When Should Students begin to write the COMC competition?

The Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge (COMC) is a competition intended, as the name suggests, to challenge our best young mathematical talents nation-wide.  It is not a contest for every student, and it requires a considerable amount of mathematical maturity.

But it is important that teachers of younger students with significant mathematical ability encourage these students to begin writing the COMC at an early age.  There are several reasons for this.

The COMC is not for any one specific grade level; students of all levels are welcome to write it.  The literature for the COMC indicates that the content of the exam should be within reach of the best grade 10 students.  However, it should be clear from the above information that truly elite students must begin writing even earlier than that or miss some of the best opportunities available to them.

The confusion caused by the above discrepancy is further exacerbated by the fact that COMC literature is, I believe, sent only to high schools offering senior classes.  Therefore very good students at Junior High Schools or Middle Schools may not write this exam simply because their school is not made aware of the opportunity.

Here is my advice:

This page is maintained by Dr. R. Craigen of the  University of Manitoba Mathematics Department.
Comments, requests and suggestions welcome.