Students from grades 5, 6, and 7 will compete in separate divisions. Each division will enjoy three rounds of competition, as outlined below.
There are two written stages: Sprint and Target, the maximum number of points available is 50.
1. Sprint Round
During the Sprint Round participants have 50 minutes to answer 26 questions written on three pages (each correct answer will count as one point).
Some questions are easy and some are hard so participants must plan accordingly. In general, the first 9 questions of the Sprint Round are easier, the next 9 questions are of intermediate difficulty and the last 8 questions are harder.
A total score of around 50% means that the participant is doing very well.
During the Sprint Round, participants may write on the back of each paper and do any calculations that they need to assist in reaching final answers.
2. Target Round
During the Target Round participants have three sessions (each on a separate page) of 15 minutes for 4 questions each. There are 12 questions in the Target Round, each worth 2 points each.
At the beginning, participants are instructed to work on the first colour coded page for 15 minutes. They must work on this page only and are not allowed to turn to other pages. Once instructed to transfer to the second page, they must turn the page tot the second colour coded page and will be allowed to work on that page only (15 minutes). Once instructed to transfer to the third page, they must turn the page to the third colour coded page and will be allowed to work on that page only (15 minutes).
In the Target Round, the first 2 questions for each page are easier that the last 2 questions.
Participants must do all necessary calculations on the page they are working on (there is plenty of space as there are only 4 questions per page).
This is a verbal one-on-one competition.
Time to answer a question is 60 seconds from the beginning of reading the question. At 55 seconds, the official timer will notify competitors.
Scrap paper will be provided, the use of calculators is prohibited.
The respondent must press their buzzer before they will be asked to answer.
The respondent must start answering within 3 seconds of being acknowledged.
If the respondent answers incorrectly, or if they fail to answer in time, the balance of the question will be read to their opponent who will have the remainder of the time to respond.
The person who answers the best of the first 3 questions wins: (i.e. 2-0, 2-1 or 1-0). In case of a tie (i.e. 1-1 or 0-0) additional questions will be read until the tie is broken.
Please note that this rule changes for the last 3 rounds of the Countdown (rounds 7-9) where the winner is the first person to score 3 correct answers.
Correct answers do not have to include units.
If the answer is an integer, it must be provided as an integer. If it is not an integer the answer may be provided as either a fraction (in lowest terms) or in decimal form (unless otherwise specified).