Return to Top-Top Set Maths

2018-2019 UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge Results

The Top-Top Set Maths Project aims to stretch good maths students by establishing top-top sets that are more challenging that a standard top set. Three of our school have been running top-top sets for almost three years, so this year we received our first set of data from Year 9 students entering the UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge. This was a crucial test, because we hoped that it would show our students would perform strongly in this annual, national, independent and demanding test.

Our benchmark, ideally, would have been to compare this year’s Year 9 students against last year’s Year 9 students, but not all of our schools had entered Year 9 students in previous years, so comparisons have been tricky.

However, these results show how this year’s Year 9 cohort at one of our schools fared compared to this year’s Year 10 students and last year’s Year 10 students at the same school. By the way, students who do well are aiming for gold, silver or bronze certificates, indicating that they finished in the top 7%, 20% and 40% respectively.

Year Gold Silver Bronze
9 (2019 top-top set) 3 4 8
10 (2019) 0 2 6
10 (2018) 0 4 6

And here are the combined results across all three schools. As explained already, it is hard to pin down all the numbers from past years for every school, due to lack of participation, so the numbers below are good estimates based on available data:

Year Gold Silver Bronze
9 2018-2019 top-top set 7 15 19
9 average estimate 0 8 12
10 average estimate 1 14 23
11 average estimate 3 12 21

This data is from only three schools, and from only one year, but it suggests top-top sets help Year 9s perform better than previous cohorts of Year 9s, so much so that they even outperform their Year 10 and Year 11 schoolmates. In particular, when it came to the gold certificates, our Year 9 top-top set students did extremely well, doubling the number of certificates achieved by students who are two years older than them.