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January 31, 2012

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Math battle requires brains and teamwork

THE room buzzed with excitement and anticipation as we entered. We were by far the two best-dressed teams there. Competitors all around us were looking at us, sizing us up. And we, in return, were regarding them. One thing was for certain - this was going to be anything but an easy contest.

"Settle down. Settle down, guys," the announcer called out to us - as if that was even possible. But we were prepared and ready … to let the maths begin!

And just like that, the competition started. The first round was 45 silent minutes of individual testing. The whole room was silent except for the sound of pencil on paper; it was so hushed you could have heard a pin drop. Every Year Group had a different test paper, so the students in Year 7 got much easier test papers than the Year 9 students.

Then came the stimulating second round - this year it was 16 visual puzzles that had to be completed in 60 minutes. And trust me, they were tough! By working effectively and successfully as a team, we conquered 12 of the puzzles.

We also did very well in the final round, which consisted of a relay race. We had 25 minutes and there were 15 rounds, each round being three questions long. You had to either get all three correct or forfeit that round to move onto the next one.

In my opinion, this was the round that required the most teamwork, because in the rounds where we got two out of three correct, some of us wanted to move on whereas others wanted to do them again and get all three points. That was when we had to work together and make snap decisions if we didn't want to fall behind. Also, we had to spread them out equally between the six of us and think about the balance between taking time to check the answers and getting through all the rounds.

Ultimately, in rounds two and three, we did extremely well, and won a second-place trophy. We later found out that the team who got first place in rounds two and three was only one point ahead of us, just a single point!

We also did quite well in the individual testing round, which gave us an overall result of third place, which got us another trophy!

It's hard to describe exactly the emotions and things that happened; it kind of all just blurred together into something that can really just be described in two words - fun and maths!


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