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 2021 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. 

Registration is now closed for 2021.

What’s next?

We are now marking the exams! We aim to finish the marking by Monday, Nov 29th. We’ll email teachers when the unofficial scores are available on your Teacher Portals.

Here is the 2021 Question Booklet so you can review it with your students and teachers. You can find the official solutions here.

Teachers – watch your inbox for a verification email from us. We will be sending you a list of all your student names and information in order to give a last chance to verify spelling and important details affecting whether your students qualify for official status, and in which grade they are competing. We need you to verify this information before Official Results can be released and top students awarded.

TO ACCESS your teacher portal, click below.

Online Proctoring Instructions


The Gray Jay online platform is browser-based. 
The supervising proctor and each student will require a tablet or a laptop/desktop computer.

Orientation Video

We have created a detailed orientation video to show you how proctors prepare and perform an in-person session with their students in a classroom.  If you are proctoring remotely (via the internet), then it is your responsibility to maintain suitable monitoring of your student during the exam (this is typically with Zoom or similar product) – CMS cannot assist you in that.

Access Keys and Codes

Teachers get the Access Keys and Codes for themselves and their students through the Teacher Portal (where you ordered your exams).  If you are a lead teacher with several proctors, you will want to collect your school’s Keys and Codes and divide them up for your proctors, as you see in the video.

The Keys and Codes will be available on your teacher portal by Thursday Nov 11th.

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.

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

  • school
  • library
  • tutoring centre
  • home school

In order to participate, students need to be registered by a proctor (teacher, librarian, tutoring centre, or a home school teacher).

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

  • An adult (teacher, librarian or another adult) 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.

Official Participants

To be an official participant and qualify for awards, the following additional requirements must be met:

  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, or home-schooled) at least since Sept 15, 2021 and
  3. No mobile phones, calculators or other electronic devices are permitted. Students writing the exam “online” may use a computer or tablet only to access the exam, and an electronic device such as a cell phone may be used for supervision of a student writing remotely. Other uses of such devices are prohibited.
  4. The student must either be supervised in a school or location that the CMS has approved as an Official Competition Writing Centre* (OCWC),  or 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.
  5. The 90 minute writing period must begin and end sometime between 8 AM and 8PM (08:00-20:00) local time
    1. on Thursday, November 18th, for schools in North America, South America, Central America or in time zones covering these areas
    2. on Friday, November 19th, elsewhere in the world.

* Once a school signs up for an account, it is assessed to see if it qualifies as an Official Competition Writing Center (OCWC). If your school is a permanent, full-time, complete curriculum school with a well-established physical location, it will likely qualify.

Prizes and Awards

Only official participants, as defined above, are eligible for awards.

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.

Cover image of The Math Olympian book Official Canadian participants are automatically eligible for a random prize draw to win one of several copies of Richard Hoshino’s novel “The Math Olympian”. 

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!

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.


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.