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Elementary School Math Competitions held in the USA and Australia

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

5 Elementary School Math Competitions held in the USA
5 Math Competitions for Elementary Students

Math competitions are an interesting way of improving the problem-solving skills of students. They also allow the students to show off their math skills. The kids start seeing math as something more than just memorising a bunch of facts and formulae. They love for learning increases. To read about the Advantages of preparing your Elementary student for Math Competitions click here.

For the academic year 2020-2021, the competition season is almost upon us. The first competition starts as early as November and we need to prepare for it. But for us to reap the above-mentioned benefits and prepare for the competitions, we need to know what's available right? So here are some Math competitions for Elementary students.

(For Australia, New Zealand, Singapore Malaysia - check out the end of the blog for AMC - Australian Mathematics Competition and APSMO Australasian Problem Solving Mathematical Olympiads)

Math Competitions in the US

  1. MOEMS (Mathematical Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools)

  2. CML (Continental Math League)

  3. Math Kangaroo

  4. Perennial Math

  5. Math League

  6. Online Math League (OML)

  7. MathLeague.Org

Math Competitions held in Australia

  1. AMC (Australian Mathematics Competition)

  2. APSMO (Australasian Problem Solving Mathematical Olympiads)

Other Math Competitions

Online Math Competitions and Math Competitions for Homeschoolers

1) MOEMS (Mathematical Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools):

It consists of 5 contests held from November to March. Each test is for 30 min and consists of 5 questions and the kids need to write the answers in the space provided. Pretty challenging but really gears up the students to take on the Middle School curriculum. Once the kids get used to Problem-solving they really enjoy this challenge.

Grades: 4-6 and 6-8

Enrolment: Through schools or registered institutions only -

Post-COVID they have opened up individual registration as well.

Open for individual enrolment: No (Yes after COVID)

Important dates:

Contest 1 - November,

Contest 2 - December,

Contest 3- January,

Contest 4 - February

Contest 5 - March

Books to Prepare: These are past papers to help you prepare for the competitions. Hints and detailed solutions are also available in these books

1) Math Olympiad Contest Problems for Elementary and Middle Schools, Vol. 1

2) Math Olympiad Contest Problems, Volume 2

3) MOEMS Contest Problems, Volume 3

2) CML (Continental Math League)

This also consists of 5 contests to be taken from November to March (for grades 4-6). Each test is 30 min and has 6 questions. You can enrol in either of the 2 divisions - the Pythagorean division or Euclidean division for each grade level. The Pythagorean division requires above average problem-solving skills and Euclidean requires average problem-solving skills. But I've generally found that both the levels are slightly easier than MOEMS.

So, this is a good competition to start if you're new to problem-solving and kids as young as Grade 2 can register. For grades 2-3 there are only 3 contests to be taken between November and January. If you are enrolling as an individual, the tests can also be taken at home!

Grades: 2-3, 4-6 and 7-9 and there's also Calculus

Enrolment: Can enrol through school or as an individual

If enrolling as an individual you'll need to email them and ask them for individual registration Chose the grade and division.

Open for individual enrolment: Yes

Registration deadline: Before the contests start. They are not extremely strict about it though. But it's good to register and prepare beforehand.

Books to prepare: These are questions from past competitions

For grades 2-3:

2011-2015 CML competition problems

2016-2020 CML competitions problems

For grades 4-6:

1996-2000 CML competition problems pdf free download. This is a really old one but it still gives you an idea of what to expect.

Download • 2.06MB

2011-2015 CML competition problems

2016-2020 CML competition problems

Continental Math League (CML) Practice problems and Sample papers

Sample grade 2 CML test

Sample grade 3 CML test

Sample grade 4 CML Euclidean test

Sample grade 4 CML Pythagorean test

Sample grade 5 CML Euclidean test

Sample grade 5 CML Pythagorean test

Sample grade 6 CML Euclidean test

Sample grade 6 CML Pythagorean test

You can also use these as CML practice tests.

You can also visit Interesting Math Problems page for more problems. I post a lot of practice problems for competitions on my FB page as well.

3) Math Kangaroo

This is an international math competition and takes place in USA, Canada, Singapore and a few other countries. They all have separate web pages and registrations though. The test is 75 minutes long, with 24 questions for children in grades 1-4, and 30 questions for children in grades 5 and up.

This is one competition where I've found extremely interesting questions. RSM (Russian school of mathematics), Mathnasium, or Kumon centres host this competition. But you can register for the competitions without enrolling in their classes as well.

Enrolment: Can register as an individual

To search for centres near you

Grades: 1-12 (All grades)

Registration deadline: End of December

Contest date: Happens on a Thursday in March. This year I'm still waiting for the announcement. Will update this as soon as I know :)

Books to prepare:

You can buy past contest papers with solutions from their store

4) Perennial Math

This runs 2 sets of competitions every year. First set consists of 4 contests between Nov-Feb and the second set between Jan-Apr. You can register for both separately. Each test has 6 questions and 30 mins to solve them.

Enrolment: Can register as an individual or as a team or through school (which makes this great)

Grades: 3-8

They have 5 levels of competition: Rookie (grades 3-4), Intermediate (grades 5-6), and Advanced (grades 7-8).

Registration deadline:

Season 1 deadline - November 15th.

Season 2 deadline - January 15th

Books/ Materials to prepare: They upload the materials to whomever you designate as the coach as soon as you register! So registration includes the prep materials too.

5) Math League

The contest consists of 30 questions to be solved in 30 minutes. Registration is only through schools. So if you want your school to participate you can read what you need to do here:

Enrolment: Only through schools

Grades: 4-8

Registration deadlines: Each grade has its own deadline (either Dec 31 or Jan 31). Check out here for more info

Books/ Materials to prepare: You can look at sample competitions here.

Books that also contain past contests - There are volumes 1-6

Math Contests, Grades 4, 5 & 6, Vol. 5

When I started this post I frequently registered my students in the 5 competitions listed above. Now I guess there's more to add :)

6) Online Math League (OML)

OML is a series of 3 contests that run from November to March. The contest consists of 15 questions to be solved in 30 minutes. The questions are moderately easy and this would be a good entry level competition. Registration can be done by individuals, clubs or schools.

Enrolment: Can register as an individual or as a team or through school

Grades: 2-6

Registration deadline: The contest starts in November. So you do want to register bef