Round 1 2020

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

For ongoing information:



  • Tues 11 Feb: Problem #7 (Intermediate and Advanced) – noticed by Advanced marker Eva Neu:
    • the solution sheet said: “Insist on yuŋno and khade being sentence-final, but allow any other order.” Here, khade should be khoŋno
    • Fixed in revised Intermediate and Advanced files, and uploaded to the portal at 11.00 am.
  • Sat 8 Feb: Problem #3 (Breakthrough and Foundation) – noticed by Vicki Brownlee:
    • the portal showed the wrong maximum points.
    • Fixed
  • Tues 4 Feb: Intermediate, Problem #7 (Chintang) – noticed by Jonathan Lewis:
    • In sentence #g, cigarette should be water (as it is in the Advanced version of the same problem).
  • Fri 31 Jan: Downloading non-Advanced papers
    • Teachers can’t see the button for downloading test material for levels other than Advanced. We’re investigating ….
      • Bug fixed Friday morning 09.05

Dates for 2020

  • Mon Jan 27, 2020: end of period for notifying Advanced numbers.
  • Thurs Jan 30: test material released on the portal for all levels (see below).
  • Feb 3-7: test week for round 1
  • Fri Feb 7 (end): deadline for scanning and uploading Advanced scripts.
  • Feb 8: solutions for non-Advanced problems released via the portal.
  • Mon Feb 24: results announced for the Advanced competition.
  • March 10: 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 10: 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!) will be available for download from the portal at 5.00 pm on the date specified above. You’ll receive an email confirming that the material is ready.

Local arrangements

Advanced level

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  after the date 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.

Timing:   You can arrange your competition at any time during the competition  week specified above (or after, for non-Advanced entries), 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).

Other levels

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.
  • allowing more or less than our recommended time: 2 hours.
  • 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.)
  • timing it beyond the official competition week.

National thresholds for award certificates

The national thresholds for Gold, Silver and Bronze awards apply to all 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). 

  • These thresholds are based on the total marks for each candidate calculated as a percentage of the maximum marks for the level concerned, sothey may not correspond to the total of the marks for individual problems.
  • The thresholds are set so that the top 5% get Gold, the next 10% Silver and the next 20% Bronze. 
  • Even if a competitor does not win an award certificate, they will receive a certificate for participating. 
  • The ‘total entries’ column shows the number of results received by the day when the thresholds were calculated (11 March).

                                    total entries        gold           silver         bronze

Breakthrough              316                    83                78              66

Foundation                   736                    86                79              72.7

Intermediate             1006                     71               60.7            46.9

Advanced                   1650                   66.00           54.50          42.50