Top 5 Ways to Prepare for the Math Olympiad
Every year, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), supported by the National Board of Higher Mathematics (NBHM) conducts the Indian National Math Olympiad (INMO), which is a high school mathematics competition. This competition is the second tier in the selection procedure of the Indian team for the International Mathematics Olympiad.
The Mathematics Olympiad (MO) Cell conducts the INMO in centers all across the country. In the first stage, any student from class 1 to 12 can appear in the Regional Mathematics Olympiad (RMO), which takes place in the candidate’s region or state. There is no other educational eligibility criterion such as minimum marks. An approximate of 30 students are selected from each region, who then need to write the INMO.
The Math Olympiad paper consists of 6 questions, which need to be completed in 4 hours. The modules from where the questions of Math Olympiad can be asked include number theory, algebra, geometry, and combinatorics.
Benefits of Taking Part in the Math Olympiad
Following are the benefits associated with Math Olympiad:
- If students can secure a rank, it offers them a platform to explore other opportunities and utilize their talent.
- While preparing for this competition, students can deepen their understanding, knowledge, and reasoning skills.
- Students are required to practice a lot of conceptual and trick-based questions for this competition, and as a result, even their class performance improves.
- The student’s analytical and logical thinking improves.
- Securing a rank in such a highly-acclaimed national level competition can instill confidence in the students.
5 Strategies to Prepare for the Math Olympiad
- Knowing the detailed syllabus: Before starting the preparation of the Math Olympiad, students must go through the syllabus of the same. Not having the know-how of the syllabus will lead to the preparation of additional topics which are not important from the competition perspective and thus lead to wastage of time. So, collect the syllabus, study it, make a note of the important topics, and only then move on to the preparation.
- Working on calculation skills: For getting an edge over other competitors, candidates should be quick with their calculations and also at the same time, need to maintain accuracy. At the competition venue, there is tremendous pressure on the students, as a result of which they commit silly mistakes and thus arrive at the wrong answer. Keep on practicing different mathematical techniques and lay stress on mental math. One expert tip is to use Vedic math formulae to improve your calculation speed.
- Focus needs to be on strengthening the basic concepts: A careful analysis of the previous years’ papers will reveal that most of the questions asked in this competition are based on conceptual facts. For understanding the basics, students need to finish the NCERT books first and if they face any problem while solving any question, they can take the help of NCERT solutions. Only with a proper understanding of the basics, students can further focus on the study of the individual topics in depth for getting adequate knowledge of the topics, so that they can solve questions asked on the application of the concepts.
- Solve Math quizzes and puzzles: Keep playing mathematical puzzles and number games to develop your analytical skills. Puzzles of different types need to be solved daily to improve their logical ability. Rubik’s cube, Sudoku, cross figures, Dyson numbers, etc. are some of the mathematical puzzles which you can try. Get your hands on all sorts of materials available – magazine, books, internet, etc. to solve as many Math quizzes as you can.
- Practice is the key: When we are talking about the subject of Math, the only factor which is of utmost importance is ample practice. Practicing a variety of questions will help students in developing command over the topics and prepare them for the upcoming challenges on the day of the competition. The practice of school level and Olympiad level Math problems should go hand-in-hand so that the aspirant does not lag in his/her school curriculum.
As the participants of this competition are children, adolescents, and young adults, they are not mature enough to deal with stress. It is natural for them to feel anxious before appearing in such a prestigious national-level competition.
But with the tips which we have discussed, students can now put all their worries at bay and focus on the preparation to emerge victorious in the competition!