QMC students pitted their wits against the country’s best contemporary brains with great success when 47 mathematicians took part in the Senior Mathematics Challenge.

Overall, 33 of the students gained certificates, with ten qualifying for the follow-on Kangaroo Challenge, placing them among the top 6,600 sixth form mathematicians nationally, and one was invited to sit the British Mathematical Olympiad, placing him in the top 1,000 mathematicians in the UK.

The Senior Mathematics Challenge is a national competition open to 16 to 18 year-olds from state and independent schools and colleges alike. Students are faced with 25 baffling, multi-choice questions covering a range of areas of mathematics based on GCSE knowledge.

The UK Mathematical Trust, which runs the competition, is supported by the higher education sector and business, with problem-solving skills highly prized by universities and employers.

All of these competitions test numerical skills as well as their geometry and algebra; calculators are not permitted.

The Kangaroo Challenge is a one-hour test while the Olympiad consists of six highly complex problems and lasts for a gruelling three-and-a-half hours.

Top performer William McDade went on to show real flair in the Olympiad. Getting complete solutions for any of them is extremely difficult and William scored 8/10 and 7/10 for two of the questions and an impressive merit overall.

David Smith, director of learning in mathematics, was delighted with the results. He said: “We are very proud of our students’ achievements again this year. These results are among the college’s best in recent years and will help our young mathematicians to secure places at top universities.”