International Mathematical Olympiad, or IMO, is a highly reputed competitive exam inviting brilliant high school students from multiple nationalities. To participate in this examination, students must prepare rigorously and improve their in-depth knowledge of each topic covered in the syllabus.
To qualify for this examination, students must take multiple mock tests to get a thorough command of all the mathematical concepts. In addition, aspirants are also required to stay updated with all the changes that are made to the syllabus of the examination.
In this blog, let’s learn 9 important preparation tips to help you ace the International Mathematical Olympiad.
What is International Mathematical Olympiad?
The IMO is an annual Mathematics competitive exam for high school students. The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is the World Championship Mathematics Competition for High School students and is held every year across annually in different countries. The first IMO was held in 1959 in Romania, with almost 7 countries participating in the exam. It has gradually expanded to over 100 countries from 5 continents.
Many countries have training institutes that provide preparation classes for olympiads. The expert faculties of these coaching classes aim at improving students’ performance, which helps them with the selection procedure.
Check our visual story on 5 Reasons to Attend Aakash Byju’s Olympiads Workshop
Eligibility of IMO Participants in India
The selection procedure for olympiads in India is conducted in the following stages:
- Students born between August 1, 2003, and January 1, 2010, and studying in Class VIII,
IX, X, XI, or XII, are eligible to write IOQM. Please note that NO student born after
January 1, 2010, will be allowed to write IOQM.
- Students satisfying criterion 1 above and studying in Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV) and Jawahar
Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNV) are ELIGIBLE to write IOQM. There will be NO separate
IOQM for students of Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV) and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNV).
- The INMO 2022 Awardees are eligible to write INMO 2023 WITHOUT qualifying through
IOQM provided they fulfill the eligibility criteria of IMO 2023 and EGMO 2024.
- The students must be eligible to hold an Indian passport. Provisionally, students with OCI
cards are eligible to write the IOQM subject to conditions as explained below:
As per the orders of the Madras High Court, students with OCI status will not
be eligible for selection to the Indian team in the International Mathematical
Olympiad. However, such students are provisionally eligible for selection at
ALL prior stages, up to and including the IMOTC provided they fulfill all other
criteria. They are also provisionally eligible to write the selection tests at the
IMOTC. This policy is subject to revision without prior notice depending on any
further orders issued by the courts, or by a competent Government authority.
- The student must be residing and studying in India since 30 October 2020 or earlier
OR must be studying in an Indian school system since 30 October 2020 or earlier.
- The student must not have completed (or scheduled to complete) the class 12 board examination
earlier than 30 October 2022.
- The student must not have commenced (or planning to commence) studies at a university or
equivalent institution by 1 June 2023.
- It will be the responsibility of the student to ensure that the above eligibility criteria are
satisfied. In case it is found at any later stage of the programme that a student does not
meet the eligibility criteria, he or she may be disqualified from the programme.
9 Preparation Tips for IMO
The International Maths Olympiad is one of the most challenging mathematical competitions in the world. Therefore, students must prepare for it in a planned and routine manner. Here are some important tips to help you through the Olympiad preparation process:
1. Start Early
Early preparation for the Olympiad is necessary for candidates serious about winning this competition. Students who start an early preparation get enough time to solve multiple questions that help them in improving their speed and accuracy.
Having enough time in hand also provides the benefit of setting an effective study plan, saving candidates from studying the whole day without taking any break. Students must remember that they would compete with the world’s best minds, and the questions would be extremely tricky. Therefore, they must reserve time for thorough revision and mock tests.
2. Get Expert Guidance
Your tutor plays a vital role in guiding you throughout the preparation process. Therefore, you must seek guidance from the best teacher available to you. Many coaching centres provide extremely qualified and experienced teachers who thoroughly explain every topic and clarify all the doubts of students and Aakash BYJU’S is one of them. Furthermore, joining a coaching centre is beneficial because you will have the option to compete with other students, which helps evaluate your preparedness for the Olympiad.
Expert guidance helps students in remaining focused on achieving their goals. They also provide counselling to students to keep them motivated during the preparation. If you don’t want to visit a place to take classes, you can also seek expert help through online tutoring.
3. Know Your Syllabus
Before gathering study materials for IMO preparation, you must know the syllabus clearly. You can take assistance from your school teachers and friends who are preparing for the Olympiad to ensure you are not missing any topic.
You can also get reliable sources online. However, it requires thorough research to get the best study materials. Students can also join coaching classes that provide well-drafted study materials that efficiently prepare them for the Olympiad. The test series of coaching classes are one of the best ways of improving problem-solving skills, which is crucial for winning any competition.
4. Evaluate Your Progress
Revision and tests are an extremely important part of preparing for the Maths Olympiad. During preparation, students need to take notes of important topics, which are helpful for revision before the exam. Making cue cards is another way of doing quick revisions. These cards have small points related to a topic which is crucial for recalling a learned concept.
Candidates must revise a topic repeatedly to improve their memory. If they feel stuck in any chapter, they should refer to the book and try to understand the concept clearly. Following this reduces the chances of making mistakes while solving questions.
