UKMT Achievement 2017

The Intermediate Maths Challenge is aimed at pupils in Year 11 or below in England and Wales, Year 12 or below in Northern Ireland and S4 or below in Scotland. The challenge involves answering 25 multiple choice questions in one hour and is sat in school under normal exam conditions.

High performers

The top 40% of students nationally receive a Gold, Silver or Bronze certificate in the ratio 1:2:3. Around 500 of the highest scorers in each school year are invited to take part in the Intermediate Mathematical Olympiad papers: Cayley, Hamilton and Maclaurin for year 9, 10 and 11 and equivalent.

Intermediate Mathematical Olympiad

Around 500 of the highest scorers in each school year are invited to take part in the Intermediate Mathematical Olympiad papers.

England and Wales Scotland Northern Ireland
Cayley Year 9 or below S2 or below Year 10 or below
Hamilton Year 10 S3 Year 11
Maclaurin Year 11 S4 Year 12

All invited participants receive a UKMT keyfob and a Certificate of Qualification, Merit or Distinction depending on performance.

The top 100 students in each paper receive medals; coloured bronze for Cayley, silver for Hamilton and gold for Maclaurin.

Book prizes are awarded to the top 50 students in each paper. The titles vary from year to year.

Non-invited entrants i.e. those entered as discretionary candidates by their teachers, are entitled to all awards apart from Certificates of Qualification.

Well done Saanya for being awarded a Gold Certificate in IMC, qualifying for the IMO, awarded a Certificate of Distinction, Bronze Medal and Book Prize for the Cayley Olympiad.

Hearty Congratulations and Best Wishes Saanya Verma.

A New Experience

A New Experience

A New Experience –

Visit to Parliament & Meeting Mr Sharma the honourable Member of Parliament

As said by Albert Einstein, “The only source of knowledge is experience”; and this experience was brimming with it. A couple of weeks back my family and I were invited to go to the Houses of Parliament by Mr Virendra Sharma, a Labour MP who I met previously at a TV interview and who I hold in high esteem. The date was set for the 19th December and soon enough it arrived. We came in the tube all the way to Portcullis House (one of the entrances to the Parliament), Central London. There, we were greeted by the Senior Parliamentary assistant who then toured us all around the place.
Needless to say, it was extremely interesting and he was incredibly knowledgeable. He showed us various rooms, all with their own historical importance, including: Westminster Hall (which is the only original part of the Westminster palace that didn’t burn down in 1834. St Stephen’s Chapel (a beautiful chamber lined with paintings and the very place that Charles 1st had burst in, demanding to arrest 5 of the MPs).
Now, after this, he took us down to the large room between the House of Lords and the House of Commons. It was quite the revelation to know that the Prime Minister herself was speaking in the room right next to us (although this did mean that we couldn’t enter the House of Commons due to the long queue).  We did, on the other hand, get the opportunity to enter the House of Lords. While in the House of Commons, everything including the seats was green, in the House of Lords everything was red. It was quite fascinating to see how everything worked. A couple of speakers proposed their motion while a couple opposed it. There was a lord speaker who chaired the business there, a leader of the House of Lords who had several roles including giving advice at times, and a clerk of the Parliaments who again had several jobs, which included announcing business.
After some time, we left the chamber and were led to meet Mr Sharma. We first bid goodbye to our tour guide and acquaintance and then went to a café (one which was inside the Parliament). We settled down, took off our coats, and had a cup of tea. While we did so, we also held some very interesting conversations ranging from my future prospects and possibilities to Mr Sharma’s inspirational 40 years of Parliamentary work. Finally, we waved goodbye to him and our day came to an end at last.
The experience was probably one of the best that I have undergone thus far. In fact, now I look back, it was the perfect timing for our visit, as the parliament will be closing soon for refurbishment. From the whole visit, I learnt many a thing, however not only was it enlightening but also inspirational. I did pick up a lot of historical and political facts, but I was also filled with determination to be like Mr Sharma, and fight through all the hardships. And this, I will make sure to do.

