What is a Challenge and who can take it up?

The Potts-Baker Institute, Prince Alfred College challenges all students at all year levels to master mental calculation strategies.

Challenges are long-term, offered over a number of months, because it takes time to master mental calculation strategies.

While four difficulty levels are offered, focussing on one difficulty level in a Challenge will be a suitable challenge for many students. For example, a student could focus on Starting Out and earning a Bronze Award in 2024 and then 'go for Silver' in 2025.

Is this a worthwhile exercise? The Numerical Acumen Challenge ambassadors believe so.

Dr Jennifer Way  (Associate Professor in Mathematics Education, The University of Sydney)

...one of the most fundamental and essential responsibilities of teachers is to ensure that all children develop competence and confidence in basic computation. ...The website provides a unique and valuable resource for both teachers and students, that should prove to be effective in raising levels of both competence and confidence.

Read Jennifer's full comment and see what the other 10 ambassadors have to say.

Current challenges

There are currently no challenges to enter.

How to play

Each unit has an online game    Try the game 

  • Each game can be played at any of the four Difficulty Levels.
  • Each game has a number of stages.
  • Each stage has a pre-set goal, consisting of:
    • A minimum number of questions that must be answered correctly.
    • A time limit in which to do so.
  • Completing a stage earns you a reward.
    • If the stage goal is achieved, a Blue Orb is awarded.
    • If all questions are answered correctly, a Gold Star is awarded.
  • Three lives are granted per game. Failing to meet a stage's goal results in a lost life.
  • All games played between the start date and end date of the Challenge count towards your progress.

Students at different year levels may approach the Challenge in different ways

  • It may be appropriate for students in the early to mid years of primary school to focus on the Starting Out Difficulty Level in 2024, and then focus the Moving On Difficulty Level next year.
  • For students in the middle and secondary years, it may be appropriate to attack more than one Difficulty Level.


Four awards can be earned in the Challenge (corresponding to the four Difficulty Levels).
To earn an award, the goal of each stage in each game (in a particular Difficulty Level) must be met.

Bronze award
All goals met in every game at the Starting Out Difficulty Level.

Silver award
All goals met in every game at the Moving On Difficulty Level.

Gold award
All goals met in every game at the No Pain No Gain Difficulty Level.

Platinum award
All goals met in every game at the I Have No Fear Difficulty Level.

To achieve Honours, you must complete all stages of every game without error.
You do not have to do this during a single game play.

Keeping track of your progress

An individual's progress in the Challenge is displayed in a summary table.

Teachers can view the progress of their students using a simple navigation system to click from one student to the next.

At the end of the Challenge, teachers will be able to print official certificates for presentation to students.

How do I take up a challenge?

To participate in a Challenge, all you need is a Numerical Acumen account.

If you already have an account:

  • Simply Log In and then click Challenge.

If you are a student and do not have an account:

  • Ask your teacher for their Numerical Acumen Teacher Code
  • Go to the Join Now page and enter the Teacher Code to create an account for free.


  • Purchase a student account on the Join Now page.

If you are a teacher and do not have an account:

  • Determine if your school is eligible for free access to Numerical Acumen thanks to the generosity of CASIO Australia. Visit CasioEd.


  • A particular challenge may have an offer that you are eligible for.
    See the Current Challenges section (above) for such offers.


  • Purchase a teacher account on the Join Now page.