Mathematics is a subject where common mistakes like points, brackets, usage of mathematical signs, etc., change the whole solution. Therefore, students must pay attention and avoid making these mistakes to improve their accuracy. Solving multiple questions from every chapter is the best practice for enhancing and evaluating your progress. Therefore, candidates must solve as many questions as possible to evaluate their progress and take corrective measures to perform better.
5. Study Smart
To excel in competitive exams like the Olympiad, candidates need to work on improving their accuracy and speed. Merely solving questions without setting time limitations can never help achieve their target. Therefore, students need to solve sample papers within a given time frame.
In addition, they must also solve mock tests that are designed as per the exam pattern. This is helpful in understanding the exam environment and moulding the preparation strategy to your advantage. Students also need to learn advanced methods of solving lengthy questions to get the lead among their competitors. To study smartly, students also need to determine their strengths and weaknesses and pay extra attention to improve the topics they find challenging.
6. Study Without Distractions
Students need to choose a quiet and comfortable place for their study purposes. A loud and noisy place distracts students, which hampers their preparation. Therefore, they must select a space with adequate ventilation, lighting, and required study materials to boost their preparation. You can also choose to put an inspirational quote at your study table. Although it sounds childish, these quotes are helpful for encouragement during self-study.
7. Take Out Time to Relax
Continuous study without any breaks can be harmful in sustaining your preparation for a long duration. Therefore, olympiad candidates are advised to keep taking short breaks during their preparation. Short breaks are helpful to freshen up the mind, which improves concentration power. Along with taking a break from studies, candidates also need to follow a healthy lifestyle which consists of eating healthy, regular exercise, meditation, and remaining hydrated. However, students must keep a distance from the TV, social media, video games, etc., because they may be harmful to their preparation.
8. Build a Positive Attitude
Many students could not perform well in Olympiads because they don’t have a positive attitude toward achieving their goals. Therefore, if you are serious about winning this world competition, you must have an optimistic approach throughout the preparation. However, it is also important to avoid getting overconfident. Just focus on solving problems with a zeal to achieve your target.
9. Take Sufficient Rest Before the Exam
It is natural to get anxious before taking an olympiad exam. Many students spend the whole night before the exam trying to revise every topic from the syllabus. This only adds to their stress which drastically affects their performance. Therefore, it is necessary to control your brain and take sufficient rest before the exam. You can use cue cards for revision purposes.
Watch our video to know more about the International Mathematics Olympiad(IMO)
Benefits of Participating in IMO
The Maths olympiads are conducted to identify and support excellent students who have the potential to become technologists and scientists. IMO helps participating students in the following ways:
- It sharpens students’ analytical skills to improve their performance in various competitive exams.
- Students learn to solve complex problems in a limited time.
- By appearing in olympiads, students enhance their self-confidence, which helps them in achieving their goals.
- IMO provides global exposure to participants, which enables them to acquire studies from abroad.
- Candidates receive international certificates, scholarships, medals, and other prizes by participating and winning IMO.
Check our visual story on 10 Benefits of Participating in Olympiad Exams.
1. Students of which class are eligible to write a mathematical olympiad?
Students of Class VIII to XII (8-12) are eligible to appear for the first stage of the mathematical olympiad, provided they fulfill other criteria.
2. Can coaching centres help students prepare for Maths Olympiads?
Maths olympiads are designed for students in high school. Most of these students have limited knowledge and experience in preparing for competitive exams. Coaching centres with highly qualified faculty members help students thoroughly understand the syllabus and topics. They also assist their students in preparing an effective study plan and encourage them to follow it to achieve their goals. In addition, the study materials provided by the coaching institutes cover the latest syllabus and familiarise students with the exam pattern.
3. Why is the International Maths Olympiad so difficult?
IMO is an international-level competition to identify the finest candidates for the Mathematics olympiad. All the questions asked in the olympiad are from the topics taught in high school. However, they are tricky for the students. This is done to differentiate the analytical skills of students. All the questions are solvable, but it requires a student to have an in-depth understanding of the Maths concept to solve them in a limited time. This helps the organisers in selecting the best team on a global scale.
4. Can I qualify for the Maths Olympiad by preparing for four months?
There is no definite duration of time that can assure success for a student in the Maths Olympiad. All the students have their learning speeds. While some grasp the knowledge quickly, others take it longer to get a clear understanding of a concept. However, mentors advise students to start their preparation six months before the exam. But if you have good command over the Maths subject, you can start your preparation four months before the exam and get success by following a strict study plan.
5. How many mock tests does a candidate need to take during International Maths Olympiad preparation?
Practising maths through mock tests helps candidates identify the topics that require additional attention. It also familiarises them with the difficulty level and question pattern of the exam. This is crucial for improving their preparation for the exam. Mock tests also strengthen the problem-solving speed of candidates. Therefore, students must take a minimum of 3 to 5 mock tests before appearing for IMO.
Also see: Olympiad & Scholarship exams
IMO is the most reputed and challenging maths competition in the world. Candidates need to start an early preparation to cover all the syllabus topics. However, students need to look at this competition as an experience instead of just focusing on winning it. The experience gained from appearing in the Olympiad helps students maintain an optimistic attitude toward achieving all their goals in life. Learn more about the mathematical olympiad programme in India.