How to prepare for the Math Olympiad

How to prepare for the Math Olympiad
Written by Medhaavi Mishra

Not knowing how to study for the Math Olympiad? Having difficulty motivating yourself? Not knowing when and what to start? Not able to find a way to start the syllabus? Getting anxious while studying or while solving the paper? All these questions will be answered here!

The International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO) is conducted by the Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF) every year to estimate mathematical abilities in students and to inculcate and increase their reasoning abilities. It is one of the most esteemed examinations conducted throughout the country. Students from class I to XII can participate in this examination. Students can participate by the registration process conducted in schools or students can also apply as individual participants through SOF official website. Here are some tips and tricks to follow if you are preparing for Math Olympiad:

Know your syllabus:

This is one of the most obvious pieces of advice one could give. But knowing and understanding all concepts and investing necessary time to each and every concept is really important. The syllabus is vast; hence many questions are asked from different topics. Generally, the syllabus is the same as that of the school board, but a selected respective board is given the authority to set the examination. Once you are familiar with the syllabus, it will become much easier for you to understand how to prepare for the exam.

Understand the level:

This exam is not a normal school exam. It is more complex and hence in depth understanding along with theoretical and practical knowledge is required. 

Make a timetable:

Prepare a well-organised timetable. A well-organised timetable will help you decide when and how much you should study in a day. Once you are done with preparing your timetable, make sure you follow it. Divide the syllabus into parts and then mark all the important topics. Set smaller and achievable goals. Take frequent breaks as studying for many hours can be quite exhausting.

What Books to refer:

Prioritise your textbooks first, as they cover most of the syllabus. There are many books available in the market as well as SOF itself publishes special books for Olympiad. Visit the Olympiad website frequently to get frequent updates and so that you can stay on track with the syllabus as well as paper pattern.

Online resources:

Besides sharing memes on the internet, or just using it for social life, the internet is also a vast library for education. Many online books and pdfs as well as online tutorials and videos are also available. Many YouTubers teach the whole syllabus on YouTube. It is true when we say that we can find every answer to our question on the internet.

Practice makes a man/woman perfect:

The best way to master a new concept is to practice. You can refer to various websites to access mock tests and questions papers to determine your weak and strong areas. This not only helps you monitor your preparation level but also makes your exam ready. 

Solve previous year question papers:

Questions are not focused on a single concept, which makes them more complicated. To solve these kinds of questions, it is very important that your basics are crystal clear. Seconding this, it is also important to solve as many previous years’ exam papers. Solving previous exam papers increases your speed and accuracy to solve time-consuming questions. Besides, such test papers will help you understand what type of questions are asked in the exam. You will also understand the difficulty level of those questions, and this will boost your confidence. Students should practice IMO Class 8 2012 Question Paper for better results.

Time management:

Running out of time is one of the most frustrating things about exams. Check how many questions there are and find your high-mark questions. Divide the time according to the number of questions asked in the paper. Locate your favourite questions and see how much time you need to invest in them. Always go with your strength and answer the easy questions first, so that you can invest more time in solving difficult questions.  

Turn to teachers for advice:

Teachers always have the best advice. If you face any problem while solving, make separate notes and save them for later for your teachers, so that they can help you to solve those problems. They will not only help you to solve problems that you face in your studies but will also help you to cope up if you are facing any mental difficulty while studying. They will try their best to motivate you and will definitely infuse positivity in you. If you face any problem while solving, make separate notes and save them for later for your teachers, so that they can help you to solve those problems.

Track your development:

Keep track of every movement you make and pinpoint the key area you are lagging behind. Keep track of the time spent on every question and from this data, it helps you to increase your speed and accuracy while taking a test. This also helps you to build your stamina to sit for long hours to take a test without getting exhausted as well as helps you to improve your paper solving strategy, time management skills, and question solving abilities.

Stay calm and relaxed:

Every normal person is nervous as and when the exams get nearer, and the stress increases simultaneously. Learn in advance how to relax. So that, you will be confident that, if you get anxious or your mind goes numb, you will be able to control yourself. Try taking a long breath or meditate and make your mind at ease.

Try to do something which will make yourself feel better and try to be more productive to help you beat negative thoughts. Do your best to be well prepared, it will give you some confidence that you have done the work needed. If you think you still haven’t started studying properly, tie your laces because it’s better to be late than never!

About the author

Medhaavi Mishra