How anyone, anywhere, can take part in a CMSA Honorary Memory Challenge

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Update:

Thanks and congratulations to all 364 participants of the 2022 Honorary Mental Math Challenge and the 2022 Honorary Memory Challenge!

The vast majority of those are young people in India working with the Genius Kid organization and competing in mental math. We also saw participants from France, Italy, Japan, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, United States, Spain, Russia, Germany, Bulgaria, Belgium, and of course Canada.

Click here to see the full results of the 2022 Honorary Mental Math Challenge

Click here to see the full results of the 2022 Honorary Memory Challenge

The deadline to participate in those honorary challenges is now passed.

However, if you missed the deadline, or if you want to attempt to do better than you previously did, it will always be possible for you to download the latest challenges and test yourself. The latest editions of our Honorary Memory Challenge and our Honorary Mental Math Challenge will always remain accessible online. You can use those documents. Or you can use our memory and mental math training tools and sample disciplines. So if at some point in the future you want to try something and post your results, you’re very welcome to do so as a comment at the bottom of the honorary mental math or honorary memory results pages, as a post in this Facebook group or anywhere else you prefer.

[Important note: Much of the information you will read below is now updated.]


  • Location: Anywhere in this Universe
  • Date: Anytime you want from now until April 25, 2022. (The previously announced deadline has been postponed)
  • Cost: Nothing
  • Rewards: Nothing (except eternal admiration by all current and future generations)
  • Skills requirement: You need to be the legitimate owner of a human brain.

Whoever you are, wherever you are and no matter what your skill level is, if you would like to participate, you should. It doesn’t matter if you’re still a complete beginner or if there are some disciplines you would rather skip.

If you already know everything that you need to know, you can click here to directly access everything you need to complete de the 2022 Honorary Memory Challenge


All the answers to all the questions you might have:

Question: How will it work?

Answer: We’ve tried to make it extremely easy to participate even if you’re new to memory techniques, stuck in Antarctica and/or you’re dealing with a busy schedule. Any day of your choice from now until April 25, you will simply come to this page, click the link on the bottom of this page, download all the challenges and test yourself wherever and whenever will be most convenient for you. You will then send us your results. Soon after April 25, we’ll publish a pretty scoreboard with all the results we’ve received. If you want, you can also send us some comments (“I messed up random words because the dog kept bothering me…”) for us to publish along with all the results.

Just like our Honorary Mental Math Challenge, the Honorary Memory Challenge will be unofficial and self-regulated. You will need to self-regulate everything related to timing and scoring. Overall it will be mostly just a game and a way for some of us to motivate ourselves to start training more regularly again.

Question: How will you know that people didn’t cheat?

Answer: We won’t. It’s an honorary and unofficial challenge and there are no titles or rewards at stake. If we have very good reasons to think some results aren’t legit, we might refuse to publish them or add a small cautionary note next to their scores. Somehow we don’t think that this will be necessary.

Question: How much of a time commitment should I expect?

Answer: Can be a lot if you want to train seriously for everything and try to improve as much as possible. Can be very little if you only want to skip some of the challenges and not worry too much about your scores.

Question: Isn’t the whole thing just like practicing by myself?

Answer: Not quite. If you pretend that it’s a real competition, it will feel real. Just having a deadline and knowing that your results will be published and compared with others can serve as a powerful form of motivation. Also the overall format isn’t quite the same than what you might have seen elsewhere before. And you’ll get try out a unique event that we call “the Exam”.

Question: What if I’m not good enough or not well prepared enough?

