What is Kenken?

Kenken is a grid-based numerical puzzle that uses the basic math operations—addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division—while also challenging your logic and problem-solving skills. By altering the size of a KENKEN grid, from 3 x 3 up to 9 x 9, and employing different combinations of the math operations, five different difficulty levels can be generated, and a seemingly endless number of puzzles.

What Does the word Kenken Mean?

“Ken” means “Wisdom” in Japanese, so KenKen is “Wisdom Squared”.

What are the Benefits of Kenken?

  • Kenken is a brain stimulating exercise which improves cognitive abilities
  • Helps develop logical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Helps develop concentration and perseverance
  • Improves numeracy skills
  • Encourages independent thinking

Is Kenken approved by any Authority?

It is recognized by NCTM (The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, USA), world’s largest mathematics education organization, as a powerful tool to build reasoning skills, problem-solving aptitude, perseverance and stamina in kids.

About KIC 2018

What is Kenken International Championship?

The Kenken International Championship is the world’s biggest Mathematical Puzzle Championship, which is held in New York every year. Along with UAE, few other countries around the globe take part in this Championship.

Why Should my child participate in this championship?

We are trying to develop the love of puzzling among students, and participation in this Championship will definitely go a long way towards achieving that goal. Also, the unique global exposure, interaction with other participants from around the globe and the skills fostered through this competition will help students in their everyday lives, far beyond their usual math class.

Who Can Participate in this Championship?

Any student from Grade 3-12 or Year 4 to 13; who loves challenges and fun with numbers can participate in this Championship.

My child is already great in Math. Why should he join this championship?

This is a very common misconception. We have often seen that children who are good at math in school, struggle with Kenken Puzzles. This is because to successfully complete a Kenken Puzzle, you need to be able to think strategically. Practicing Kenken Puzzles stimulates their gray cells. It will help your child to critically analyze and strategize each move while enhancing their logical thinking and problem-solving skills. It also instills a sense of self-confidence and perseverance. Moreover, it’s fun!

My Child is not good with Math, should I still get him join this competition?

Absolutely! Kenken Puzzles make numbers fun, which is very important for children to feel if they are to become good at math. However, Kenken Puzzles are not just about math. It helps with the development of problem-solving skills, and strategic thinking using numbers. Finally, and probably most important of all it instills a sense of self-confidence ones they are able to successfully solve them. All these together will definitely allow your child to improve in math.

About Exam Details & Preparation

How Should I prepare for the championship?

  • Every registered student will receive a free practice book containing a grab bag of around 150 Kenken Puzzles.
  • For every level of the Championship, Kenken UAE will release Category specific practice materials, which can be purchased from the official website.
  • Kenken UAE will also send free mock puzzles and exam sheets to selected students from the Emirates Round onwards, these are a good weekly practice source.
  • Kenken UAE also conducts boot camps and online training sessions to help students prepare better.
  • Students can download the free Keneken mobile app from Play Store or App Store, and use that to play Kenken Puzzles on the go.
  • Students can also play Kenken Puzzles at the Kenken UAE website. We come out with new puzzles every week.

Dates of Competition?

School Level: Till August 2018

Emirate Level: 28th & 29th September 2018

National Level: 3rd November 2018 

International Level:  December 2018

Venue for the exam?

School Level: Exams will be conducted at respective schools and Amity University, Dubai International Academic City.

Emirates & National Level: Venues for both levels will be disclosed through the participants Admit Cards 10 to15 days prior to the exam date.

International Level: Gateway Art Center, 4W and 43rd Street, New York, USA

Duration of the exam?

Exams for all the three levels are 30 minutes long, with each participant receiving 6 puzzles to solve.

International Level Exam duration varies and will be announced a month the exam date.

What are the different Age Categories for the championship?

National Level & International Level category and exam guidelines will be released before the respective exams.

Emirates Level category guidelines can be downloaded from here: //drive.google.com/drive/u/0/search?q=KIC17

School Level category guidelines can be downloaded from here: //drive.google.com/file/d/0B_m001hNZZEaRW96cV85VmtaZk0/view


What sizes and difficulty levels of puzzles can I expect in my exams?

Please refer to the previous question for the answer to this.

What will be mode of exams?

All exams are paper based, students will only be allowed to use pencils to write their answers.

Selections & Results

How do you mark the exams?

Puzzles in every level are marked on the basis of the puzzle grid size. There is no step marking, the puzzles can only be correct, incorrect or not attempted.

How many exams a student have to take to make it to the International Level?

Three levels. School, Emirate, and National Level

How will we know the results?

Results for all three rounds will be emailed to the registered email address of the participant. Respective schools will be also be informed of the results.

What is the selection criteria?

School Level: Minimum 50 % of the participants will be selected at this level for the Emirates level competition, from each category.

Emirate Level: Minimum 30 % of the school level winners will be selected at this level for the National level competition, from each category, and from each Emirate.

National Level: Top 3 rankers from each age category (total 21) will be crowned as the Kenken UAE National Level Champions. The 1st Rank holder will get a chance to participate in the International Level.

International Level: International Level selection criteria will be released one month prior to the exam date.

Rewards & Recognition

Will my kid get any participatory certificate?

Yes, All the participants will be issued one of the four certificates (Certificate of Participation, Certificate of Recognition, Certificate of Achievement and Certificate of Excellence) depending on the performance of the participant in the championship.

What are the Rewards & Recognition at different stages of this Championship?

School Level: Winners will receive Certificate of Recognition, Bronze Medals.

Emirate Level: Winners will receive Certificate of Achievement, Silver Medals and Other Prizes.

National Level: All expense paid trip to New York*. You will also receive a Trophy, Gold Medal, School Trophy along with the “Certificate of Excellence”.

* Visa needs to be provided by the parents

Does this Championship offer any Cash Prizes and/or Goodies?

Yes, Total Worth AED 100,000 of Cash Prizes and Goodies will be rewarded to the winners at different stages of this Championship.

Regarding New York Trip

Who will bear the cost of Visit to New York?

Top 7 winners (1 Topper from each category) will represent UAE at KIC 2017 in New York. All the expenses will be borne by Rootstalk Learning Solutions FZ-LLC. Note: Visa needs to be provided by the parents only.

Any legal requirements parents have to fulfill to send the selected students to New York.

USA Visa

How many students will go to New York?

One topper from each category

Can parents go to New York with the selected students?

Yes, Parents are more than welcome however in that case, Parents will have to bear their own expenses. If parents want their child to stay with them then, Rootstalk will bear only travel expenses of the child.

Regarding Registration

How can I register for this?

Fill out the registration form given to you at school or register online at www.kenkenuae.com/register

How do I get my Unique Registration ID?

Once you fill the necessary information, your registration id will be emailed to you within 7 working days from the day you register online or we collect the forms from your school.

Are there any additional costs apart from the registration fees?

No. However, You will have to bear the USA Visa fees.

Will I have to pay again for different levels for example state, national and international etc.?


What is the fees to participate in this Competition?

AED 100 only. No other fees will be charged at any level.