The Dutch Mathematical Olympiad is an annual contest for secondary school students. International schools in the Netherlands may also participate; schools outside the Netherlands may not. Any student who enjoys mathematics and is at school at a level comparable to 1-5 havo/vwo in the Dutch system, can enroll in the first round. This round is held in January at all participating schools. The contest problems are playful but challenging, and they test creativity as well as mathematical understanding. The problems of the first round are partly multiple choice and partly questions for which a number must be provided as answer. The contest problems are provided in Dutch and English. Problems and solutions from previous years can be found in our archive.
The approximately 1000 best students are invited to the second round in March. These winners of the first round come from three categories. Using the Dutch school system, these are: havo/vwo 5, havo/vwo 4, and havo/vwo 3 or below. In the third category a lower score in the first round is needed to get an invitation for the second round than in the second category, and in the second category a lower score is needed than in the first category. (The contest problems are the same for all categories.)
The approximately 130 best students in the second round (again in three categories) are invited to the final, which takes place in September. From the winners of the final eventually the teams are selected that represent the Netherlands at three international mathematical contests. (Students that don’t have the Dutch nationality, but live in the Netherlands for several years, may be eligible for such a team.)
Apart from the individual prizes the schools can also win a prize (the precise rules can be found in the contest regulations (in Dutch)). There are four different prizes:
- The best school overall: the ranking is made based on the sum of the scores of the best two students in each of the three categories.
- The school with the best young students: the ranking is made based on the sum of the scores of the best five students in the third category (havo/vwo 3 or below).
- The school with the best girls: the ranking is made based on the sum of the scores of the best two female students in each of the three categories.
- The best new school: the ranking is the same as for the best school overall; however, only schools that participate in the contest for the first time, or one or two years ago for the first time (after not having participated for at least three years), can receive this prize.
Each of the winning schools receives a certificate for the school and trophies for the five or six students that were taking into account for the ranking. Also, the head of the contest at school receives an invitation for the prize ceremony in November, where the official cup is handed over for one year.
Organising the first round at school