On 25th January a dozen Eton students sat what would most likely be the hardest Mathematics exam of the year: the second round of the British Mathematical Olympiad.
In the three and a half hour paper the students have to attempt four challenging questions from different areas of Mathematics, which this year happened to be: geometry, combinatorics, number theory and functional equations. Despite there almost always being more than one solution, in most cases it is a challenging task to find even a single one, which was evident with question four only being attempted by the brave few. Despite the difficulty, most still found it extremely enjoyable, especially after the exam itself when everyone shared their solutions with their schoolmates, pointing out the caveats in some problems and the original approaches to others.
However, nobody will actually know which of those insights led to the correct solutions, and which were blatantly wrong, for another three weeks, when the long wait will finish and the results released. For the lucky few this will result in going to Trinity College Cambridge where the team for the International Math Olympiad will be selected.
We would like to thank Dr. Moston for organizing the event in the school and to congratulate Jun Eshima OS (EJNR), Anthony Shin (NA) and Robin Bradfield KS for automatically qualifying for the second round after their outstanding performance in the first round of the Olympiad back in December.