Mathematical and Physical Journal
for High Schools
Issued by the MATFUND Foundation
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Problem Solving Competition: 2017/2018

The competitions start annually and last from September to May, but you can enter any time during the academic year.

In Mathematics, there are four different contests, in Physics there are three and in Informatics there are two. The conditions of the respective contests are slightly different. See below for details.

Every primary or secondary school student is eligible to participate in the competitions. Students in different grades might find the same problems but in most cases their work is evaluated within their age group, they compete with students of the same age only. Therefore, it is essential that the paper should indicate the 1 to 12 grade of the contestant in the current school year. The KöMaL contests are individual competitions, solutions produced by a group are not accepted. If two papers turn out to be practically identical, none of them will be marked.


We have four contests in Mathematics this year.

K contest: this is a joint contest of KöMaL and ABACUS, exclusively for students of grade 9 - beginning the secondary school this year. 6 problems in each Month; each of them is worth of 6 points.
Students are not allowed to participate in both competitions "K" and "B" at the same time.

C contest: easy exercises for practice. 7 problems in each Month; each one for 5 points. The firts 5 exercises are to grades 1 to 10, the last 5 exercises are to grades 11 to 12. There are three age categories:

  • grades 1 to 8
  • grades 9 to 10
  • grades 11 to 12th (preferably those not studying mathematics in a special advanced class. Those in advanced classes are advised to take part in the B contest).

    B contest: this is the traditional contest of KöMaL. 9 problems each month. You can send any number of solutions, but only the highest six scores are entered.
    Students are not allowed to participate in both competitions "K" and "B" at the same time.

    Age groups:

    • up to the 8th grade
    • 9th grade
    • 10th grade
    • 11th grade
    • 12th grade

    A contest: advanced problems, 3 each month. More demainding than the B contest, for those who are preparing for national or international competitions. Here there are no separate age groups.


    M contest: Experimental problems: One measuring task is set each month. Each of them is worth 6 points. The report must contain a description of the method, the data obtained sufficient in quantity and quality, the analysis of the data, and the estimation of the error. There are no separate age groups.

    G contest: 3 easy theoretical problems each month.
    Students are not allowed to participate in both competitions "G" and "P" at the same time.

    Age groups:

    • up to the 8th grade;
    • 9th grade;
    • 10th grade;

    P contest: 10 theoretical problems each month.
    Students are not allowed to participate in both competitions "G" and "P" at the same time.

    Age groups:

    • up to the 8th grade;
    • 9th grade;
    • 10th grade;
    • 11th grade;
    • 12th grade.

    Every age group may send solutions to all kinds of problems. In the P contest we evaluate only 3 problems up to the 8th grade and 5 problems from 9th - 12th grade.


    This year we have two contests in Informatics. There are no separate age groups, competition is opened for everyone.

    I contest: Three I problems and one I/S problem every month. The I problems can be solved in C, C++, Pascal, Python, Java, Basic or C#. In each month, the three highest scores out of the four problems count in the I contest.

    S contest: The S contest consists of one more demanding programming task marked S, and the I/S problem every Month which can be solved in C, C++, Pascal or Java. Solving these problems need deeper algorithmic thoughts and knowledge.

    Please do not send .exe files!

    Deadlines, addresses

    The deadline in all contests is the 10th of the month following the publication of the current issue. Should that be a weekend or bank holiday, the deadline is the next workday.

    Send your solutions to the following address:

    KöMaL Szerkesztőség (KöMaL feladatok), Budapest 112, P.O.B. 32. H-1518

    or by e-mail to: . Solutions written in hand are only accepted by ordinary mail. It is accepted, however, to insert in the electronic document a good quality scan of a diagram drawn in hand.

    Informatics solutions are accepted via e-mail only and should be sent to the following address: .

    The actual state of the contests appears on our web-site ( and it is updated regularly. These data are not official, only for your information. The final results will appear in August on our Internet home page and in the September issue of the following academic year. The cca 10 top contestans are rewarded by a certificate in each category and this is going to be mailed to their schools, and their portraits, additionally, will be presented in the December issue and the Internet.

    Entry Form for the contests

    The layout of the papers:

    By ordinary mail:

    • Write the solutions to different problems on separate A4 sheets of paper. (This is important because different people are responsible for the marking.)
    • The header of every sheet must contain the following in the upper left corner (see sample 1):

    • -the letter code (A, B, C, M, P) and number of the problem in red
      -the full name and the grade of the sender
      -the name of the school and the town (and country)
      -the e-mail adress of the sender
    • Fold each sheet into four separatly so that the header should appear in the front side.
    • Solutions to geometry problems should include diagrams.
    • Enclose with your solutions a separate sheet listing your data and the contents of your mail. See sample 2.

    Sample 1. Header of a sheet
    C. 593.
    Robert 314 Smith, 9th grade
    Philadelphia High School, Boston

    Denote the age of the captain by C, the age of the ship by S. When the age of the ship was C, the age of the captain was C-(S-C)=2C-S. When the ship was 2C-S ...

    Sample 2. Enclosed list
    Robert 314 Smith, 9th grade
    Philadelphia High School, Boston

    I send the following 3 papers in:
    C. 591., C. 593., B. 3389.

    By e-mail:

    • Send the solutions of different problems as separate e-mail messages.
    • The "subject" field of the e-mail message should contain the letter code and number of the problem.
    • Additional requirements concerning the Informatics solutions
      • In the first few comment lines of each program do enter the following information:
        • your name and class
        • your school.
        • your town (country)

    The content of the papers:

    It is not enough to state the answer. Results with detailed explanations only will receive full credit. (Reference to standard school math is accepted without proof.)

    It has occurred several times that a participant of the points contest found a problem in a book or on a web page. Sometimes the solution of an equivalent problem or a generalization of a competition problem is found in a journal article. Since our goal is to improve the problem solving skills of the participants rather than to test search engines, answers that only consist of a reference to the source will not be awarded full mark. It is required to write down the reasoning in detail. In the case of a book or a web page used and cited in the solution, please provide references to the source.