Otago Problem Challenge 2016

The Otago Problem Challenge is a mathematics problem solving competition aimed primarily at children in Years 7 and 8 and mathematically able children in Year 6. It has been offered to schools throughout New Zealand since 1991 with the involvement reaching its peak in 2002 with some 728 schools entering more than 42,000 children.

Children participating in the competition attempt to answer five questions in 30 minutes. There are five sitting dates, which are done about a month apart. The children do the problems individually but they can share their answers and strategies in small groups afterwards. All three levels (Years 6, 7 and 8) attempt the same problem set although there are separate competitions for each level.

All children taking part will receive a certificate of participation. Those in the top 10% in each year will receive certificates of excellence and those in the next 25% will receive certificates of merit. If your child does particularly well they will be invited to sit the ‘Final Challenge’, where they will compete against the best problem solvers in the country to win some great prizes.

The best thing about the competition is that it will not cost you a cent! The children will get the opportunity to practice for the competition, as well as participating in regular problem solving activities. The five sitting dates are listed below:


For more information you can visit www.maths.otago.ac.nz/pc

If you have any questions, please contact me at jirvine@wainui.school.nz



Jason Irvine


P.S – Below I have included some practice examples for you to try at home. You can check your answers with me and also ask for help if needed.

OPC – Set 1 – 2000

OPC – Set 1 – 2001

OPC – Set 1 – 2002

OPC – Set 1 – 2003

OPC – Set 1 – 2004

OPC – Set 1 – 2005

OPC – Set 1 – 2006

OPC – Set 1 – 2007

OPC – Set 1 – 2008

OPC – Set 1 – 2009