Problems & Solutions

How do I prepare for the contest?

Perhaps the best advice is to look at the old contest problems. These are posted below. The specific topics on the contest vary from year to year. However, practice working problems is the best preparation for working more problems. The problems have been selected to encourage creative thinking. They are not simply applications of skills you have been taught in school. There are many books of competition problems of various levels. Look in the math section in any library under the topic “recreational mathematics” or “problem solving.” MathCounts materials provide excellent foundation. Here is another good resource. One of the coauthors is the founder of the UNC Math Contest. Download the pdf here: ProblemSolving, or visit

Contest Problems & Solutions

Click on a year to download old contests and solutions. Once you have downloaded a file, scroll down to see both rounds.

Thank you to participant David Jordan for filling in some solutions that were missing from the old set of solutions.

Thank you also to Dr. Ming Song for providing more extended solutions to many of the older contests.

first-round-2020                 unc-mathematics-contest-2020-2021-first-round-solutions  

Contest Questions without Solutions:


2018-19   2017-18  2016-17   2015-16   2014-15   2013-14   2012-13   2011-12

2010-11   2009-10   2009-10   2008-09   2007-08   2006-07   2005-06   2004-05

1994-95  2002-03   2001-02   2000-01   1999-00  1998-99   1997-98   1996-97

1995-96  1994-95  1993-94   1992-93

Contest Questions with Solutions:


18-19  17-18  16-17  15-16   14-15  13-14   12-13   11-12

10-11  09-10  08-09  07-08  06-07 05-06  04-05  03-04  02-03 01-02

00-01  99-00  98-99  97-98  96-97  95-96  94-95  93-94 92-93


The Final Round problems are much more challenging than the First Round problems, but there is a similarity in flavor. Also, you may observe that usually some of the Final Round problems extend problems from the previous First Round set. The hope is that participants will look carefully at the First Round problems in the weeks following the First Round contest.

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