NSMQ Responds to Prempeh College’s Protest Not Accepted; Prempeh College in Court to Stop 2023 Finals

NSMQ Responds to Prempeh College’s Protest – 2023 Finals


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27th October 2023 – Prempeh College has taken legal action by filing “Writ of Summons”. This document has been issued against Primetime Limited.

In simple terms, this means that Prempeh College is taking Primetime Limited to court.

Prempeh College is asking the court to stop Primetime Limited from organizing the NSMQ finals on the specified date (October 30, 2023), or any other date close to it, until the court makes a final decision about the matter.

In essence, Prempeh College is requesting the court to put a temporary halt on the NSMQ finals until the legal dispute is resolved.

The document specifies that if Primetime Limited does not respond or appear in court within eight days after receiving this document, a judgment may be made against them without further notice.

So, this is the legal process that Prempeh College has initiated to challenge the organization of the NSMQ finals.



Background to the Protest and Response from NSMQ

In response to Prempeh College’s protest of the results of the 2023 NSMQ Semi-Finals, the NSMQ organizers have issued a reply.

The protest was based on a riddle that hinted at the principle of linear superposition.

The NSMQ organizers note that the clues provided in the riddle were intended to prompt the specific response of “Linear Superposition.” They argue that clues in the riddle, such as electric field and scalar potential calculations, were indicative of linear superposition.

The organizers maintain that the Quiz Mistress exercised discretion in determining the acceptability of contestant answers, and in this case, she upheld the original key as more precise.

The physics consultant also addressed the complaint and provided an explanation and counterexample, which reportedly satisfied the protesters.

Therefore, the ruling of the Quiz Mistress has been affirmed.

Full Statement



The protest from Prempeh College concerns a riddle for which clues were given that point to the linear superposition principle. In interactions with the complainants on their protest, no reference to exponential superposition was made.

Instead, a nonlinear superposition relevant to intensity was given as a counterexample, which seemed to satisfy the protesters. Indeed, there are situations where electric fields participate in nonlinear processes in which combining two fields produces a field that does not equal the sum of the fields, the associated phenomena constituting a vibrant branch of physics.

The clues in the riddle in question were intended to prompt the specific response “(Principle of) Linear Superposition” and enough were given. The claim that no clue restricts the answer to linear superposition is not supported by clues 4 and 5. Specifically, the examples given in the last clue, namely, electric field and scalar potential calculations as practiced by SHS students, point directly to linear superposition. Electric circuits constitute a topic under electromagnetism, one of the examples given in clue 3. However, nonlinear electric circuits and devices are well-known, so it is not clear how a specific reference to electric circuits would restrict the answer to linear superposition. The clarity sought by the protesters in their letter is given on the last page of their document, where the principle of linear superposition as a linear combination is explained.

Quiz Mistress’s ruling

The Quiz Mistress exercises discretion on whether an answer provided by a contestant is sufficiently responsive and would have accepted the answer given by the Prempeh College contestants if in her professional opinion the target key and the answer given by the contestants were synonymous. She did not in this case, opting instead to maintain the more precise original key. When the complaint came to the attention of the physics consultant, full consideration was given to all the issues raised, and the protesters, after receiving complete attention, were satisfied with the explanation and counterexample that were given by the consultant.

The Quiz Mistress’s ruling is affirmed.

While we greatly appreciate Prempeh College’s keen interest and passion for the NSMQ, we draw the line at insinuations of bias and attempts to favour some schools.

We place premium on fairness all participating schools, which is why we allow protests from schools, to ensure that there is fairness in the adjudication of contests. Where a school’s protest is found to have merit,
the error is rectified and the appropriate marks are awarded to them.

Indeed, we are known to pause contests, so as to resolve a protest that has been made by a school. In this instance, the Prempeh team’s protest was reviewed by the Physics consultant, who then explained the concepts to the team, which the team accepted. Consequently, this turnaround and insinuation that a deliberate injustice has been carried out against Prempeh College is rather surprising.

The ability to protest a question, answer, or mode of adjudication is not a new one and we would
like Prempeh College to use the procedure described in the NSMQ Rules to address their
grievances, rather than to resort to a smear campaign on social media. Sullying the reputation of
the competition is not an action one takes when one is truly gracious in defeat; disagreeing, but
accepting the outcome in good faith is graciousness in defeat.

We would like to reiterate that Primetime has no interest whatsoever, in which school wins, or
loses a contest, or, ultimately, the championship trophy. We place a very high premium on the
integrity of the programme and so go to great lengths, too numerous to recount here, to protect

It would be very unfortunate for anyone to dismiss the great effort and investment of time and
money that the contestants and trainers put into preparing their teams to excel at this competition,
by insinuating that Primetime is biased towards some schools and manipulates contests in their

A five-time champion knows, from experience, the challenges preparing for and triumphing
over all other participants present to the team and how much hard work goes on behind the
scenes and on stage, to produce excellent results at each edition of the NSMQ.

We appreciate the exciting and passionate contests you have given us at NSMQ 2023 and wish
you the very best in future editions of the National Science & Maths Quiz.

Yours sincerely,
Physics Consultant
October 20, 2023


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Prempeh College Protest over Defeat; Calls for Review of 2023 NSMQ Finalists


Peter N. Djangmah is a multifaceted individual with a passion for education, entrepreneurship, and blogging. With a firm belief in the power of digital education and science, I am affectionately known as the Private Minister of Information. Connect with me
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