F.A.Q.

Q.  Do students take the online test on the same date at the same time or can they take it at home on their own?  Do we need to proctor the exam in one room, etc? A.   The online testing window will be open only on weekdays between Monday January 16, 2017 at 8 am, until Friday March 3, 2017 at 6 pm. Students must take the online test in their own schools with their teacher supervising them.

Q.  At one time or can we test multiple dates? A.   The online test, which consists of 45 multiple choice questions, must be completed in one sitting. However, you can administer the test to different groups of students at different times and dates. For example, you can schedule classroom 6-A to take the test on Monday, classroom 6-B on Tuesday, etc. Each student will be given a unique username/password and we will send those username password list one week before the online test. Once the student starts testing, he/she should complete the test in 45 minutes.

Q.  Our school would like to participate in MathCON. We are in the process of creating a list of all our 5th grade students. What program do you recommend for generating this list that we have to upload when we register? (Excel, Word?) A.   Excel spreadsheet.

Q.  The materials say there will be 500 students invited to Chicago on April 22, 2017.  Is that at the participant's expense, or is the travel, lodging, etc. provided as part of the invitation? A.   Unfortunately, we have no available funds to cover transportation and/or accommodation for students who qualify for finals in Chicago. We still encourage your district to participate in the MathCON online test since this will be a great opportunity for all your students to be expose to test questions requiring ingenuity and insight. The online test includes problems of varying degrees of difficulty, enabling all students to be equally challenged.

Q.  Our school is interested in competing in MathCON this year.  Can you please tell me if the test is timed and how long we can expect students to take? A.   The online test will be timed: 45 minutes, 45 online questions.

Q.  I am really interested in this contest for my school but am wondering if you have anything for the lower grades as well? A.   Unfortunately, for this year the lowest grade in MathCON is 5th grade. Hopefully, we will extend it to 3rd grade in the future.

Q.  Just so I understand correctly, the $150 dollar one-time payment school registration fee is to register the school to take the online test? A.   Yes, $150 is the only cost. All students can take the online tests. If the qualifying students come to Chicago for the finals, there is no participation fee. Travel and lodging expenses need to be paid by the students’ families or the school.

Q.  One-time payment is per school year or "forever" for the school?   We are somewhat small district, can the payment be for the district.  I think I read that there was no limit to the number of students.  Is that correct?  A.   The one-time payment is per school and per year. There is no limit to number of students. We hope the schools in your district can participate.

Q.  I just need to understand more about how the tests are judged and compared grade-level wise. Specifically, I am the 5th grade math teacher at a public school in Louisiana.  I want to be sure that if I use $150 of my classroom allocated funds that my 5th graders have a chance at earning a spot for Chicago. I would like to know how the online test is ranked and how the invites for Chicago are disseminated among the ages.  How many 5th graders were there in the 700 last year? A.   We expect about 75 students will be 5th graders this year. Last year we had about 60 5th grade students participate in the finals. The top 10 scorers received awards. The $150 registration fee is to participate in the online test; there is no limit to the number of students at your school who can take the online test. If any of your students qualify to take the paper-based test at the finals in Chicago, participation is free, but the school or the students’ families need to pay for their travel and lodging.

Q.  Why is there a registration fee and what is that money used for? A.   MathCON reaches out to more students every year with 2 related goals: To contribute to their academics by challenging and entertaining them with more rigorous and insight math problems and to promote high-quality math education. Making money has never been, and never will be, the goal. In fact, MathCON is organized by Concept Schools, a non-profit 501(c)(3). A registration fee is necessary in order to cover the expenses MathCON incurs by providing the prizes (for both the tests and the photo contests), awards, venue for the finals and award ceremony, special guest speaker, printed booklets, food, labor, system-software expenses, website maintenance, question pool creation, and more. We are doing our best to improve the quality of the organization by adding new components every year based on the feedback from the students, teachers and the community. As much as we would love to accept the registration for free, this would not be feasible solution for the survival of the MathCON competition in the upcoming years.

Q. Do we need to install any software to take the online tests, or it is a web-based set up. A. You do not need to install anything. Online tests are web-based.

Q.  Are students able to take the online test using iPads and/or Chromebooks?  A.  Yes, the students can take the test using IPads/Chromebooks. To take the online test:

  • Please provide your students with the username and passwords you signed up for MathCON.
  • The online tests can be taken on iPad directly using the Safari browser, too.
  • Using Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari, have them go to TAKE THE ONLINE TEST.
  • Have your students log in using their MathCON profile username and password.
  • MathCON online test has 45 multiple choice test questions for each of the grade levels 5-12.
  • Have your students proceed with answering the questions by selecting the best answer; the entire test is multiple choices.
  • Attention: In case the online test froze on the students after they started, the student need to close the browser windows and re-open it. When the student closes the browser window, he/she will not lose any answers, because system records the answer of each question when they click Next. When student re-opens the test, the questions that already answered will be marked blue, but the system will randomize the questions every time you open the test, so the questions’ locations will be different each time you open the test.
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