor it (e.g. by removing questions) to suit their needs.
    • Advanced level: this will be sent as a .pdf file about 9.00 am on Monday 1st February.
  • Marking: The school marks the foundation level, using a mark scheme that we
    supply, and sends the material to the committee for moderation. The committee marks the advanced level.
  • Entry in Round 1 is free, but schools must provide their own photocopying and clerical expenses where they can. Where this is difficult we may be able to supply paper copies of the exam.
  • Click here for a draft letter to send to parents of potential competitors.
 

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