Olympiads are tests or methods to test the knowledge level of a child. These tests follow the same syllabus as schools, but the questions are trickier, and it is challenging for the students to attempt these olympiads. Various olympiads, such as the NSO, NCO, IMO, and others, are among the major tests held outside of school evaluations. Exam preparation, in general, can be difficult, and the Olympiads are no exception.
A concrete preparation plan is a key to success. A student who wishes to appear for the Olympiad should, therefore, plan well in advance.
The first step to prepare for the Olympiad is to be aware of the syllabus. The Science Olympiad Foundation website is the best source to gain access to all the details related to the International Mathematics Olympiad.
The syllabus for the level 1 exam basically focuses on the topics of both class 7 and class 8. 40% from class 7 and 60% from class 8. And for the level 2 examination, the topics are entirely from the class 8 syllabus. The syllabus consists of the basic topics taught in school in ICSE/CBSE/ any state syllabus. Therefore, following the school curriculum is the best.
The major topics to focus on are – Rational Numbers, Cubes and Cube Roots, Squares and Square Roots, Exponents and Powers, Algebraic Expressions and Identities, Comparing Quantities, Linear Equations in One Variable, Mensuration, Constructions, Visualising Solid Shapes, Understanding Quadrilaterals, Data Handling, Direct and Inverse Variations, Introduction to Graphs, Factorisation, Playing with Numbers.
Step 2 is to know the pattern of the paper
Logical Reasoning 15 X 1 15
Mathematical Reasoning 20 X 1 20
Everyday Mathematics 10 X 1 10
Achievers Section 5 X 3 15
Grand Total 50 Questions Total Marks: 60
All four sections are of equal importance. The last part – the achiever’s section usually poses questions that will need a higher level of thinking. Hence, make sure to have very good clarity on the concepts that are studied as getting a correct answer will mean 3 marks. Studying verbal and non-verbal reasoning should also be a priority as it carries equal importance as the maths sections
The next step is to prepare a timetable. Decide on how many hours can be devoted each day to the preparation of the Olympiad. Plan how many chapters should be finished per day. Keep a few days aside for any unforeseen emergencies or illnesses or for a revision of difficult topics. Also, leave the last few days only for revision. Looking at the dates provided on the SOF website, the exam should be sometime between December and January depending on which date the school chooses. Having a well-structured timetable will also help in keeping the mind calm as it is an assurance that the topics will be completed on time.
The SOF website and other online sites can be used to access all books and resources and even SOF IMO Sample Papers Class 8. Make sure that you work out 10-20 questions per chapter. Evaluate your performance after each session. If you find that you are having trouble with any topic, make a note of those topics and revise them on the reserve days. Practicing is as important as studying the topic, so make sure to work out problems simultaneously while studying the topics. Working out problems is very essential in increasing accuracy and increasing speed. The more the number of questions practiced, the more will be the accuracy. It is best to make maximum use of the technology available and learn utilizing online study materials. This aids in getting a thorough understanding of the topics and exam format for the IMO. Gather the most up-to-date information from the internet and put it to good use.
Note down the important formulae to be used in each chapter. The student should find the most convenient and clear way to prepare notes. Self-prepared notes are important because the person writing them will always find it easier to find the needed topics/formulae or it will even help to remember better.
Learn and use shortcut methods to increase the speed as it is a time-bound examination – 50 questions needed to be completed in 60 minutes. And the more time saved, the more is time left to attempt more difficult questions which can be time-consuming or the leftover time can be used to double-check the answers.
Solve plenty of previous year papers and sample papers. This will help the student get acquainted with the pattern of the exam and the types of questions that are asked. Another important point to follow is to complete the paper on time, this will help in managing the time during the actual exam. Analyzing the papers is even more important than just attempting them. Studying the paper will aid in finding out the strong and weak areas. The strong areas need to be worked upon to score maximum marks and the weaker areas should be focussed on more during revisions.
After each test goes through the self-prepared notes and focuses on the weaker areas. Solve a few problems from the sessions. Note down the questions which are difficult and solve them before the exam.
As essential as the preparation is rest and enjoyment. Resting once in a while will keep the mind more agile. Moreover, being healthy will also determine how the brain works. Stressing over the exam will only lead to losing confidence, hence it is important to stay calm and just revise what all has been studied. Never try to study a lot at the last minute as it adds unwanted pressure.
Another major tip to follow during the examination is to attempt all the simple questions first and then move on to the more difficult questions. This will save time and will also ease the tension of facing the exam.
The day before the exam, make sure to rest well. Before going for the exam, have a proper meal and also remain hydrated.