How to crack olympiad

by Shaista Shaikh
How to crack olympiad

The International Olympiad Committee holds annual Olympiads to test the knowledge of students in mainly the following subjects- Science (International Science Olympiad), English (International English Olympiad), General Knowledge (International General Knowledge Olympiad) and Math (International Math Olympiad).

The International Math Olympiad also known as the IMO is a test consisting of 50 questions, with 1 mark assigned to each question and a time of 45 minutes allotted to complete the test.

The syllabus for the exam is divided into 3 sections:

  • Section 1:  Number System, Factors, Multiples, Prime Factorization, Comparing Quantities, Algebraic Expression, Exponents and Power, Integers, Multiplication and Division of Expressions, Ratio, Proportion and Unitary Method, Practical Geometry and Solid Shapes, Triangles, Mensuration, Data Handling (Line Graph, Bar Graph, Pie Chart) .
  • Section 2: Critical Solving Questions.
  • Section 3: Series Completion, Alphabet Number, Analogy, Coding Decoding, Blood Relations, Direction Sense, Logical Venn Diagram, Puzzle, Mathematical Operations, Analytical Reasoning, Mirror and Water Images, Embedded Figures, Figure Formation, Figure Matrix, Ranking.

So, preparation for the 1st section can be done by revising the school portion as those topics are well covered under the school curriculum and being attentive during classroom teaching is enough to get through that.

The next section deals with critical assessment of the 1st section and that does need practice, so students can look for help by solving workbooks.

Now, the 3rd section is a slightly different and comparatively new terrain for class 7 students that introduces  them to developing a logical and analytical approach towards problem solving. This can be effectively maneuvered by solving the International Olympiad workbooks, which is specially designed to benefit the students to score high in the test by helping improve their thinking and reasoning abilities. The workbook comprises numerous MCQ (Multiple Choice Question) based subjective and reasoning questions for students to check their potential and sharpen their mental aptitude.

The workbook covers the school syllabus and beyond and is available in Soft Copy format (PDF), which can be very well accessed through Android devices/ PC/ Laptop, etc.

Students can also get a fair idea of what to expect by accessing and solving previous year question papers, which are also available on the official website of the International Olympiad Committee. Students should practice IMO Class 7 previous year’s Question Paper for better results.

Apart from the knowledge required for problem solving, it is of importance that students learn to manage their time efficiently and to do so they can enroll themselves in the “International Olympiad Exam & Practice Test Series”.

The test series is aimed at familiarizing the students with the type of questions asked in the Olympiad. The test also includes the latest exam paper, with the answer key so as to give the students a perception of the recent test. The test series can be attained through any device like- cellphone, laptop or computer in an online mode.

The test series is especially beneficial at introducing the component of time management to the students, by getting them to experience the highly competitive and aggressive environment that they need to brave through to excel at such a huge and global platform. The Math Olympiad consists of a total of 50 questions and the time allotted to solve is 45 minutes, thereby averaging 0.9 of a minute per question, which in turn makes it very stressful and hence, practicing beforehand can help relieve a lot of that stress. Therefore, practice truly is the key in preparing for the test.

Apart from this standardized book, there are also other published books available for students’ like- Olympiad Skill Development System (OSDS), The Olympiad and Reasoning Workbook Combo by MTG, Olympiad Prep Guide and The Mathematics Olympiad Excellence Book. But, these are all options and it is not necessary or imperative for students to go through all the aforementioned books. They can choose any of the workbooks to seek guidance from because it is the learning of the concept that matters and not the publication house. 

Apart from these workbooks, students can also seek tutorials if they feel the need for extra attention. There are tuitions and coaching class giants like FIITJEE that have specific Olympiad focused classes available for students who are looking to benefit from them. They have these expressly curated and academically focused classes innately designed for students wanting to crack the global level test.

Apart from time management, it is also important for students to maintain and adhere to a strict schedule that details the completion of their syllabus and thereafter a thorough revision. Following a timetable helps the students stay focused and keeps a track on their preparation, thus helping them stay motivated.

Students should also pay attention to their mistakes and try to focus on topics where they are lacking as the test has a tie breaker policy of looking into negative marking in case of similar marks.

These are a few tips on how to prepare for the Math Olympiad. But, apart from these immediate goals of temporary success, students can also be motivated by the hopes of securing a rank and getting recognition as well as monetary prizes. The rank holders are awarded with Certificates of Acknowledgement, Medals as well as Cash Prizes; with the 1st cash prize being about 1000$ and thereafter 500$ for the 2nd and 250$ for the 3rd rank respectively. These cash prizes help boost the spirit to accomplish academic and competitive perfection.

These Olympiads are fast gaining a lot of recognition because of how tough they are to crack and hence come with benefits that far sighted students would love to take advantage of. Recently, IIT Kharagpur decided that IITJEE would not be the sole entry to their premier institute and announced that students of higher classes who were able to crack International Olympiads were eligible to get direct admission into those specific subjects like- Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Though, the final decision regarding the admission remained with the subject senate, this decision by IIT helps elevate the status of cracking International Olympiads. So, interested students can start preparing from preliminary classes (Class 7 and above) and work towards achieving their dream.

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