Creative Mathematical Problem Solving: Making Sense of Mathematics

APSMO is a not-for-profit, professional organisation that offers a range of mathematical competitions for students aged from around eight to 14. The programs are unique in that they focus on students' ability to solve mathematical problems in a creative manner - as opposed to simply reaching a solution using a prescribed method.

Creative problem solving focuses on the real-world application of maths, encouraging children to think for themselves and explore a range of problem-solving options. As an adult, we apply our knowledge of maths to solve numerous day-to-day problems (even if we don't realise it!). By encouraging our students to think through a problem or challenge in a holistic manner, we are helping them to reach their full potential in relation to mathematical problem solving and, in essence, to make sense of mathematics.

Maths Olympiads and Maths Games

The Maths Olympiads are problem solving competitions for high achieving students in Years 5 and 6, and Years 7 and 8 at school. Comprising two divisions: the Junior Division (Years 5 and 6) and the Senior Division (Years 7 and 8). The Maths Olympiads have been offered in primary schools since 1987 and in high schools since 2003. The Olympiads have gained in popularity over the years and have developed a reputation for excellence in mathematical education, resulting in thousands of schools from across Australia and New Zealand entering teams into the competition every year.

The Maths Games competition provides an opportunity for mainstream students in Years 5 and 6 to learn valuable problem solving skills and exposes them to the application of mathematical problem solving strategies and techniques. Teams of high-achieving Years 3 and 4 students may also be considered for entry to the Maths Games competition as a precursor to the Maths Olympiads.

Benefits of Participating

The Maths Olympiad and Maths Games programs are an ideal complement to the school curriculum. They focus on extending and challenging students to think laterally and creatively when solving mathematically-based problems.

The main aims of the competitions are to:
  • Introduce students to important mathematical concepts
  • Teach major strategies and develop flexibility for problem solving
  • Foster creativity and ingenuity and strengthen intuition
  • Stimulate enthusiasm and enjoyment of mathematics
  • Provide for the satisfaction, joy and thrill of meeting challenges!

How do you enter the Maths Olympiads and Maths Games?

The Maths Olympiads and the Maths Games are school-based competitions. Entry is only open to school teams, as opposed to individuals. 

It is the responsibility of the school to select students who will participate in the Maths Olympiad and Maths Games teams.  For further information parents should contact the school's Maths Coordinator or Principal. 

APSMO Inc. is not able to provide information regarding participating students to parents.

What resources are available for parents and students?

APSMO provides a range of resources to assist students with mathematical problem solving. These resources can be purchase through this website, by clicking on the "Resource Centre" button at the top of the page.

The books provide useful information, examples, and guides for students entering both the Maths Olympiad and the Maths Games programs.