The Student Room Group

is olympiads important?

i participated in a maths olympiad and only passed didnt get any other certificate is this a big deal for competitive uni applications (eg engineering at imperial) since everyone applying normally has gold/a higher certificate
Honestly - Unis are not that interested.
Schools love you doing these 'competitions' and DoE etc, but Unis don't actually care. They just ignore this sort of stuff in your PS because none of it means that you will be a 'better' student than someone who hasn't done it.
Reply 2
Original post by daddy1324
everyone applying normally has gold/a higher certificate


citation needed
Reply 3
Original post by daddy1324
i participated in a maths olympiad and only passed didnt get any other certificate is this a big deal for competitive uni applications (eg engineering at imperial) since everyone applying normally has gold/a higher certificate

It is a good indicator of mathematical ability, which shows the admissions tutors your talent, but by no means is it a dealbreaker that if you don't get a gold certificate, you won't be accepted. I actually got some merit certificates in the follow-up Kangaroo rounds a few times, but didn't mention it in my personal statement (big mistake) but I still got an offer from Imperial for CS.
Reply 4
Sorry but are we equating the normal senior maths challenge to an Olympiad here? They are 2 very different things. Only the top 1% of scorers in the senior maths challenge qualify and participate in the British maths Olympiad. Having something like that certainly would be attractive for the top unis but you definitely do not need it (not a lot of people have it anyways due to how difficult it is to get in). A normal gold in the senior maths challenge is a nice thing to put in your personal statement though and shows you have a strong mathematical ability, it’s also not true that everyone applying would have a gold in the senior maths challenge.
Reply 5
Original post by McGinger
Honestly - Unis are not that interested.
Schools love you doing these 'competitions' and DoE etc, but Unis don't actually care. They just ignore this sort of stuff in your PS because none of it means that you will be a 'better' student than someone who hasn't done it.
They will certainly not ‘ignore’ someone mentioning that they had qualified for a British Math Olympiad. However the OP has confused the Maths Challenge with the BMO in his post.
Reply 6
Original post by M_m_m03
They will certainly not ‘ignore’ someone mentioning that they had qualified for a British Math Olympiad. However the OP has confused the Maths Challenge with the BMO in his post.

People say Olympiad and Challenge interchangeably and it's very common to mistake one for the other.
Reply 7
Original post by vnayak
People say Olympiad and Challenge interchangeably and it's very common to mistake one for the other.

Yeah I agree, this isn't the first time I've seen this. But it's a pretty big mistake to make tbh and can be very misleading, BMO1 is a whole other level to the maths challenge.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by M_m_m03
Sorry but are we equating the normal senior maths challenge to an Olympiad here? They are 2 very different things. Only the top 1% of scorers in the senior maths challenge qualify and participate in the British maths Olympiad. Having something like that certainly would be attractive for the top unis but you definitely do not need it (not a lot of people have it anyways due to how difficult it is to get in). A normal gold in the senior maths challenge is a nice thing to put in your personal statement though and shows you have a strong mathematical ability, it’s also not true that everyone applying would have a gold in the senior maths challenge.

I don't think it is correct to say top 1% qualifying for the BMO1. According to the UKMT website, around 1000 who attend the SMC qualify for BMO1 and 100 qualify for BMO2 as a result of BMO1.
Reply 9
Original post by FairAboutUK
I don't think it is correct to say top 1% qualifying for the BMO1. According to the UKMT website, around 1000 who attend the SMC qualify for BMO1 and 100 qualify for BMO2 as a result of BMO1.

Yep that’s indeed more accurate. Although the number of students taking the SMC is usually near the 100,000 mark which is why i said top 1%

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