UK Bebras




About UK Bebras

The Bebras Challenge introduces computational thinking to students worldwide. This exciting challenge takes place in schools, under the supervision of teachers, over a two-week period every November. Last year, over 3 million students from more than 80 countries participated!

In the UK, the challenge is open to all young people aged 6 to 19. Each participant has 45 minutes to tackle a series of interactive tasks, designed to encourage logical thinking and problem-solving skills appropriate for their age group. The challenge is conducted online, and tasks are marked automatically by our competition system.

Students don't need to excel in maths or computing to take part in the Bebras Challenge. The tasks are designed to allow every student the opportunity to showcase their potential.

The next Bebras Challenge will take place: 4th - 15th November 2024

What teachers say about the challenge:

“I just want to say how much the children are enjoying this competition. It is the first year we have entered, and I have students aged 8 to 11 participating in my Computing lessons, with some of our older students also taking on the challenges. It is really helping to challenge their thinking, and they are showing great determination to try and complete each task! Also fantastic to find something that works on our iPads, as most puzzles of this kind are flash based.”

“Our students completed the challenge this morning, I just wanted to say thank you for running this. It’s a brilliant idea!”

Age Groups

The Challenge is available for the following age groups:

  England & Wales Scotland Northern Ireland
Kits* (age 6-8) Years 2 & 3 P2 & P3 Years 3 & 4
Castors* (age 8-10) Years 4 & 5 P4 & P5 Years 5 & 6
Juniors (age 10-12) Years 6 & 7 P6 & P7 Years 7 & 8
Intermediates (age 12-14) Years 8 & 9 S1 & S2 Years 9 & 10
Seniors (age 14-16) Years 10 & 11 S3 & S4 Years 11 & 12
Elite (age 16-19) Years 12 & 13 S5 & S6 Years 13 & 14

* Kits and Castors can enter individually or as a small team (up to 4)

How do students participate?

Students cannot register individually. Instead, a teacher must sign up as the main school coordinator and can then enroll groups of students or even the entire school. The main coordinator has the ability to create additional coordinator and teacher accounts, allowing teachers to manage their own student groups. Home-educated students are also welcome to participate (contact us for more information).

Is there a fee to participate?

The UK Bebras Challenge is generously supported by the Raspberry Pi Foundation and is entirely free to enter. We kindly ask that you provide as much information as possible when requested to help us assess the impact of our efforts.

How can students prepare?

While preparation isn't essential, students tend to enjoy the experience more if they practice. It's also a great opportunity for them to develop their computational thinking skills. Many schools integrate Bebras tasks into their maths or computing lessons, or organise enrichment clubs to get students ready for the challenge. We provide sets of past tasks on our website, and school coordinators and teachers have access to even more tasks to create quizzes for their students.

Can students use tablet computers?

Students can use desktops, laptops, or tablets with internet-connected web browsers for both the competition and practice tasks. While mobile phones may be usable, the smaller screen size might be a limiting factor.

Are there prizes?

Every participating student receives a certificate. Certificates are awarded within each age group based on school performance, not national boundaries, in three categories: Distinction (top 25%), Merit (next 25%), and Participation (remaining 50%). Additionally, a "Best in School" certificate is awarded in each age group category. Certificates can be printed at school or home or distributed electronically.

Students who score in the top 10% nationally receive a special Gold certificate and an invitation to participate in the Oxford University Computing Challenge (OUCC). This competitive coding event provides additional challenge and enrichment for high-achieving students and takes place in the spring term following the Bebras Challenge.

Are the answers provided?

Yes, after each official challenge, we provide an answer and explanation booklet. These resources are available for teachers in the Documents section of the admin site.

What is computational thinking?

Computational thinking involves the thought processes and problem-solving methods used to develop algorithms. These skills include abstraction, decomposition, and pattern recognition. Importantly, computational thinking isn't limited to software development; these skills are valuable in various problem-solving contexts.