Math Kangaroo Contest

logo-kangarooMathematical Kangaroo (also known as International Mathematical Kangaroo) is an international mathematical competition where over 50 countries are represented. There are twelve levels of participation, ranging from grade 1 to grade 12. The competition is held annually on the third Thursday of March. According to the organizers, the key competence tested by Mathematical Kangaroo is logical combination, not just pure knowledge of formulas.

It is the largest competition for school students in the world, with over 9,000,000 participants from 81 countries in 2016.

Math Kangaroo contest when compared to Math Olympiads, Math League, or other math competitions requires less pre-requisite knowledge, which allows students the opportunity to participate in a fun and competitive environment while feeling much less pressured. This competition gives students the opportunity to compare themselves to others not only on the national level but also on the international level.


We have posted the 2016 Math Kangaroo Problems below:


The competition is a multiple choice test that runs for 75 minutes. It consists of 24 questions for students up to 4th grade, and 30 questions for other students. The sections for 3 point, 4 point, and 5 point questions are equally divided. The minimum score is 0. The maximum score is 96 points for students up to 4th grade, and 120 points for other students. There is a -1 point penalty for any incorrect answer, and no penalty for skipping a question.


  • Math Kangaroo Competition is an international, once a year event, always on the third Thursday in March.
  • Any student in grades 1 through 12 qualifies if he or she can work independently: read and answer a multiple choice test.
  • The competition questions are appropriate for the students’ age, are interesting and challenging.
  • Questions are chosen by the International Math Kangaroo Committee.
  • In May students who earned at least ten top scores at each level of participation are awarded with gold, silver, and bonze medals and with gifts. International Summer Camp in Europe, Mathematica Camp in MA, and college grants are among the top awards. Also, in each participating state 1st, 2nd, 3rd in the state are recognized at each level. More awards maybe granted in states where State Directors are identified.
  • Wolfram Research is offering Mathematica license for all 6th-grade and up participants after they take an on-demand webcast on getting started with Mathematica – annually since 2008.

kangaroo-logoGeneral Rules

  • Levels correspond with school grades:
    • 1st Grade — Level 1
    • 2nd Grade — Level 2
    • 3rd Grade — Level 3
    • …….
    • 12th Grade (Senior Class in High School) — Level 12
  • 75 Minutes multiple choice test
  • 24 Questions for students in grades 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • 30 Questions for students in grades 5 and up
  • Each participant receives a competition booklet, an answer form, scratch paper and pencil.
  • No aids other than writing instruments and paper will be allowed. In particular, no calculators will be allowed on any part of the competition, and any cell phones must be turned off


  • Each question has point value. 1/3 of questions are 3 points each, 1/3 are 4 points each, 1/3 are 5 points each. The sum of earned points is the student’s result.
  • The result in Math Kangaroo is called the score. The score is the sum of points earned by a student in the competition. Each question has its point value displayed on the questions paper. A student earns the points when he/she marks answers properly. There are no negative markings as yet.
  • The students who earned the ten top highest scores are placed on National List on places 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – at each level nationwide.
  • The maximum possible score is 96 points at levels: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 120 points at levels 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.
  • If several students’ score is 100% or 96 points at level 4, for example, they all are at place 1 and all receive gold medals. If the greatest number of points is not 100% at some level of participation, that number qualifies for the first place, at this time. That may change and no first place maybe awarded. The second highest score puts a student on second place, and so on.
  • Percentile is the percent of students whose scores are lower than your child’s score at that level of participation.


  • Gold medals are awarded for the first place at each level nationwide. Silver medals are awarded for the second place at each level nationwide. Bronze medals are awarded for the third place at each level nationwide.
  • In states the students are recognized, who earned the three top scores at each level, at this time. When in each participating state the number of participants is 100 or more at each level of participation we plan to recognize ten top results in each state as well. We need to wait a while for that.
  • Blue Ribbon is awarded for the first place in state. Red Ribbon is awarded for the second place in state. White Ribbon is awarded for the third place in state. All these ribbons are beautiful!
  • In addition to the medals and ribbons, the national winners and the state winners are awarded with Certificates of Excellence and gifts which include: books, games, gift cards, toys, college grants and mathematical summer camps.
  • Priority with receiving grants and camps have the students who participated in Math Kangaroo for several years with top scores. The Math Kangaroo reserves the right to make exception of that rule if academic exception is demonstrated and founds are available.

b4jdzariiaacleOur Students

In 2016, we have 32 students who earned top scores at each level of participation on the Math Kangaroo Contest, and then were awarded with gold, silver, bronze medals and with gifts. The gold medal is the highest prize. Daniel D., Eric C., Shivabrata M., and  Emily M. won the national first place of grades 3, 4, 5, and 6, respectively. Distinguished performances on a variety of math competitions show that Philip’s unique strategies of teaching math are productive.


Benefits of taking Math Kangaroo tests

There are many benefits of taking Math Kangaroo tests, whether your child is in Grade 1 or Grade 12:

  • It helps elementary school students getting into good middle/high schools (private or public), and high school students getting into Ivy-League colleges or top Universities. For example, MIT, Caltech, and Stanford accept high percentage of students who are good with math demonstrated in winning math contests.
  • It improves the students’ logical thinking, critical reasoning, and problem solving skills.





5 responses to “Math Kangaroo Contest

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