Olympiads are highly challenging competitive examinations conducted through various independent organizations that aim to identify a child’s capability and real potential. It provides a platform to test a student’s aptitude as well as conceptual understanding of the subject. Participating in Olympiads is a matter of great pride as it provides exposure to students at national and international platforms. Each Olympiad is a separate exam with its own organizing body and a common set of rules and regulations. The objective behind conducting the Olympiad exams is that they help in promoting a career and serve as a platform to challenge the brightest minds in science and mathematics across the world.
About Mathematical Olympiad Program in India:
The Mathematical Olympiad Programme in India, which leads to participation of Indian students in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is organized by the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE) in collaboration with the National Board for Higher Mathematics (NBHM) of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India. The first stage (PRMO) of the Olympiad examination is conducted by MTA (Mathematics Teachers’ Association) with assistance from IAPT, while the later stages are the responsibility of HBCSE. This programme is one of the major initiatives undertaken by the NBHM. Its main purpose is to spot mathematical talent among pre-university students in the country.
The Mathematical Olympiad programme consists of six stages with Regional Mathematical Olympiad (RMO) being stage two. Those who clear RMO are eligible to sit for the Indian National Mathematical Olympiad (INMO).
Regional Mathematical Olympiad (RMO) at a glance:
- Three hours written test with six problems
- Conducted by Regional Coordinators under the guidance of HBCSE.
- 30 top students from classes VIII, IX, X, XI and top 6 students from class XII + next 5 girls students will be sent by each regional coordinator to HBCSE
- Results of all the RMOs is declared centrally by the HBCSE.
- Eligibility: Students who qualify PRMO
What does it require to be an RMO winner?
“In mathematics, the art of proposing a question must be held of higher value than solving it.”
The words of Gregor Cantor emphasize the importance of innovative and original mathematical problems and the questions asked in various mathematical Olympiads are a true manifestation of this art.
To be an RMO winner, students need to develop a good understanding of the concepts. Solving previous year question papers can familiarize them with what kind of questions are asked in RMO and help them identify their strengths and weaknesses. Apart from that, students should keep in mind that to ace any Olympiad, it is essential to develop analytical thinking, enhance problem solving skills and improve logical thinking ability.
Given below is a detailed analysis that aims at giving important information about the Regional Mathematical Olympiad (RMO) examination to be held on October 6, 2019, to our students who are expecting to clear PRMO 2019.
A detailed year wise analysis of RMO papers since 2012 have suggested that primarily six questions on various topics are given to be solved in three hours time. The main topics included are:
- Geometry and Trigonometry
- Number Theory
- Sequences and Series
Topic-wise Distribution of Questions at a glance:
- Geometry and Trigonometry = 54
- Number Theory = 44
- Combinatorics = 27
- Inequalities = 17
- Polynomials = 13
- Sequences and Series = 5
Topic-wise Preparation for RMO:
Apart from deep understanding of similar triangles and cyclic quadrilaterals, a workmanlike approach about the basic trigonometry is a must. To this end, basic trigonometry by SL Loney is ideal. For geometry, The Challenge and Thrill of Pre-College Mathematics and Mathematical Circles (Russian experience) could be very helpful.
Basic divisibility in integers, properties of prime numbers, basic properties and results on congruences especially linear congruences and squares and cubes are the bulk of the topics upon which one should concentrate. The list of books that one should follow is Elementary Number Theory by David M Burton, Mathematical Olympiad Challenges by Titu Andreescu and Răzvan Gelca.
Apart from a good book for IIT JEE, The Challenge and Thrill of Pre-College Mathematics can be quite handy.
Confine yourself to basic inequalities and for this, Challenge and Thrill of Pre-College Mathematics and Mathematical Circles can be ideal.
Polynomials, Sequences and Series:
Again Challenge and Thrill of Pre-College Mathematics is a good read on these topics.
The Winning Strategy:
Solving past year RMO papers and attempting 6 to 10 questions daily will keep anyone in good stead. Initially, you may not be able to solve as many questions, but after you are through with your basics, you would gain speed eventually. Remember, passion, patience and skills are all that you need at this level. In the end, we would like to wind up by quoting Bertrand Russell “The true spirit of delight, the exaltation, the sense of being more than man, which is the touchstone of the highest excellence, is to be found in mathematics as surely as poetry”.
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