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Guide to Preparing for a Maths Olympiad

By Puja RoyOctober 02, 2022
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Olympiad examinations are subject-wise competitive exams held for school students on a larger scale among countries throughout the world. The main objective behind organising such exams is to encourage analytical, logical, and problem-solving skills in the participants. Questions asked in these exams are conceptual based rather than theory-based and drawn from the school curriculum.

Several organisations conduct Olympiad exams in various subjects. For example, International Science Olympiad (ISO), International Maths Olympiad (IMO), International English Olympiad (IEO), and International General Knowledge Olympiad (IGKO) are some of the Olympiads available. 

Participation in these olympiad exams helps students improve their academic performance and compare their intelligence level to that of other students on an international level.

Below, we will be sharing how you can shine and score well in the International Maths Olympiad (IMO) - One of the most famous olympiad exams conducted by SOF (Science Olympiad Foundation).
Last-Minute Checklist: International Maths Olympiad (IMO)

Also Read: What is Cyber Olympiad?

How to Qualify for the Maths Olympiad?

Are you participating in the SOF IMO Maths Olympiad exam and wondering how to prepare for it? If yes, then the below information is for you.

The International Maths Olympiad (IMO) is a highly reputed competitive exam conducted in India to test the students’ arithmetic and logical skills through comparative and performance analysis at school, national, and international levels. Participating in the IMO exam can help participants to prove their Maths skills and increase confidence on the global level. 

To shine in the examination, students must practise multiple mock tests and previous year's question papers. It will help them get a strong command of all the mathematical concepts. In addition, aspirants should also be updated with all the current affairs and amendments made to the syllabus of the examination.

SOF IMO 2022 - Important Dates

  • 10 Nov, 2022 - Exam - Level 1 (Set A) | Mode: Offline

  • 22 Nov, 2022 - Exam - Level 1 (Set B) | Mode: Offline

  • 13 Dec, 2022 - Exam - Level 1 (Set C) | Mode: Offline

Preparation Tips to Qualify for the Maths Olympiad

Here are a few preparation tips to help you qualify for the Maths Olympiad:

1. Choose Right Study Material 

While starting your IMO preparation, make sure that you get the relevant course material and books for the exam. There is a wide range of online study material available for the International Maths Olympiad, participants often get confused. You need to collect information from reliable sources and prepare based on that. You can buy IMO worksheets, MTG IMO Olympiad workbooks, or refer to NCERT books.

2. Work on Weak Areas

Maths is a conceptual-based subject that needs to be practised, not crammed. But when it comes to working on the weaker areas in Maths, most students run away. They want to stay in their comfort zone and only solve what they know. But this can have a worse impact on your performance in the Maths Olympiad. Try to solve each question during preparation and keep a track of the questions you got wrong to ask your teachers.

3. Keep Note of Tiny Mistakes

Do not ignore the tiny or silly mistakes that you commit unintentionally while solving a Maths problem. For example, forgetting a negative sign, using the wrong arithmetic operators, or a decimal point, etc. Even though you use the correct method, the end result will always be wrong. So, you need to be extra careful about those mistakes.

4. Dedicated Study Hours

The best way to prepare for the exam is to perform the regular study. Make a schedule and stick to completing the syllabus. Mark out what you have learned and what is left. Organise your timetable accordingly. Studying before the day of the exam is certainly not going to help you. 

5. Do Not Get Distracted 

Maths is a subject that requires frequent practice hours. So during the study, make sure that there aren’t any distractions such as TV or smartphones in the background. Choose a spot that is peaceful with good light facilities. Gather all the study materials beforehand to avoid moving in the middle of studying to source them. 

6. Compete in Other Maths Competitions

If you are finding it difficult to study or solve any Maths problem alone, you can join a Maths club at school and compete with other students in school level or zonal level olympiads.

Last-Minute Preparation Tips

It is not worth it to spoil all your hard work right before the exam day by studying massive new notes or concepts. Keep this following last-minute checklist in mind and focus on delivering your best on the exam day. Take a look.

1. Keep Track of Time

Students often run out of time while solving a Maths problem. But remember, you have got a limited time and must attempt the whole paper within that time limit. So, use it wisely. Solve the problems that require analytical thinking two days before the exam. It will help you set a base for understanding the complexity of those problems.

2. Plan Your Strategy

Now you know about the syllabus, and exam pattern and also prepared well for the exam day. But all of this would not be worth it if you aren’t able to execute what you’ve learned in a given time. So, plan your exam strategy. Solve the simple questions first you are confident about and then the difficult ones.

3. Revise But Not Anything New

Avoid studying or learning something new just before the exam as it can be useless. It will only confuse you and you will end up losing your confidence. Hence, try to revise the questions you have already studied during the preparation and avoid anything new.

4. Don’t be Stressed Out

To achieve success in the SOF IMO exam or any other competitive exam, your positive attitude has a vital role to play. Stay away from stress or any kind of negativity during your exam preparation. Keep an optimistic state of mind and do not panic.

5. Take Breaks

You might have heard, “Do smart study, not hard study”. It doesn’t matter how many hours you study, but what matters is how effectively you have studied and grabbed information to memorise for longer. It favours conceptual-based learning, i.e., understanding the concepts. So, don’t hesitate to take breaks every hour and refresh your mind for further studies.

Final Takeaway!!

So, if you want to succeed in the Maths Olympiad, follow these above-mentioned tips. Along with a positive state of mind, a great number of studies, practice, and dedicated hours are required to clear the exam. IMO is the most reputed and challenging Maths competition and candidates need to start preparations early to cover all the topics. Take proper rest, eat well, and study regularly.

FAQs on Guide to Preparing for a Maths Olympiad

1. Which International Olympiad is the most difficult?

Although it depends on a student’s capability, knowledge, and expertise in a particular subject, the Maths Olympiad is the world’s most difficult and prestigious Maths competition.

2. How many levels are there in the Maths Olympiad?

The Maths olympiad exam is conducted on two levels.

3. Students of which class are eligible to write a mathematical olympiad?

All the students from Classes 1 to 12 are eligible to participate in the exam.

Competitive Exams after 12th Science