Saanya Verma

Hourglass – A short story

Hourglass – A short story


Some people want it. Some people need it. Most people think they have it, but like grains of sand it always trickles out from their grasp.

One day it’s there, another day it’s not. It compels death yet it persuades life. It pulls you away yet it inches you closer. It’s the only thing I don’t have enough of. The only thing I’m running out of.


And so, I found myself upon a crisp, white bed with the pungent smell of disinfectant shrouding me in its acrid fumes. My family was there. My friends too. Surrounding me, joking with me, telling me stories, hugging me. It would have been perfect. It would have been surreal considering the bleakness of the path that stretched before me into the dark mist. The only problem was, I couldn’t laugh with them. I couldn’t accept their embrace or return it. I couldn’t even open my eyes let alone speak. Such was the pain of the darkness that engulfed me. Such was the pain of the unconsciousness that conquered my every nerve and my every cell. Such was the pain of this coma.

Night once more blanketed the realm in its velvety blackness. I lay awake, staring at the darkness of my closed eyelids and felt the weight of it all press down upon me once more. I wanted to cry yet not a single tear managed to run down my pallid countenance. The monotony of being an observer yet not a participator, the agony of hearing everyone around me cry yet to be unable to give them any form of ease and the incident replaying over and over as though my brain existed only as a broken tape recorder; it was all too much for me. I wanted it to end. I wanted the torture to stop. A ringing began in my ears and once more, I found myself thrown back into the dark abyss that had become my one and only memory.

“Aspen! Wait for me!” my mother cries out. She rests her hands upon her knees and takes a gulp of air as she tries to regain her breath. Her face is flushed and she beams at me when I stop and peek back, “Honey, don’t run off like that. We’re on the road; remember what I said about road safety? And I couldn’t see you for a couple of minutes, I got so worried! Stay where I can see you my child!”

I can understand it now. She was hiding all of her anxiety behind the mask of a smile but did I understand it then? No. To me it was all just a game.
I smirk back at her and reply, “Well then you better catch up,” and I hurry off again, giggling.

My foolishness at the time disgusts me today. She warned me as well. If only I had known, maybe I wouldn’t have been so imprudent and reckless; but the truth remains that the incident is in the past and there is nothing I can do about it now.

I keep sprinting. The spears of wind blow into my face, tossing my hair into a haze of black and brown. The trees sway back and forth, the sound of everything except my breathing disintegrates. I close my eyes and laugh.

It was a moment of madness but it was the one moment that cost me everything.

I take another look back but instead of seeing my mom chuckling as I expected her to be, I see her visage painted with horror. I turn back around to face forward and before I can even make a full turn: agony.

The next thing I knew, I was in a hospital bed and I have been for 2 years now. My mom sometimes comes to my room and tells me what had happened on that day. How I had run out onto the road and been hit by a car and barely made it alive and how the doctor had said that I only had a few days left but I had proved them wrong…however, she never finishes the story. She always ends up crying towards the very end.

It’s such a strange thing isn’t it? The way it can leave you at your most vulnerable moment. The way it defines what happens and what does not. It’s the only thing I don’t have enough of. The only thing I’m running out of.


By Saanya Verma

Hidden Wonders of the World

Hidden Wonders of the World

To attain contentment, happiness and joy, appreciation is key
Don’t go leaping into the unknown, for it may not bring you glee
The greatest pleasures can come from the tiniest things, from a trivial sight or sound
To reap the seeds of happiness sowed, just look all around.

A small goodnight kiss before you sleep, the incessant chirping of the birds
The first sip of a beverage when you’re thirsty or a few complimentary words
Fifteen minutes more to nap, the sound of your old favourite tune
Sudden success when the expectation is failure or the shimmering of the moon.

No need for hurrying into the darkness, look before you leap
Often what you’re searching for is already there though asleep
Sometimes even the ultimate pleasure comes from the smallest sight or sound
To reap the seeds of happiness, just look all around.

Note: Recently one of the readers in the blog suggested that I should write a poem about the simpler joys of life. I thought this would be a brilliant idea and so I gave it a go. Hope you enjoy reading it.

Saanya Verma