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Math Bee : FAQ
General Info | Rules | Syllabus | Preparation | FAQ

What is the North South Foundation (NSF) Math Bee Contests?

NSF Math Bee is a Mathematics competition among the children of Indian-American community all across North America. It is aimed at nurturing mathematical skills among children attending grades 1 through 8, in a challenging environment. Math Bee has Regional and National-level components just as all the other NSF Bees.

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How is it useful to our young students?

The underpinnings of everyday life increasingly involve math and science/technology. NSF believes that math abilities are a vital foundational and literacy requirement for the child of today.

We also believe that proficiency in Mathematics can be personally satisfying and empowering to the individual. Mathematics is one of the greatest intellectual achievements of humankind, and the children should develop an appreciation and understanding of that achievement.

India has produced several great mathematicians like Ramanujan, Aryabhatta, Bhaskara, and Brahmagupta. Just as the level of mathematics needed for enlightened citizenship has increased dramatically, so too has the level of mathematical thinking and problem-solving needed in the modern workplace.

Although all careers require a foundation of mathematical knowledge, some are more math-intensive than others. We hope that the Math Bee program will especially help our students pursue an educational path that will prepare them for lifelong work as mathematicians, statisticians, engineers, computer programmers and scientists.

Further, NSF also believes that Math Bee will better prepare children to take standardized tests like PLUS, PSAT, SAT I, SAT II and ACT.

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What are the goals of the Math Bee contests?

There are several goals and some of these are :

  • To make Mathematics an easier subject to learn and excel from early childhood
  • To better prepare for excelling in college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT
  • To stimulate enthusiasm and a love for Mathematics
  • To introduce important Mathematical concepts
  • To teach major strategies for problem solving
  • To develop Mathematical flexibility in solving problems
  • To strengthen Mathematical intuition
  • To foster Mathematical creativity and ingenuity
  • To provide for the satisfaction, joy, and thrill of meeting challenges
  • To meet other students of Indian origin and develop friendship

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What are the grade groupings at the various Math Bee levels?

See the section on Math Contest Rules.

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Where can I get details on the Math Bee? How are the students tested?

See the section on Math Contest Rules.

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Can a Math Bee Level 1 contestant also participate in the Math Bee Level 2 Bee?

No, a participant can only participate in one Math bee and in one regional center only. Eligible contestants from the Regional Contest will be invited into the same bee for the NSF National Finals event.

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Are there separate tests for each grade group?

Yes, each grade group will have a different test. The questions will be based on the syllabus for the particular grade grouping.

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How do I prepare? What are the standard references? What are the standard national competitions concentrating on mathematics?

See the section on Math Bee Preparation.

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Where do I find information for the Math Bee such as syllabus, sample questions, etc?

See the section on Math Bee Syllabus.

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Can a child in Kindergarten (KG) participate in the Math Bee Level 1?

Yes, a child in KG is allowed to participate in the Math Bee Level 1, on an equal basis without any special privileges. Parents should bring young children into the contest with the primary aim of getting them familiar with the Bee. Over, the last several years many young children have participated and done exceedingly well in various contests.

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Are calculators allowed?

Calculators are not allowed at any level.

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What is the lightning round? Please Explain

This is only applicable at the National level. In the lightning round, we will avoid questions involving complex calculations. Typically the students are expected to answer within 60 seconds. A blank paper and pencil will be provided to children.

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Will there be questions outside the sample set?

No. The questions in the contest will be within the syllabus for the particular level.

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Will all competitions (spelling, vocabulary, math, etc.) be held on the same day?

It depends on each chapter. Some may hold it over on one day and some over two days. Please refer to the Contest Calendar or contact your Chapter Coordinator.

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How can I register for the NSF Math Bee contest?

Online registration via NSF homepage is generally available, starting early January. You can also refer to the NSF Contest Calendar or ask your Regional Coordinator about registration deadlines and contest dates.

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