National Mental Math Championship

(Une traduction en français de cette page sera mise en ligne très bientôt)

The 2019 National Mental Math Championship will be happening on Saturday, November 23 in Montreal! That’s the day right before the 2019 National Memory Championship. More details will be posted soon.

The championship is open to people of all ages and all skill levels. Competitors will be tested on their ability to solve as many additions, multiplications and divisions as possible during a series of brief 5-minute exercises. Most adults and students are fully capable of solving all those problems, but it will be impossible to answer them all correctly during the very limited time available. However, it might be possible to solve more than the person sitting next to you.

If you’re a teacher or an organizer in Canada and you’d like your class or your group to be able to compete from afar, get in contact with us! It’s possible that we’ll be able to arrange something.

Competitors can choose to sign up in either the Regular section or the Advanced section. Competitors in the Regular section will be allowed to write their calculations on the page. Advanced competitors will have to do everything mentally and only write down their answers.

  • The winner of the Advanced section will be declared to be the 2019 Canadian Mental Math Champion and will receive a prize of $100.
  • Second place in the Advanced section will receive a prize of $40.
  • First place in the Regular section will receive a prize of $30.

* The four CMSA Board members are allowed to compete, but they aren’t allowed to win any money.


Only the first three challenges will decide who will be the 2019 Canadian Mental Math Champion. For each of those three challenges, competitors will have 2 attempts separated by a 15 minutes break and only the best result will be counted. 

  • The first challenge will be additions of ten 2-digit numbers like 36+44+78+14+97+32+28+81+96+25.
  • The second challenge will be multiplications of two 2-digit numbers like 47 multiplied by 82.
  • The third and last mandatory challenge will be divisions of a 3-digit number by a 1-digit number between 2 and 9. So 732 divided by 6 would be a possible example. 

By default, you will be shown 2 pages with 24 additions each, 2 pages with 64 multiplications each and 2 pages with 64 divisions each. You can write to us in advance to request a third page if you think you might be able to solve more than this (we doubt it!).

Click here for some sample disciplines and training tools.

Click here to learn more about how to become crazy fast with mental calculations


Additionnal challenges will be offered, but they will be completely optional and they will each be judged separately. You don’t have to practice them if you don’t want to. We’re only offering them because they can be fun and because we want to see some new national records being established.

  • The first optional challenge is just about bragging and about showing off your skills. Competitors who agree to take part will have to walk in front of the room and answer out loud progressively more difficult math questions. This first challenge isn’t a serious contest. It will be brief and there won’t be any official winner. 
  • The second optionnal challenge will be multiplications of a three-digit number by another three digit number. So 872 multiplied by 643 would be a possible example. Just one 5-minute attempt. If you want to be able to do this quickly, this is the method that we recommend that you learn and practice.
  • The last optionnal challenge may seem borderly impossible, but it’s actually something that with practice you can learn to do very quickly in your head. Can you quickly tell me what day of the week was October 23, 1743? Last year winner can calculate the correct answer for dozens of dates in just one minute! How? Here’s one way. And if you have a system for memorizing numbers, there’s a much quicker way (article is in French, but we’ll post an English translation very soon). To save time you can answer using the numbers 1 to 7 instead of writing down the words “monday”, “tuesday” and so on. We can ask about any day from the year 1600 to 2099. You will have two attempts of one-minute each and one final five-minute attempt.


Overall scoring rules

As we’ve said only the first three challenges will determine who win the titles and the prizes, the rest is mostly just for fun and bragging rights. For each of those three official challenges. each contestant will be awarded a score that can range from 0 to 100. Those three scores will be added at the end and whoever get the most points wins. We’ll present two different scoreboards for competitors in the Regular section and competitor in the Advanced section. Non-Canadian citizens can compete in the Regular section and show everyone who’s boss, but they can’t become the official “Canadian Mental Math Champion”.

In each challenge the person who obtained the very best score will automatically have a score of 100. Other contestants will have their score calculated by taking the number of good answers they obtained and by dividing that number by the number of good answers obtained by the best competitor and by multiplying the result by 100. So if the best performance in the division challenge was 50 good answers and you obtained 40 good answers, your official score for that challenge will be 80 (40 divided by 50 and multiplied by 100).

  • For additions we simply add up the number of good answers. All the questions presented are about equally difficult.
  • For multiplications and divisions we also add up the number of good answers, but half a point will be subtracted for every wrong or missing answer. This is to avoid giving an incentive to skip the most apparently difficult questions. No penalty will be given for unanswered questions past the last question that was answered.
  • For divisions, when necessary, you need to write a comma and the correct following 2 digits. For those 2 digits past the comma, we’ll accept either the straight non-rounded up or down answer, or when applicable the correctly rounded up or down answer. For example the answer to 149/7 is 21.28571428571… but we only want you to write 2 digits past the comma. So 21.28 is an acceptable answer and 21.29 (correctly rounded up) is another acceptable answer. However, 21.27 wouldn’t be considered acceptable because in that case rounding down would be incorrect. For divisions, half a point will also be subtracted for every wrong or missing answer.

DON’T TRY TO SKIP ANY PROBLEM! Except for additions where all problems are about equally difficult, all missing answer will be penalyzed.

Competitors are asked to write clearly to facilitate the correction. All the numbers used will have been generated randomly by specially designed Excel documents. You can find those documents in the sample disciplines and training tools section.


If you’re curious to know who you might by up against, here are the results of the 2018 National Mental Math Championship.

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