Maths Olympiad Stretches Students

Three Maths students at The Sixth Form College, Solihull took part in the Mathematics Olympiad for Girls recently with two achieving Distinctions.

Over 1,700 students participated nationwide, with the top 25% getting Distinction awards. The event is run by the UK Mathematics Trust, introduced in 2011 to help schools nurture the talents of enthusiastic young female mathematicians. It is aimed at girls in Year 13 and below and is sat in schools in the Autumn. Zahrah Fatimah, Alice Harley and Louise Rippin represented the College in this competition.

Louise Rippin (aged 17, from Shirley) achieved a Distinction. She said:

“I took part, hoping that it would help to develop my problem-solving skills and I feel that it did. The questions in the paper were very challenging, so I had to take numerous approaches until I found a way that I thought worked. The questions were not too different than the STEP ones I have been practising for university applications and this was one of the main reasons I thought taking part would be very beneficial to me.”

Zahrah Fatimah (aged 16, from Acocks Green), who also got a Distinction, added:

“I took part in the challenge last year, so when it was mentioned to me by the Maths department, I volunteered. Part of the reason I like these challenges is that the questions aren’t as straight forward as with those you’d come across with regular maths. As a result, the questions are designed to make you think a lot more about them: the actual maths you need to use is hidden amidst layers of context. As such, I really enjoyed answering these questions as this added to the fun of it. The competition is always challenging but this makes it more satisfying when you finally work out how to do/attempt a certain problem.”

Both Zahrah and Louise want to continue their Maths studies at university and both are hoping to get places at Cambridge University. Like Louise and Zahrah, Alice is studying Maths and Further Maths at the College and enjoyed the challenge of this demanding competition.

15 November 2017