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1: Mathematics Olympiads

Years: 1998 – Present


  • The purpose of Olympiads is to develop Problem Solving Olympiad ability in learners. Through problem solving the general quality of mathematics and other fields improves.
  • Olympiads is a key test of problem-solving ability which not only tests your ability to tackle the unknown, but tests one’s ability in mathematics, the ability to comprehend and solve complex problems.
  • They are problem solving based Olympiads and produce some of the greatest intellectuals, it is also key basis of artificial intelligence.
  • One of the most important objectives is to identify talent.



  • In 1998 the first Grade Three Mathematics Olympiad was held. This was a one round Olympiad. 103 schools with approximately 3000 learners participated. The organization was known as the Institute for Advancement of Mathematics and Science. Medals were awarded to the top performing learners. Many of the top achievers ended up as actuaries; engineers; medical doctors etc.
  • Gradually grades one and two were introduced.
  • Gradually these Olympiads were changed to two rounds and eventually involved all grades up to 11 in 2011, when in 2011 all the Olympiads were merged under one umbrella body, FEMSSISA.
  • Now FEMSSISA in conjunction with SA Olympiads host its annual Olympiads across multiple subject areas.
  • For underprivileged learners we have a concession programme which your schools may qualify for.



  • More than 20 000 learners and 300 schools participated in the high school and primary school Olympiads, meaning, this has become one of the biggest Olympiads in South Africa.
  • The statistics from 2016 show the following:
  • 2016 – Total participation of 6 000+.
  • 2017 – Total participation of 8 000+.
  • 2018 – Total participation of 8 000+.
  • 2019 – Total participation of 8 000+.
  • 2021 – Total participation of 10 000+ learners plus more than 100 schools.
  • 2022 – Total participation of 20 000+ learners plus more than 300 schools.  Over 5000 learners were given FREE entry.


Feedback from schools can be viewed on the website – www.saolympiads.co.za

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