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Mathematics Competitions for Your Students

  The Irish Mathematical Olympiad

The Irish Mathematical Olympiad (IrMO) is a national mathematics competition for secondary school students. Having experienced its 30th Year in 2017, it is one of the oldest mathematics competitions in Ireland. It is also unique in its format, which require long answers detailing all the logical steps in each solution. Emphasis is placed on creative thinking as well as depth of knowledge and understanding. Since 2011, IrMO is run in two rounds. Round 1 takes place in schools every November, and Round 2 is organized in Mathematics Enrichment centres in April or May. 

The students with the top six results in the Final of the IrMO are formed into a team that competes in the International Mathematical Olympiad, the world's oldest, largest and most respected mathematics competition for school students.

 IrMO Round 1


 Round 1 which is administered in schools every November for students of ages between 15 and 17, typically. The numbers of participants have increased from 8,000 in 2011 to almost 15,000 in 2016. Competitions like this, as well as the related PRISM competition run by our Galway IMT members, provide a strong motivation for students to engage in problem solving.  

"The Olympiad is a fantastic idea and my students and I both enjoy and look forward to the test every year…I also hope to use the questions as a resource in a Maths Circle I hope to set up in school. Keep up the great work !” (2016 IrMO - Round 1 feedback)

Round One of IrMO 2018 took place on 13-17 November, 2017.

  PRoblem-solving for Irish Second level Mathematicians (PRISM)

The PRoblem-solving for Irish Second level Mathematicians (PRISM) contest is the brainchild of NUI Galway mathematicians and IMT members Dr. James Cruickshank and Dr. Rachel Quinlan. It has run every year since 2006 on Maths Week, and it aims to encourage students to take an interest in problem-solving from an early age.

Each participating school holds separate hour-long contests for pre-Junior Certificate and post-Junior Certificate students. The contests feature a series of twenty problems, in multiple-choice format, to test the problem-solving dexterity of participants.


There are many mathematics competitions for students in Ireland, differing in style, format, length and focus. You will find that students' performance may vary greatly with the style of the competitions: some students excel in speed and precision, others may flourish when exposed to more complex, research type problems, requiring longer periods of thinking, while some may enjoy puzzles with unusual solutions. 

For these reasons we have assembled a more comprehensive list of competitions in the Resources section. 

Below you will find out more about the competitions organized by the Irish Mathematical Trust and its partners:

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