Canadian Mathematical Gray Jay Competition (CMGC)

Canadian Mathematical Gray Jay Competition (CMGC) is a new Canadian math competition open to students in grades K-8, with questions based primarily on grade 5-8 curriculum. This competition has been created by mathematicians from across Canada.

The problems are meant to be a fun fall activity for students and teachers to complement their math curriculum and build students’ problem solving skills. The CMGC will offer engaging problems that will allow for discussion after the competition and get students excited about math.  The competition will have 15 questions which take place over 90 minutes. It will consist of 3 blocks of 5 questions with an increasing level of difficulty from beginning to end.

CMS is committed to contributing to a more inclusive environment in the mathematical community. Funding will be made available for students who identify as Black or Indigenous to participate in the 2020 CMGC free of charge. For more information, please visit the CMS Inclusion Initiative page.

In 2021, there will be two ways of taking the CMGC: paper-based and online.

2021 Competition

The 2021 CMGC will be held on Thursday, November 18 in North and South America. The contest will be held on November 19th in the rest of the world. 

If you are a student and you would like to register but your school is not participating, please refer to our FAQ page or contact us at

Registration will open this September. The competition is open to all schools, libraries, tutoring centres and home schools. You will need a  device with internet access (computers, tablets and smartphones are acceptable).

Status Update (May 5, 2021): 

Registration will be open soon.

Rules and Eligibility

The CMGC is based on the grade 5-8 curriculum, but is open to students in all locations, at all grade levels. Please note that only those students will be considered for Prizes and Awards who are in grade 8 or below and who are writing the competition at official writing centres.

The contest can be written at any of the following locations: 

  • school
  • library
  • tutoring centre
  • home school

In order to participate as an official participant, students need to be registered by a proctor (teacher, librarian, tutoring centre, or a home school teacher). The proctor must not be related to the students.

By signing up for the CMGC you agree to the following rules:

  • An adult (teacher, librarian or another adult who is not related to the student) must be present to supervise the competition;
  • Once started, students have 90 consecutive minutes to complete the test;
  • Calculators are not permitted. We recommend using scrap paper and a pencil when figuring out answers; 
  • Students are to write the test individually, with no outside help
    (i.e. from other students, parents, teachers, cheat sheets, textbooks, the Internet etc.).

We count on the proctors and participants to ensure that these rules are followed.

Prizes and Awards

Award Rules

All students must assert that each of the following is true about themselves:

1. The student must be in grade 8 or below during the 2021/22 school year and
2. The student must be attending school full-time either virtually or in person (elementary, secondary, Cégep, or home-schooled) at least since Sept 15, 2021 and
3. No mobile phones, calculators or other electronic devices are used in the writing of the exam

To be considered official participants and thereby qualify for awards, recognition or prizes, students and schools must meet the following requirements. Exams are only considered official if they are supervised under these conditions:

4. Must be supervised in a school or location that the CMS has approved as an Official Competition Writing Centre (OCWC).
5. Must be supervised remotely for the entirety of the exam by a proctor from a registered OCWC or a certified teacher under the ministry of education.
6. The 90 minute writing period must begin and end sometime between 8 AM and 8PM (0800-2000) local time on either
1. Thursday, November 18th, for all schools in North America, South America, Central America or in time zones covering these areas
2. Friday, November 19th, elsewhere in the world.

Awards are only given to official participants.

There are two divisions: the Canadian Division, which is only for participants writing the exam from within Canada (or Canadian citizens or permanent residents writing outside Canada); and the International Division, which is only for non-Canadian participants writing the competition outside of Canada.

The awards in the Canadian Division are based on best in Canada, best in province, best in region, and best in each grade (best in grade 8, best in grade 7, etc.). The top official participants from outside of Canada (and who are not Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents) are considered for the International Division awards, which are not grade-dependent or region-dependent.

Awards are not offered where participation rates are very low or where scores are below the cutoff scores. All participants will be awarded a participation certificate.

All official marks, awards and certificates for the 2020 Canadian Mathematical Gray Jay Competition (CMGC) have now been released! Please see the Canadian Mathematical Society’s (CMS) media release for more details.

The overall median score for the 2020 Gray Jay was 37/80.

Here are the grade-specific medians:

  • grade 4 or lower: 23.5
  • grade 5: 29
  • grade 6: 31
  • grade 7: 42
  • grade 8: 41

The award winners in each division are posted here.

Topics and Resources

The CMGC is based on grade 5-8 curriculum. Topics that may appear on the exam include:

  • Probability
  • Geometry and Symmetry
  • Exponents and Order of Operations
  • Algebra
  • Sequences and series
  • Patterns
  • Simple counting problems
  • Elementary number theory (primes, composites, greatest common factor, least common multiple)
  • Ratio, Rate and Percent
  • Data Analysis (interpreting bar and pie graphs)
  • Integers and Fractions

Resources to prepare for the contest coming soon!


We understand you may have questions, please refer to our FAQ page


Want to practice for the Canadian Mathematical Gray Jay Competition? Click here to access our practice questions! You can also view the solutions here

Exam and Solutions

Thank you for participating in the 2020 Canadian Mathematical Gray Jay Competition. The 2020 Exam Paper (PDF) is available for download.  The solutions for the 2020 Exam are available for download.