Every year The SOF or the Science Olympiad Foundation conducts various Olympiads some of which are national and some international – The IMO ( International Maths Olympiad) is one among them. This has become a major exam to test the skills of students in the relevant subjects.
The basic aim of the olympiads, like any exam, is to create a strong base for the students and help them in achieving clarity of the concepts that they study each year. More than clearing the exam the aim should be on making the student think.
Here are 10 things to keep in mind while preparing for the International Maths Olympiad.
- Know the syllabus well
Knowing the syllabus is the first and the most important step in planning to tackle any examination.
For class 9, there are 4 sections that contain different topics from what the student has studied in the previous class and what is being taught in the current year of school
Logical Reasoning consists of Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning and
Mathematical Reasoning, Everyday Mathematics & Achievers Section covering Number Systems, Polynomials, Coordinate Geometry, Linear Equations in Two Variables, Introduction to Euclid’s Geometry, Lines and Angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Areas of Parallelograms and Triangle, Circle, Constructions, Heron’s Formula, Surface Areas and Volumes, Statistics, Probability.
The first three sections will have 15,20 and 10 questions respectively of 1 mark and the final section will have 5 questions of 3 marks each.
The Achiever’s section will have questions that will need higher-order thinking but having a clear idea of the concepts will help absolve them easily.
2. Make Notes and Revise
Use various sources available – textbooks from school and the internet. Make a note of all the important formulae and other pointers. Revising is as essential a part of the preparation as is studying new topics. Noting down difficult questions or questions that took a long time to answer and resolving them a week before the exam will aid in determining the level of study and strategy required towards the end. Make sure to revise topics from the previous year along with studying current topics.
3. Being Systematic
Dedicating time solely to the olympiad can be tiring amidst all the other work from school. Hence it is important to set up a timetable to manage everything. Slots should be made for school work and for studying other subjects. The number of days left and syllabus to be covered should be kept in mind and time should be left for revision. Leave time in the timetable to relax and have fun.
4. Study smart
Hard work will definitely pay off but smart work combined with efforts can produce better results. The first step to smart work is analysing the pattern of questions from previous years. This will provide an idea of the type and level of questions that will help while preparing.
Revise the portions from the previous year and make the concepts clear and then focus on topics that have been taught in school and stress more on the more confident topics. Play with the strengths to nullify the weaknesses
YouTube videos and other educational websites can be quite useful in locating tips and other tactics for quickly solving problems. This will save time as well. In addition, these simple techniques can be used to double-check responses.
6. Ask for help
Teachers and elders are always the best guides to help tackle problems. Students should be willing to approach teachers to gain greater clarity of the concepts. Students should never be afraid to ask questions, and should never hesitate to contact their teachers with any questions they may have. Even friends can be a huge help at times in helping out with clearing doubts.
7. Mock tests and Time Management
Practice makes perfect! Students should try to solve maximum problems from every topic in the syllabus to improve their grasp on the topic.
There are numerous websites containing practise questions, the SOF website in itself is a very good source. It’s just as crucial to solving papers as a whole as it is to practise individual questions from each area. Model papers for the IMO abound on the internet. Solving all of the IMO Sample Paper 1 Class 9 will assist the student in not only acquiring a sense of the pattern and types of problems but also help in effectively managing the time in the exams.
8. Self Analysis
Analysing previously attempted model papers or mock tests helps in finding the areas with the most errors and will help in effectively eliminating them. Go over the self-prepared notes before each mock. After analysing the mocks, make a list of the weak areas and pay special attention to them before attempting the next mock. Try to make the stronger topics, even more, stronger and try to make almost no errors from those sections. The weaker sections should be focussed on to make them better.
9. The Last Day
The last day is not to be spent worrying and trying to cover all the left out/difficult topics. On the previous day of the exam, the focus should solely be on the self-prepared notes and the frequently made mistakes. Work out questions that may have been difficult during the mock tests. Mark difficult topics while preparing and focus only on them the day before the exam. Sleep early on the previous day so that the exam can be approached with a clear and rested mind.
10. The Exam Day!
The day of the exam can get very stressful but the key to performing well is to remain calm and composed and be fully confident in your skills. Ample rest and eating well will help me think better during the exam. On receiving the question paper, make sure to look through the whole paper before starting to attempt. Try to finish the easier questions first hence making more time for the difficult questions. Never lose confidence whatever the circumstance may be. The presence of mind matters a lot in solving problems and thinking out of the box.
Give it your best shot!!