British Mathematical Olympiad

Policy on Eligibility

The aim of the British Mathematical Olympiad Subtrust is the enhancement of mathematics in schools in the United Kingdom and associated territories. (Hereinafter the abbreviation UK is used to denote the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.) To achieve this aim it

(i) organises a national competition, generally known as BMO1, which entails solving a number of problems under examination conditions. Prizes are awarded for the best entries;

(ii) selects the United Kingdom team for the annual International Mathematical Olympiad. This is achieved by first organising a second competition, generally known as BMO2 and then, possibly after some mentoring, further competitive work and residential training;

(iii) arranges a celebration of the team and a lecture.


(i) BMO1 and BMO2

BMO1 is an open entry competition, and BMO2 is an open entry competition for those who sat BMO1. Both competitions must be taken in a registered UKMT exam centre. There is a fee for each competition, but this fee is waived for candidates who satisfy both the following criteria:

  1. The candidate is qualified by virtue of nationality or residency to represent the UK at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) (see (ii) below).
  2. The candidate has achieved at least the BMO threshold mark in the SMC (for BMO1) or at least the BMO2 threshold mark (depending on school year) in BMO1 (for BMO2).

(ii) The UK team

The normal method of qualification to represent the UK at the IMO is that a candidate either (a) holds British citizenship, or (b) will have completed at least 3 full years of full-time secondary education in the UK at the time they leave school. The same eligibility criteria apply to the UK team for other international competitions, and the selection camps and training correspondence courses which make up the UK IMO programme.

(iii) UK citizens abroad

For British students with permanent residence in another country, BMOS notes significant advantages to IMO training activity in their resident country. When this is impossible, such students may participate in the UK IMO programme, noting (a) selection for the UK IMO team requires sitting BMO1 and BMO2 and attendance at UK events between April and July; (b) BMOS cannot assist with international travel arrangements; (c) involvement in the IMO selection activities of more than one country in the same academic year is strictly forbidden.

(iv) Extenuating circumstances

UKMT and BMOS are mindful of the need to support young mathematicians who happen to be refugees, stateless or asylum seekers. If a candidate is in such a position, then application for UK qualified status may be made to BMOS via the UKMT.

(v) The celebration and lecture

In any academic year invitations will be sent to all schools from which pupils have been entered for BMO1 in that academic year. Requests for invitations from other schools and individuals are welcome, and will be approved at the discretion of BMOS when venue space allows.