THE HARDEST MATH PROBLEM STUDENT CONTEST

Energize students’ perceptions of math with fun, challenging story problems that combine math reasoning skills with writing.

Grades 6–8

ABOUT THE CONTEST

The Hardest Math Problem Student Contest is an annual competition presented by Scholastic, The Actuarial Foundation, and the New York Life Foundation that challenges grades 6–8 students to solve multistep, grade-appropriate math problems with real-world situations and engaging characters. Plus, 5th graders are eligible to participate by reaching to a higher grade level!

CHALLENGE 2
MATERIALS

Download the bee-themed entry packet to sharpen
your students’ skills in statistics and percentages.
Students* will also be tasked with writing a math argument explaining why their solution is correct.

DOWNLOAD ENTRY PACKET

PRACTICING MATH
ARGUMENTS

This bonus interactive digital tool helps students practice explaining clear math reasoning
to prep for the contest!

Direct your students to scholastic.com
/hardestmathcontest/practice
to get started!

GO TO DIGITAL TOOL

The Hardest Math Contest Challenge 2 is now closed.
Thank you to everyone that entered both Challenge 1 and Challenge 2. The winners of the Hardest Math Contest will be notified via email in early April 2021. The winners of the Hardest Math Contest will be announced in late May 2021.



Teachers
can win
$500!
Students
can win
$5,000 for
college
Challenge 1 Complete

Challenge 1

Open to All Students

September 25–November 23, 2020

Students must provide a mathematically correct answer to this challenge in order to receive an invitation to compete in Challenge 2 with an even more difficult problem.

Optional: Students may submit their answer with a written argument to practice their math reasoning and writing skills for Challenge 2!

Teacher Prizes:

Teachers who submit at least 3 eligible entries will be entered into a random drawing for the chance to win one of three $500 gift cards!

Students
can win
$5,000 for
college

Challenge 2

By Invitation to Challenge 1 Winners

January 11–February 26, 2021

Students must provide a mathematically correct answer and a compelling written explanation of their reasoning to be eligible for the Grand Prize!

Correct entries are judged by a panel of teachers and actuaries to determine the strongest written argument and award prizes.

3 Grand Prize Winners (one per question) Student: $5,000 for a 529 college savings plan, plus a laptop!

Teacher: $500 gift card
3 Runner-Up Winners (one per question) Student: A tablet computer!

An Extra Challenge Reach Above Grade Level!

All students are invited to take an extra challenge and submit entries at either their current grade level or above. They may submit one entry per question they are grade-eligible to answer. For example, a 5th grader may submit up to three entries, one each at the 6, 7, and 8 levels.

Past Questions and Answer Keys

Check your students’ work from this year’s contest or assign past contest questions to practice for the future!

To receive more information and updates about the contest, please register at the link below.

SIGN UP for Updates

Have a question?

EMAIL US

Teachers and Parents:
Chance to Win a $50 Gift Card!

Tell us what you think of the Hardest Math Problem Student Contest.

TAKE SURVEY

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Fully completed surveys must be received by 5/10/21 in order to be eligible to receive $50 worth of American Express gift cards. Five (5) winners will be selected at random from among all eligible surveys received. Promotion is open only to survey recipients age 18 or older who teach grades 5–8 or are the parent or legal guardian of a child in grades 5–8, who are residents of the United States (one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia), and who have reviewed the Hardest Math Problem program. See Official Rules: scholastic.com/snpsurveyrules100.

Explore more free educational resources at Scholastic’s Extra Credit.