PI Competition 2021 Frequently Asked Questions

When and where is the competition?

The competition will be held on March 5th, 2022 at Pensacola High School between 8a.m. – 3:30p.m.

What is the structure of this competition?

This competition is based on the structure of a traditional high school Mu Alpha Theta competition. Students will participate in a team round, consisting of 10 – 12 questions, and an individual test, consisting of 30 questions. Teams can contain up to 4 students.

How are the tests scored?

Math I, Math II, Algebra I, and Geometry Team round:  Teams will have 4 minutes to answer each team round question.  Each question typically contains up to 4 parts, all of which combine to give a final answer, so teamwork is vital.  Teams will receive 16 points for correct answers in the first minute, 12 points in the second minute, 8 in the third, and 4 in the fourth.  A sliding scale will be employed, so if no team answers correctly in the first minute, a team who answers it correctly in the second minute will get 16 points, 12 for the third minute, 8 for the fourth.  

4th and 5th Grade Team Round: Teams will have 60 minutes to complete 20 questions. Each question typically contains up to 4 parts, all of which combine to give a final answer, so teamwork is vital. Teams will receive 1 point per correct final answer. Ties will be broken based on the time that each team turns in the answer sheet.

Individual Round:  Each multiple choice test consists of 30 questions. The tests will be scored out of 100, and there are NO guessing penalties. With the exception of 4th and 5th grade, there will be 5 answer choices: A, B, C, D, and E (NOTA: None of the above).

How many students can I bring?

There is no limit to the number of students you can bring.  Our competition welcomes all students! It is, however, suggested that the top four students in each category (4th grade math, 5th grade math, 6th grade math- Math I, 7th grade math- Math II, 8th grade math- Algebra I or Geometry) are placed on the same team to better your chances of winning.

How many teams can we bring?

There is no limit to the number of teams you can bring. Teams consist of up to four students from the same category.  For example, if you are bringing nine 4th grade students and three 5th grade students, you would have three 4th grade teams and one 5th grade team.  

Is there a fee to participate?

The PI competition is completely free with lunch included thanks to our sponsors. 

How do I know which division my students should compete in?

4th grade students should participate in 4th grade math, 5th grade students in 5th grade math, 6th grade students in Math I, pre-Algebra students in Math II (similar to 7th grade math), and Algebra I students in Algebra I.  Beginning in 2020, there is a Geometry division also as more 8th-graders in our area are enrolled in this course, so students taking Geometry can and should compete in the Geometry division.

How do I prepare my students for this competition?

All tests are written with Florida’s State math curriculum in mind, with an emphasis on critical thinking rather than simply memorizing formulas. That being said, the tests are traditionally difficult, with perfect scores being few and far between. All grade students can look at past PI competition tests to prepare for this year (available on the website).

Are students required to show up in a bus and do teachers have to attend?

Students do not have to show up in a bus. Guardians may drive their students to the competition. Teachers (sponsors) should attend to supervise their students and to check in their participants, but in the event that a teacher is unable to make it to the competition, a willing parent will need to step up to be the sponsor for the school.

Can parents attend?

Parents are welcome to attend, but if they would like us to provide lunch for them, when registering online, you must indicate the number of parents attending.  We need to be able to estimate the number of people attending so we can order enough supplies.

How will the overall “Sweepstakes” award be determined?

The results from the two best categories for each school will be used to determine the overall schools awards.

I have 9 students competing in one category, how will the team round work?

The teams of up to four for the team round are created by the school. A school could choose to split their students into teams of three, two teams of four and one team of one, or any other fashion. 

What will be done in the time in which the tests are graded?

Between approximately 1:00 and 2:30,  the PI committee grades the tests. During this time, students are welcome to participate in math activities around the cafeteria and auditorium. All students are welcome to participate, and there will be candy available to the winners as a prize.  

When is registration due?

Although there is technically no hard deadline for registration, we would prefer if registration is completed by February 5th, 2022. We would love it if registration could be submitted by March 31st, 2021 to give us sufficient time to plan for the number of people that will be attending.  If you need to make last minute changes to registration, please email us.

We hope you are able to attend! Please contact us at pensacola.invitational@gmail.com, visit our Facebook page, or call/text Ben Cherek (Student Organizer) at 850-974-6643 if you have any questions that are not answered here.  We look forward to seeing you on March 5th, 2022!

What about COVID-19?

Covid protocols have moved the Pensacola Invitational to a virtual format in the past. However, as of now, the Pensacola Invitational will move forward as an in-person event. We will be flexible and perceptive to changes regarding the situation, however.