The Mathematics Olympiad is a competitive examination and requires a good amount of preparation from an early stage. The goal behind conducting Olympiad exams, both at the national and international level is to evaluate students’ capabilities and help them to master the curriculum taught in school. This exam also helps to identify a student’s weaknesses so he/she can work toward improving these areas.
The key to doing well in any competitive exam is scheduling one’s time and studying smartly. If the aim is to excel in such an exam, it is important to be disciplined and focused. Below is a list of tips on how to prepare well for a math Olympiad:
1. Start Preparing Early
The key to preparing for a math Olympiad is to start this preparation as early on in the year as possible. By preparing from an early stage, the student will also be better able to grasp each concept and will also fare better in class as an additional bonus. Moreover, mathematics as a subject is one that requires a ton of practice and so early preparation is crucial. The student may also benefit from additional hours of math tutoring.
2. Read Through The Syllabus
The first step to success is to scour the syllabus for the exam and be well versed with the topics that are to be prepared. The syllabus for the exam can be procured easily online and is usually provided by schools. A student who wishes to attempt the Olympiad should have a good command of each topic in the syllabus.
3. Rate the Topics on the Basis of Level of Difficulty
The next step after going through the syllabus is to categorize each topic in the syllabus according to the level of difficulty and the student’s level of mastery over each topic. This will help to decide which topics to focus on more during preparation. Time can then also be divided accordingly to help learn both the difficult and easy topics thoroughly.
4. Procure Adequate Study Material
Before the student can begin preparation, he/she should acquire the required course books and preparation guides for the Olympiad. It is beneficial to have enough practice material so that one can practice and get well-versed with each topic. It would also be advisable to procure previous year papers or sample papers to practice before the exam.
5. Start from the Basics
It is sometimes easy to get tempted to do the more difficult concepts first and get them out of the way. However, this sometimes may prove to be over-ambitious since mathematics often requires one to know the basics in order to progress to the more advanced concepts. The best way to go about this is to gauge the student’s level of mastery in the more basic topics and spend time on each topic accordingly as needed.
6. Create a Study Schedule
Creating a schedule before beginning preparation is extremely beneficial for such exams. This will help to manage time better and ensure that an adequate amount of time is devoted to each topic based on its level of difficulty. Creating a schedule well in advance also encourages the student to be disciplined and motivated throughout the preparation process.
7. Practice Makes Perfect!
The key to excelling in a subject like mathematics is to keep practising. Consistently solving practice problems will help students to understand and rectify any errors they may make while also being able to devote enough attention to each topic. Moreover, when one keeps practising a topic, it helps the student to develop an eye for detail and any small mistakes that they may be overlooking.
8. Solve Previous Year Question Papers
Solving previous year question papers will help to gain a good understanding of the structure of the exam as well as the most commonly asked questions. This is also an excellent way to practice and see how one would fare in the exam prior to writing it. This is a highly recommended step to give a student that extra edge while preparing. Students should practice the IMO Class 7 2012 Question Paper for better results.
9. Revise Thoroughly
While scheduling preparation time, ensure to schedule plenty of time to revise the topics thoroughly. Last-minute revision is never a good idea. Ensure that revision time is spaced out while giving enough attention to each topic for a final brush up before the exam. It is also beneficial to make quick notes, which can include the key formulae and concepts. These can be used in the final revision stage, which will help to get a quick overview of each topic to ensure smooth and quick revision.
10. Track your Progress
During each step of the preparation journey, ensure to track progress made in every topic. Note down any recurrent mistakes that are being made and ensure to practice these problems more. Moreover, since the Olympiad is a time-bound exam, try to set a time limit and see how many questions were successfully answered within that time limit to keep a track of progress.
11. Get Help from an Expert
Finally, it is advisable to seek help from a tutor, parent or expert while preparing. They can aid in solving any questions or doubts the student may have and may also act as a motivating guide during the preparation process.
All in all, a disciplined and focused approach is the key to preparing for the Mathematics Olympiad. Start preparation early and remember not to neglect schoolwork while preparing. Try to maintain a balanced schedule that will ensure maximum success. Remember to be consistent and practice until the concepts are learned thoroughly. Following the above steps will help to ensure success in the Math Olympiad and will help obtain a good score.