Flag




Caribou in Covid: Contests are running online as usual. Check out the FAQ for further questions.

Contest Rules | Caribou Contests

Caribou Contest Rules


Click on a link below to jump to a section. Click on Show to expand a section.


  1. Contest Rules
  2. What is Unfair Participation?
  3. Examples
  4. How is it Detected?
  5. What are the Consequences?

Caribou Contest Rules

These are the contest rules one agrees to when participating in Caribou Contests:

  • An adult must be present to supervise the contest and ensure fair participation.
  • Once started, students have 50 consecutive minutes to complete the test.
  • If a student is idle for 30 minutes, their participation will automatically close.
  • Calculators are neither permitted nor necessary. We recommend using a pencil and paper.
  • Students are to write the test individually, with no outside help
    (i.e. from other students, parents, teachers, cheatsheets, textbooks, the internet etc.).
  • Participants may not communicate about the questions before the end of the 2nd contest day.
  • Students may only participate in one contest level.

Return to top of page.

What is Unfair Participation?

Unfair Participation is when a student participates in a contest in a way which violates our Contest Rules, below. The student might not be responsible; instead their participation may be unfair due to the actions of classmates, teachers, or parents. Even hardworking, intelligent students can participate unfairly. Unfair Participation is not necessarily intentional or successful.


Examples of Unfair Participation

Here are some examples of what we consider unfair participation in Caribou Contests. This list is not exhaustive.

The first 1-5 are obvious examples, but some might not believe the 6-10 are unfair. Essentially, these are all unfair because they cause the participating student to make selections that are not based solely on their own knowledge and abilities. For Caribou, these are equally unfair and are treated as such.

    Show Examples 1-5 : pretty much universally considered unfair
    Show Examples 6-10 : considered fair in some cultures, but still against Caribou's rules

Return to top of page.

How is Unfair Participation Detected?

There are many ways that Unfair Participation can happen, so we have equally as many tools to detect it. We often rely on our Caribou Contacts to help us maintain contest integrity by ensuring proper supervision of the contest, making sure students know the Contest Rules, and help us investigate suspicious entries if necessary.

          Show Click here to see a short description of some of our tools.

Return to top of page.

What are the consequences of Unfair Participation?

Unfair participation in Caribou Contests not only damages our reputation, and wastes our very limited time and resources, it contradicts the spirit of learning. No one benefits from unfair participation, not least the students who are participating unfairly, for their results mean nothing if they did not obtain them fairly. Furthermore, contest results obtained via unfair participation will be removed from ranking or deleted altogether when detected.

If a Caribou Contact discovers that students are participating unfairly, they may remove the students’ contest entry on the Contact homepage. Note that this is only possible on contest days. If the unfair participation is discovered afterwards, the Caribou Contact should contact Caribou to remove the test entry.

After each contest, Caribou Contacts receive a notification about IP alerts and Jumps in Rank. There is no need to reply to this alert unless the Contact finds that it is suspicious.

          Show Should you respond to these alerts? Click here to see examples.

During each contest, we monitor the use of tools like Increase Test Time and Remove Test Entry, contacting Caribou Contacts who use these more than is usual to determine whether they are being used appropriately or whether their overuse is due to a technical problem which we can act on.

After each contest, the Caribou Team reviews the results for each grade using the tools described above. When we detect unfair participation or collaboration between students, we remove the results from ranking and send an email to the students’ Caribou Contact to inform them. Giving unfair help is treated in the same way as receiving unfair help, so all students involved are sanctioned. When students sign in to view their results, they will see a score of 0 and a link to an explanation for their results being removed. Recidivism will result in their accounts being disabled for the rest of the Caribou Cup.

Caribou Contests Inc. reserves the right to decide whether results were obtained unfairly, and to remove results from ranking in these cases.


Return to top of page.