Round 1 2018

  1. Notice-board for emergencies during and after the test week
  2. Dates
  3. Test material
  4. Local arrangements
  5. Advanced entries
  6. Advanced results
  7. National thresholds for Gold, Silver and Bronze at each level, and some statistics
  8. Archive of messages to teachers

For ongoing information:




  • Entering points: [Tues Feb 20, 12.00] I’m afraid we have a problem on the portal. You can’t see a button for entering non-Advanced scores. We’re working on it and I’ll post an all-clear when it’s fixed. Very sorry.
    • Please ignore the above – it’s rubbish! The button you need, labelled ‘Manage students’, is there, but it looks as though it only applies to Advanced entries. It’s all explained in the instructions.
  • Marking:
    • Revised solution files: [Thurs Feb 16 14:30] I’ve updated all the solution files on the portal, so if you want the latest files, including all the corrections listed below, go to the portal and select the solution files you want to download.
    • Problem 2 (Lithuanian): In #5 and 8, it should be nenórime, nenóriu  (not: nenorime, nenoriu).
      • Added Tues Feb 13, 13,05.
    • Problem 3 (Bulgarian): In 3.2, ‘gare (station)’ is either гoра or гaра
      • Added Tues Feb 13, 14.13.
    • Problem 4 (Fijian): For question 4.2, the number of points per question part doesn’t add up to the specified total (12), so please assign 2 points per part instead of 1.
      • Added Tues Feb 13, 11.45. Uploaded answers haven’t yet been updated.
    • Problem 5 (Gilbertese):
      • For 5.1.3, the correction contains one more te (marking a noun as singular) than the original, giving just two te’s for three nouns (kawai=road, ataei=child, bong=day); consequently there are theoretically three different correct orders possible, according to which noun has no te. We can exclude bong, which is always in the expression n te bong aei, ‘today’, but that leaves two possibilities, ‘roads’ or ‘children’. However, only ‘children’ leaves an error for Q. 5.2, so this is the only acceptable answer for 5.1.3. The correct re-ordering is therefore: A nakonako nakon te kawai ataei n te bong aei, meaning ‘A/the child is walking/walks to the road today.’
        • added Weds Feb 14, 14.45
      • the translation for #3 should include ‘child’, not ‘woman’.
        • Added Mon Feb 12, 20.30. Uploaded answers haven’t yet been updated.
    • Problem 7 (Icelandic): For question 7.1.2, the answer should be Ingvar er dóttursonur Einars instead of systursonur.
      • Sat Feb 10 (13.10): This has now been corrected in the solution file for teachers.
  • Portal trouble: The portal doesn’t seem to upload Advanced scripts, but in at least one case the scripts actually reached their marker, so it’s not clear what the problem is. We’re aware of it and working on it. I’ll report when it’s fixed.
    • Tuesday morning: Problem fixed. You should be able to upload your scanned scripts, but let me know if you can’t. (Our apologies. The problem had crept into the portal through an innocent update of the underlying software. Frustrating!)
  • Problem 4 (What’s your is mine) contains an error in the first table: item 12 should read “na kemuni yuaka [corrected below to vuaka]” (i.e. no space between kemun and i). Please change it on the test paper. [added Monday 25.20]
    • Tuesday afternoon: Woops – another error crept in inside the  correction! It should be vuaka, not yuaka. (Human frailty ….)
  • Problem 2 (Lithuanian road trip) contains an error in the table: three rows up should read “Skaityk žemėlapį. “. I’ve corrected the problem in all the relevant packages (Breakthrough, Foundation, Other) on the website, so if you’ve already downloaded any of these packages I’m afraid you need to do it again. But within the package, the only file that’s changed is the one for Problem 2, now called “2 Lithuanian revised.pdf”. Very sorry. [added before the test week]



Dates for 2018

  • December 10, 2017: start of period for notifying Advanced numbers (not names) on the portal.
  • Mon Jan 29: end of period for notifying Advanced numbers.
  • Thurs Feb 1: test material released on the portal for all levels (see below).
  • Feb 5-9: test week for round 1
  • Fri Feb 9 (end): deadline for scanning and uploading Advanced scripts.
  • Feb 10: solutions for non-Advanced problems released via the portal.
  • Mon Feb 26: results announced for the Advanced competition.
  • March 12: deadline for entering non-Advanced results in the portal. Soon after that we’ll fix the national thresholds so that you can download your certificates.
  • April 1: All-clear for releasing publicly all the test material, for all levels including Advanced, and including solutions and marking schemes.

Test material: all the material you need for the test (apart from coloured pens – highly recommended!), including certificate templates, will be available for download from the portal at 5.00 pm. You’ll receive an email confirming that the material is ready. (See above for the date.)

Round 1:   You can arrange your competition at any time during this week, but you must make sure you have time:

  • to scan the Advanced scripts in time to send them to us by the end of Friday evening.
  • to print the test papers (at all levels) after they are released.
  • to send us your results for the Foundation and Intermediate tests that you marked by the deadline (see above).

For levels other than Advanced, you’re welcome to make whatever arrangements you like for the competition, including:

  • allowing pupils to work in small teams.
  • splitting a paper into separate problems to be tackled at different times, e.g. in timetabled classes.
  • making up your own ad hoc paper by combining problems to taste, or even by just selecting one or two problems. (Our results-reporting system will allow you to enter results for individual problems, so it won’t worry if they don’t fit a standard paper.)

Advanced entries: If you’re expecting to enter candidates for the Advanced competition,

  • please notify us of your numbers (not names) as instructed, so that we can assign you a marker. The portal won’t accept notifications before or after the dates given above. Late entries will not be accepted.
  • please arrange for your candidates to take the test under the conditions that you would provide for any public exam such as GCSE – i.e. a quiet room with an invigilator and no communication between candidates (or access to mobile phones or computers!).
  • please allow 2.5 hours for the test.
    • If you have candidates who are given extra time in other public exams, please make similar arrangements here.

Further details. For further information about the arrangements for Round 1, see archived email messages.

Results of the Advanced competition:

  • These will be announced on the date given above.

National thresholds for Gold, Silver and Bronze certificates at all levels; for example, if the threshold for Bronze level at Intermediate level is 60, then any total of 60 or higher will merit a Bronze certificate (provided it is below the threshold for the Silver level). We round to one decimal point, so unfortunately 59.9 does not earn a Bronze. These thresholds are based on the total marks for each candidate calculated as a percentage of the maximum marks for the level concerned, so that the top 5% get Gold, the next 10% Silver and the next 20% Bronze.

  total entries gold silver bronze
Breakthrough  220  90  76  60
Foundation  1042  71  60  42
Intermediate  970  80  70  55
Advanced  1650  52  40  29.6