Win cool but not perfect

Kavanagh College year 9 pupil Tobias Devereux has won the University of Otago junior maths competition with an \"almost perfect'' score. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Kavanagh College year 9 pupil Tobias Devereux has won the University of Otago junior maths competition with an "almost perfect'' score. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Not many things really annoy Tobias Devereux.

But when the 13-year-old mathematics whizz narrowly misses getting 100% in a maths test, it irks him - just a little.

The Kavanagh College year 9 pupil recently won the University of Otago junior maths competition in which he achieved ''an almost perfect score''.

''It's pretty cool still,'' he admitted.

Competition manager Warren Palmer said the perfect score was a feat accomplished by only two pupils.

Entrants are expected to answer up to five questions requiring them to apply their mathematical skills to unknown situations.

They have up to one hour and Tobias answered four questions perfectly, just failing to finish the fifth when time was called.

About 6500 years 9-11 pupils from about 150 schools across the country took part in the competition this year.

Mr Palmer said this year's questions ranged from simple number work, through primes and straight-line equations; to a geometric puzzle, requiring trigonometry, not usually taught until year 11.

''Of course, Tobias is now way beyond that level.

''Give the questions to an adult mathematician and I'm sure they'd answer them all, but almost certainly in well over an hour.''

Tobias will receive a prize from the competition organisers during an assembly at Kavanagh College today.

Having already completed NCEA level 3 calculus last year, Tobias will continue studying level 3 statistics this year - qualifications many year 13 pupils struggle with.

Next year, he will study scholarship calculus and some correspondence tertiary maths papers.

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