PMC Final Results November 2009

Thank you to the teachers in all 2577 PMC schools for giving your pupils the opportunity to take the PMC. The number of PMC papers mailed out was more than 94 000 with 69 000 certificates provided for presentation in school assemblies.

Here are some comments from the Feedback Forms:


I enjoyed working on a really tricky set of questions
I preferred the practice questions!
Tricky but fun
The PMC is the best challenge I have ever done
Slinky is very lazy
It wasn't just maths - you had to use common sense
Gives you a lot to think about
Why can't SATS be like that?
Don't panic and try your best
It makes thinking fun


Some classic problems
Pupils really enjoyed this year's challenge
The children enjoyed receiving their certificates
Good headscratching!
Great paper - lovely questions
Prompted some interesting discussion
The 'ramping' questions were easier this year
I liked the Albrecht Dûrer problem
This is becoming a regular event
They were 'challenged' and they enjoyed it
The last questions sorted the sheep from the lambs
A good pupil-stretching test
Good promotion of maths as a subject

Mark Distribution

This is the mark distribution calculated from your Pupils' Results Forms:

Mark 0 - 5 6 - 10 11 - 15 16 - 20 21 - 25
Percent of Pupils 2 22 49 23 4

PMC February 2010 Finals

This year we are inviting all pupils who scored 21 or more to take the PMC Finals (if the results forms were received by the PMC office before the deadline). These schools will receive a letter inviting 2045 pupils to take the Finals on Wednesday 3rd February. This is by far the largest number of Finalists, and we wish them all good luck in February. For a list of Finalists schools, click here: Finals Schools

Other feedback from PMC teachers:

Here are some of the other ideas which were on the Feedback Forms with our comments:

Wordy: Yes, we are still trying to get interesting problems using fewer words. Some thought this year's paper was harder, some easier. Asking for actual answers in Q21-25 is intended to cut out guessing in the hardest questions - most of you seemed to agree with that, though it does make getting a correct answer much harder. We gave only one mark for the last five problems because many of you had previously told us that different pupils founds different questions hard and that it would be fairer to allocate one mark to all questions. We have double to number of pupils scoring the top five marks ?-25) so the paper must have been easier!

Working out paper: each year many of you say that you want space on the paper for pupils' working out. This is like SATS!!! and not like to UKMT challenges for older school pupils. Having space for working out would increase paper size, postage and costs. So please provide rough paper for working out yourselves!

Certificates: many commented that it was easier to write in pupils' names. Good. A few said that the certificates were skimpy. That was not the intention - we are investigating! The PMC Management Team will also look at comments about certificate difficulties when you do not have the certificates you need in the packs. That is obviously a problem and we will see what we can do.

The postal strike caused many difficulties and many of you commented that the office staff assisted efficiently.

Marks: some of you commented that the marks are bunched in the middle more. This is inevitable if we try to set a challenge paper in which many pupils score a 'motivating' mark but which 'stretches' the most able. We do receive many comments indicating that low achievers do not enjoy the PMC, and we now have a bunching at the top! Comments on this are welcome - write to

Click here to download a list of award winners for the PMC Finals, February 2009.