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On Friday 21 April, Alex (Year 13), Ben (Year 12), Reyansh (Year 12), Arsh (Year 12), and I represented Wilson's at the Náboj maths competition, hosted at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge University. The Náboj is an international competition, and this year we were one of the 468 participating teams across 12 countries.

Although Alex and Arsh had also represented Wilson's in the Náboj in 2022, that competition was held online, so the opportunity to go to Cambridge and participate in person was totally new to us. In 2022, we took 5th place in the UK, scoring 25 points. This year we felt we had a much stronger team, and were ready to win.

In the Náboj, there are 49 increasingly difficult questions, and we had 120 minutes to complete as many questions as possible as a team. Each team is given the first six questions at the start, and you receive a new question upon submitting a correct answer. Having practiced together as a team to figure out our strategy and who each type of question would be delegated to, we went into the competition feeling prepared and focused.

When we arrived at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences and sat down at our designated table, Alex spotted our main competition on the other side of the room, the team from Abingdon School who had been the best performing team in the UK last year, scoring an impressive 36 points.

We made a strong start with the first few questions, and we were soon close to the top of the leader board, which was displayed at the front. Despite a few blunders made under the pressure of the competition, we managed to maintain a good pace. As time elapsed, we saw that we were in 1st place with 29 points, Abingdon having 28. But it wasn't over just yet. As all teams submitted their very last solutions, we got one more point but Abingdon score three. In the end, we received 2nd place in the UK. We were glad to have improved from last year, but felt a win was within reach. We hope we will improve even more next year!

After leaving the competition, we were able to enjoy a few hours walking around Cambridge, enjoying the sunshine and the views of the colleges before we took our train back to London.

Shuayb (Year 12)

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