Q1. What is the NZPMC?

The NZPMC is a nationwide standardised Physics and Mathematics competition that aims to help young Kiwi Scientists to extend their interest in Physics and Mathematics by providing a standardised national competition in a test-format. We competition's goals are to provide a fun competition where students can thoroughly engage with abstract Physical and Mathematical competition that makes the most of concepts learnt in schools.

NZPMC is short for for New Zealand Physics and Mathematics Competition. We were aware that many physics students are skilled at mathematics, vice versa. Having both subjects tested will push students to have a balanced understanding of both physics and mathematics, which is necessary when they pursue further studies that use either/both fields.

Q2. Are the competition question similar to the sample questions?

Sample questions were designed only show the breadth and quality of questions that will be used in the actual competition. This will allow students to be aware of the level of understanding required for each topic to do well in the competition. We will have a mix of short answer and multiple questions. However, the emphasis and proportion of each topic may be different on the day of the competition, compared to what is seen in the sample questions.

Q3. How do schools sign up?

Teachers will have a registration page that they can access to register their school. This link can be found here.

If you are interested in joining our mailing list, follow this link.

Students who wish to register will need to nominate a teacher in charge and get them to register students online.

Q4. How will the first round be set?

We will be distributing papers to each school, and have the participating schools and head of Science/Maths departments accommodate the competition room and supervision. The test is to be done under test conditions with restricted graphics calculators only.

Q5. Would the competition be appropriate for all the different year levels?

There are two divisions, Junior and Senior. The Junior division is year 9 to year 11, and Senior division is year 12 to year 13. The reason for this division is as follows:

A significant amount of content is shared between year 9, 10 and 11 - especially when it comes to electricity and mechanics. The junior section is mainly designed for year 10-11 students, but we do encourage bright year 9 students who wish to push themselves to do the competition. We do acknowledge that it will be very difficult for a year 9 who has just started school to grasp a thorough understanding of basic Mechanics or Electricity. But we are aware that there are students who challenge themselves up to a year or two years above their year.

The reason for the two divisions is the sudden leap of contents from year 9-11 to year 12-13. Whilst it is reasonable for a year 12 to head start on learning year 13 material, it is not so reasonable to expect year 11 to do the same. Therefore, we have set the senior division as year 12-13. This also allow us to be more flexible in the range and depth of contents we can test.

Even though students will be taught standards in different sequences, we expect students to be prepared for the topics listed in "What Do We Test". Check Sample Questions to gauge your understanding, and email contact.nzpmc@gmail.com for further clarification.

Q6. What's in it for me?

Medals are given to the top 3 students of each division in each region, and also smaller rewards and pins are given to every student who reaches the second round. Top rewards are also given to the top overall students in the country from our sponsors.

Q7. How do we know that the questions will be quality and correct?

All questions are sent through to Professors and Lecturers at the University of Auckland and the University of Canterbury before they are published. Experienced high school teachers will also be quality-assuring the questions for difficulty and suitability for high school students.