Answer: Some forms of brain damage are possible, but rest assured that it doesn’t happen very often. More seriously, in theory we all know that we shouldn’t care too much about that, but in real life the sentiment expressed in the question happens to be extremely common. We can’t magically make it disappear, but we can at least remind everyone that they should see this as a game and that taking on this kind of challenge by itself is an excellent way to improve their skills. We’ve done our best to try to design a format that works well for people of all skill levels, including experts and complete beginners and everyone in between. For the first 4 disciplines, a very basic understanding of memory techniques is all you need. If you’re new to the world of memory training, this page will explain how you can quickly become ready for your first challenges (click the link for “basic competition strategies”). You can also choose to skip any discipline that for some reason you’re not interested in. And if you’re still worried about how you might look compared to all the other experts, you can choose to use a pseudonym instead of your real name. Or simply not send us your results.

Bottom line is that no matter who or where you are, if you have a little bit of time and energy and you’re somewhat interested in the idea of training for that kind of mental challenge, we’re very sorry but it won’t be easy to find a good excuse for not participating.

Question: What if I’m used to the classic international format and I would rather not have to adapt to something new?

Answer: For most disciplines, if you want to you can choose to use the classic international format on the IAM training website or standardmemory.com instead. Only a few adjustments will still have to be made regarding some time constraints and the way you count your scores. You can also choose to skip our weird exam if you prefer.

Question: Will taking part in a CMSA Honorary Challenge solve all of the problems in my life?

Answer: Yes. Probably.

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Question: Ok you’ve managed to persuade me. How can I prepare adequately?

Answer: First of all congratulations for the infinitely wise and infinitely brave decision you just took. There’s nothing that you absolutely need to do before attempting everything. But if you want to prepare in advance, there’s a lot that you can do:

  • If you’re unfamiliar with them, first make sure to learn about the different rules and events here. No need to bother with the last section about championship points calculations. Also know that as we’ve said before, in this case it’s ok if you want to skip some disciplines for some reason.
  • Click here if you want to learn more about memory techniques and/or basic competition strategies.
  • If you want to practice with the CMSA format, you can use some of the sample disciplines on this page. You can also choose to attempt all the disciplines from the last Honorary Memory Challenge that we did in 2021. And if you’re curious, you can click here to check out all the results we had received.
  • If you want to be a little more hardcore about the whole thing, as soon as your decision to participate is taken, you’re encouraged to either leave a Facebook comment next to a relevant post or e-mail us directly at cmsa@canadianmindsports.com and declare your intention to go through all the events on day or week X. This is a commitment device to make sure you don’t procrastinate everything indefinitely.

Question: Can I start now?

  • Whenever you want! You can attempt the various disciplines whenever is most convenient for you, once a while during your lunch breaks for example. You can spread out all the different challenges over many different days. Or you can choose to do everything on the same day and follow a strict schedule as if you had been competing in a real championship.
  • You can choose to print everything in advance, or you can use nothing but your computer and answer directly on the different documents.
  • When you’re done you’ll (hopefully) calculate and e-mail us all your results. You’re welcome to include any comments you might want to add (“I messed up the exam because…”). Unless you want to participate anonymously (just use a pseudonym if that’s the case), please tell us your name, your age (keep it vague if you want, but we want to know if you’re 60 or older or if you’re under 18) and where you live. Please also tell us if you took part in the Advanced section or the Regular section (less strict scoring rules/ cards and numbers optional). 
  • Soon after April 25, we’ll publish every results and comments we’ve received along with a pretty scoreboard.

As usual, we’re hoping to see plenty of complete beginners, newcomers, casual hobbyists and experts participating and showing us what they can do!

Click here for everything you need to complete in the 2022 Honorary Memory Challenge

To be clear: You don’t need to wait until you’re ready to start before you open that page. You can start exploring it now if you want. You can make sure you understand the format and so on. You can also print some documents in advance if you’re choosing to use papers.)

Friendly reminders: This is not an official championship. Our job here is to provide the tests and the instructions and to organize and publish the self-reported results that we receive. It is the responsibility of participants – or in some cases of whoever is supervising them – to read the rules, download the different challenges, try them out and accurately calculate and report the results. Just click the link above, read the instructions and start whenever you’re ready. Good luck!