About the competition
Niels Henrik Abels mathematical competition is a competition in mathematical problem-solving for students in the Norwegian high school system.
Today, the competition consists of two selection rounds and a final round. In the first round, the participants receive 20 problems, each with a choice of five answers, to be solved in 100 minutes. Five points are awarded for every correct answer, one point for every blank answer, and no points for every wrong answer. Thus, the expected score is the same if one guesses or simply do not answer (that is, 20 points). The maximal score is 100 points.
The best 10% of the participants are granted entry to the second round. Here there are 10 problems, each with an answer in nonnegative integers (0-999). The time limit is again 100 minutes. 10 points are awarded for every correct answer, so the maximal score is 100 points.
The results from the initial rounds are summed, and the top 20 students, and possibly a few more, are invited to the final round. Ultimately, however, there must be 16 students in the final who are qualifiable to the IMO (the International Mathematical Olympiad). In the finals, the students have four hours to solve four problems. These problems do not only require correct answers, but also proper argumentation and proof.