The International Maths Olympiad (IMO) conducted by the Science Olympiad Foundation is the best platform for all the enthusiastic Ramanujan’s and Shakuntala Devis to put their skills to the test.
Understanding the exam
Having a good knowledge about what you’ll be facing is the first step to preparing for any examination. There isn’t a better place than the SOF website to get the most accurate and detailed information.
The Olympiad will consist of 50 questions with a total score of 60 and has to be completed in 60 minutes.
The test will be divided into 4 major sections –
- Logical Reasoning containing 15 questions of 1 mark each
- Mathematical Reasoning with 20 questions of 1 mark each
- Everyday Mathematics with 10 questions of 1 mark each and
- Achievers Section consisting of 5 questions for 3 marks each.
The basic structure of the syllabus for all the IMOs is that
For level 1: 60% from the current year’s (class 9) syllabus and 40% from the previous year (class 8)
For level 2: Entirely from the current year’s syllabus
Syllabus in Detail
Logical Reasoning will have both Verbal and Non Verbal reasoning
All the other sections will have questions from the following topics: Number Systems, Polynomials, Coordinate Geometry, Linear Equations in Two Variables, Introduction to Euclid’s Geometry, Lines and Angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Areas of Parallelograms and Triangles, Circles, Constructions, Heron’s Formula, Surface Areas and Volumes, Statistics, Probability.
The Achiever’s Section will have questions of a higher order to promote the students to think out of the box.
In short, the student should have clarity on the concepts that have been taught/ are being taught in school.
The best method of preparation would be to practice the current topics well and simultaneously revise the portions from the previous year. Again, the Science Olympiad Foundation website would be the best source to access all the books and the other resources needed.
Practice Practice and more Practice
The student should have enough conceptual clarity to solve any question on the various topics prepared. The preparation shouldn’t be based only on mugging up formulas/ methods to solve problems. The preparation should be focused on creating a good base so that the student can solve any question with ease. And to make solving easier the student should practice as many questions as possible starting with their own school textbooks. Then there are plenty of websites and even the SOF website itself is replete with practice questions. Solving papers as a whole is as important as practicing different questions from each topic. The internet is replete with model papers for the IMO. Solving all the IMO Sample Paper 2 Class 9 will help in not only getting an idea of the pattern and the type of questions but will also help the student practice how to manage time wisely. Many students fail to complete the paper on time due to this lack of practice.
The student should never hesitate to ask doubts – students should consult their concerned teachers with any doubts that may pop up from time to time.
Revising and looking back at old mistakes plays a key role in moving towards perfection. Making notes of mistakes or of difficult concepts and questions and going back to it from time to time will help a great deal towards the end of the exam.
When preparing for any exam a timetable or a proper schedule plays a major role. For a student of class 9, focussing solely on mathematics and preparing for the IMO is impossible and that problem can be tackled by having a proper timetable and managing the time for various tasks.
Look at the number of days left for the exam and the topics that need to be covered. Go through each topic and divide the topic depending on the number of days that will be required for each (some topics might need more time and some might need less). Once there is an idea of how the topics need to be completed, create a daily timetable and decide on the number of hours that can be dedicated each day for practicing maths. Always remember to leave ample time to rest and also enjoy. All this planning might seem tedious but will definitely be helpful in the longer run. Last-minute preparation cannot take anyone very far; here planning is the key.
The Internet can be your best friend
With this growing digital space and many websites and several youtube channels specially dedicated for educational purposes, the web is your best friend. There is always a faster or a simpler way to solve questions. The internet is filled with tips and tricks to solve answers in the least amount of time. These tricks can also help to confirm whether the answer obtained in the traditional method is correct. Learning tricks is not always necessary and if solving through simpler steps seems easier then that is equally good. The student is the only person that can decide what method is best for them- every person will have their unique style of solving problems and practice will help develop this style.
Confidence is the key
For a 9th standard exam, the questions will be at that same level and 90% of the questions will be easily solvable. The most important tip is to remain confident and composed during the exam and give it the best shot. Always remember that no one is more or less brighter, it is the approach that matters. The hard work and practice that has been put in will definitely give an edge in the exam. The day of the exam is all about confidence. All the hours of study and practice will surely pay off so the key is to not fret. Having a calm composure will help me think better and finding solutions will be easier. Always remember to be hydrated, have the food well, and rest well before taking any exam- the mind should be able to give its 100% focus to the exam.
All the Best!