We believe that students should be grouped based on their mathematical knowledge, not grade level. We don't want anyone to be bored or overwhelmed in class. This is why new students write an assessment test. The results of this test help us determine which class would be more suitable for new students. If after the first few classes students feel that their class placement was not the right fit, please communicate this to your instructor. To help prepare for the test, your child can practice with the Readiness assessment preparation.

Students need to be registered in Math Circles in order to write the assessment test. As a last minute option you can also register at the assessment test, if we still have space in the classes (bring a cheque and registration form). 

Regular assessment test: Please see class dates schedule 

Please arrive 15 minutes early to the assessment test to sign in. All you need to bring is your own writing utensils. Calculators are not allowed.


Aida Gradina Photography

Missed the assessment test?
If a new student misses an assessment test, they will be placed according to their grade, as shown in this table.

Want to plan ahead?
This table is a good indicator of class placement for new students if they write the assessment test, so you can use it to plan your schedule accordingly.

Returning students go into the next level unless they wish to repeat a class or if their instructor recommends that they repeat a class. 

Default Class Placement:

Grade in September Math Circles Class (for new students who miss the assessment test)
Grade 5 or 6 Alpha
Grade 7 Beta
Grade 8 Gamma
Grade 9 Delta
Grade 10 Epsilon
Grade 11 Omega
Grade 12 Calculus 



Q. How long is the assessment test?
       A. 1.5 hours but students can leave earlier if they finish earlier, as long as their parents are there to pick them up.
Q. Do all students write the same test?
      A. We separate the tests into grade 5-7, and grade 8 -12 level. Each age group has a regular test and an optional test that they can write if they have time. The regular test is written answer and the optional test is multiple choice. Within each test multiple topics are covered.

Q. Should the students attempt to solve all problems on the test or focus on problems within certain part(s)? 
      A. Attempt all problems but don't waste time on questions that they think are beyond their knowledge. It's OK to leave questions blank.
Q. Do students have to show the work on the test sheet, and are the points taken away if the work is not shown? 
     A. Showing work is best especially for the word problems. No marks are deducted if work is not shown, but partial marks may be given for an incorrect answer if work is shown and proves that the student has partial knowledge of the problem. On the optional (multiple choice test) students receive 2 points for a correct answer and lose a point for an incorrect answer (so leaving a question blank is better than guessing!).
Q. Do you return the test to students or disclose their mark?
     A. No. The purpose of the test is only to group students together who are at a similar mathematical level so that they can learn at the same pace. We only tell the student what class they placed in and we recycle the tests once they have been marked.

Q. Can the students ask questions during the test if they find a problem specification unclear? 
      A. They can ask, but the teacher probably won't explain any of the mathematical terms or give clues about the problem. If it is a language barrier then the teacher is more likely to assist, but we want to refrain from distracting the rest of the students and from giving the student too much assistance during the test. There is no harm in asking, but be prepared that the answer might be "sorry I can't help you", depending on what the question is.