Mathematical Kangaroo

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Mathematical Kangaroo (also known as International Mathematical Kangaroo, or Kangourou sans frontières in French) is an international mathematical competition where over 50 countries are represented. There are twelve levels of participation, ranging from grade 1 to grade 12. The competition is held annually on the third Thursday of March. According to the organizers, the key competence tested by Mathematical Kangaroo is logical combination, not just pure knowledge of formulas.

It is the largest competition for school students in the world, with over 5 million participants from 47 countries in 2009, and 6 million by 2014.[1]


The competition was established in 1991 by André Deledicq, a professor of mathematics at the University of Paris 7, and Jean-Pierre Boudine, professor of mathematics at Marseille. The idea comes from the Australian Mathematics Competition, initiated in 1978 by Peter O'Halloran.[2] It is based on multiple-choice questions (MCQs), which were rarely used in France at that time, at least in mathematics.[3] For this competition, Jean-Pierre Boudine and André Deledicq were awarded the 1994 d'Alembert prize of the Mathematical Society of France.

The competition has spread around the world. Pupils from Sweden first took part in 1999.[4] By 2011, 860,000 pupils from 9,000 schools took part in Germany, having grown rapidly from 549,000 in 2007.[5] In 2014, the competition was hosted in Latin America.[6] In 2017, the Bulgarian association held a week-long Kangaroo summer camp[7] In Canada, math contest clubs for elementary school children teach "questions typical of the Math Kangaroo contest", starting with those with a visual component and helping to develop logic and spatial reasoning.[8] Students in Pakistan took part for the first time in 2005, the numbers increasing each year since.[9] In 2009, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted that the competition was very popular in Europe, and was "finding its way into the United States".[10] Denmark first participated in 2015.[11]


The competition is a multiple choice test that runs for 75 minutes.[12] It consists of 24 questions for students up to 4th grade, and 30 questions for other students. The sections for 3 point, 4 point, and 5 point questions are equally divided. The minimum score is 0. The maximum score is 96 points for students up to 4th grade, and 120 points for other students. There is a penalty for an incorrect answer, and no penalty for skipping a question.


Evaluation and collecting of results as well as the prizes are regulated and organized nationally. Special prizes are given for the “longest kangaroo jump” (i.e., the highest number of consecutive correct answers) for each school.


Elisabeth Mellroth has investigated the use of mathematical competencies in the mathematical kangaroo.[13]

Accusations of Possible Contest Scandal in Pakistan[edit]

The Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences recently published a report on the organization of Kangaroo contest in Pakistan. The report was compiled after a year-long investigation of the Kangaroo contest. The report accuses the former Director-General Dr. Alla Ditta Raza Choudary of using fake and forged documents to take over the contest. The documents in question were presented as official AKSF documents to the School by Dr. Choudary. The report explains in detail that AKSF were sent those documents for verification but AKSF stated that the accused fake documents do not bear any attribute of AKSF, and AKSF is not in a position to verify the authenticity of the documents.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (February 2014). "Mathematical Kangaroo" (PDF). Maths Challenges News (44). Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  2. ^ Obituary: Peter Joseph O'Halloran (1931-1994) at AMT website
  3. ^ Dolinar, Gregor (January 2012). "Twenty years of Mathematical Kangaroo". European Mathematical Society Newsletter. 85. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Vad är Kängurun - Matematikens Hopp?" (in Swedish). National Centre for Mathematics Education, University of Gothenburg. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  5. ^ Behrends, Ehrhard; Crato, Nuno; Rodrigues, José Francisco (2012). Raising Public Awareness of Mathematics. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 45. ISBN 978-3-642-25710-0.
  6. ^ Hector, Rosario; R, Vogeli Bruce; Patrick, Scott (2014). Mathematics And Its Teaching In The Southern Americas: With An Introduction By Ubiratan D'ambrosio. World Scientific. p. 400. ISBN 978-981-4590-58-7.
  7. ^ "2017 година". Association 'European Kangaroo'. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Saturday Math Clubs". University of Toronto. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Pakistani students shine in maths contest". Dawn. 15 August 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  10. ^ Hajlasz, Piotr; Swigon, David (15 March 2009). "The Next Page: Hop into the math KANGAROO". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Kaenguruen | Vinderne af Kænguruen 2018 fundet". Danmarks Matematiklaererforening. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Mathematical Kangaroo". AoPS. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  13. ^ Mellroth, Elisabet. Problem solving competency and the mathematical kangaroo. Konrad Krainer;Naďa Vondrová. CERME 9 - Ninth Congress of the European Society for Research in MathematicsEducation, Feb 2015, Prague, Czech Republic. pp.1095-1096, Proceedings of the Ninth Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education.
  14. ^ "GCU Moves NAB over Kangaroo Contest Fraud". January 2019.

External links[edit]