The Long Way to the Final Ranking

10. April 2017

EGMO is about meeting new people, sharing the passion for mathematics, and having lots of fun. But it’s also about exams. And they mean a lot of work that goes often unnoticed. So, let us show you the long way that leads to the final ranking, and honor those who contribute to a successful EGMO 2017.

Problem Selection

Well first, the exams of course must be written. This is not done by the organizers of EGMO 2017. Rather, exam questions are sent to the EGMO 2017 problem selection committee. This year, they could choose from around 40 suggestions provided by members of the national Mathematical Olympiad of participating countries. Before the EGMO starts, the committee selects 6 challenging exams of various topics and difficulty. On each of the two exam days, 3 problems must be solved within 4.5 hours.

Jury Meetings

At the jury meetings, the leaders of each delegation discuss the 6 selected exam problems and their wording. Also, they should announce whether the problem has already been used in their own national Olympiad (in which case the problem would be replaced by another to make sure that no competitors have advantages). In EGMO 2017, the 6 initially chosen problems were accepted. After the official English versions are finalized, the leaders translate them into the languages of their students.


The Long Way to the Final Ranking


Marking Schemes

While the leaders are busy with the problems, the coordinators take care of the marking schemes. For each known solution and the way there, the coordinators define how the 7 points per problem are awarded.

Exam Room Preparation

168 girls need 168 tables, chairs, exam folders and answer sheets, snacks and much more. The preparation of the exam room, the re-equipment after the first exam and the entire cleanup need a lot of our volunteers’ eager hands and feet.

Printing and Copying

Once the exams are accepted and translated, our volunteers print them, sort them, and pack them into exam folders for each participant. Once the exams are taken, all answer sheets have to be collected, controlled and copied for the correction process.


The correction of the exams is done by two groups in parallel. The 28 coordinators focus each on one problem, and they each correct the solutions of around multiple competitors. A process that can easily take 10 hours (ending for some early in the morning, as the copies of the exams are ready around 3 pm in the afternoon). Coordinators have been chosen to cover as many languages as possible, as the solutions don’t always contain only numbers, but also explanations in the mother tongues of the delegations. In some cases, even external translators supported the coordinators efforts to guarantee fair corrections in all languages.

At the same time leaders, deputy leaders and observers correct the solutions of the girls of their own delegation. Both corrections must be done with quite some time pressure, to be ready for the coordination on Monday.


At the coordination, the two corrections for each contestant and each problem are compared. If the leaders and coordinators have not given the same amount of points, they discuss the corrections and settle on final results.

Final Jury Meeting and Ranking

Once the coordination is over, the resulting ranking is released and the medal cuts are set on Monday evening. With this, the work for most leaders, deputies, observers, coordinators and volunteers of the academic committee is over, and they can look forward to a well-deserved excursion to Mount Rigi and a hopefully exciting Closing Ceremony on Tuesday. Thank you all for your hard work.