An Olympiad is a competitive exam that test students in the same education level on their knowledge, IQ, intelligence, and application. In India the Olympiad exam is conducted by a non-profit organisation known as the SOF (Science Olympiad foundation) The exam is conducted for students of grade 1 – 12. The SOF offers 5 exams for grade 7 students out of which a major exam they conduct is the international math Olympiad also known as the IMO. The IMO is a Mathematics competition which aims to nurture future scientist, technologist, and IT talent at the school level.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR IMO
Like any other exam, to be able to secure a rank in this exam, there are certain preparation strategies that can be taken that will help you up your game and help you stand out of the crowd.
- Time management
In grade 7, there isn’t much to worry about, with that being said you still need to prepare if you need to perform well in the exam. Consistently spending 2 hours day is more than enough to help you achieve your goals. Therefore, aiming to excel in your exam while doing things you like is very much achievable at your age.
- Know your syllabus and tentative dates for the exam
The IMO exam usually has 4 sections, these being logical reasoning, mathematical reasoning, everyday mathematics, and Achievers section respectively and it tentatively happens during the month of December and January. How does knowing this help you? It helps you to give attention to what is coming in the exam and knowing the tentative dates helps you prepare for the exam well before hand
- Know the marking scheme
This is crucial in understanding where do you need to spend more time. Section 1, 2 and 3 are for 1 mark per question however section four is for 3 marks per question. Section 2, mathematical reasoning has the highest overall mark that is 20 questions for 20 marks section 1 is for 15 marks and section 3 is for 10 marks and finally section 4 has 5 question worth 15 marks. From this its evident that section 2 and 4 followed by section 1 and then finally section 3 should be given importance and preparation must be done accordingly
- Have a concept timetable
Decide on what you will complete on a day-to-day basis, this will help you in consistently moving towards tour goal. For example, under mathematical reasoning you have Integers, Fractions and Decimals, Exponents and Powers, etc, take one concept for example integers and focus on getting it done by the end of the day. It is also important that your realistic in your goal setting and aren’t overdoing it.
- Do sample papers
This is a crucial step in any exam preparation, doing this makes you exam ready and builds your mindset. Advantages of doing sample paper include:
- it teaches you how to manage time, how much time should you spend in each section. An IMO exam has 50 questions that need to be attended in 60 minutes, speed and accuracy are requirements that need to be skilled
- it highlights the area you need improvement on, this benefits you in the long run
- You will be exposed to the different type of questions that you can be asked. Having an idea on the different types of questions will give you an edge over your competitors
How do you improve if you don’t practice, practice is a significant part of any exam preparation, the more you practice the more clarity you get on the concept, your grip and understanding on the questions increases. There are abundant resources that will assist you during your preparation, exploit it. SOF has their own books as well which have questions that can help you in your preparation
SOME BONUS TIPS
- Do not cram while preparing
Cramming isn’t an effective studying technique, in the long run what you are going to remember is very little instead use active and spaced reptation. These are scientifically proven techniques that rely on your brains ability to reinforce neural connections therefore helping in retention
- Take breaks
It is important to give your brain a rest, do the things you love, treat yourself. If you love to draw, read, sing, play, take a break and do it. Studying all the time isn’t advisable, stimulating your brain with other extra-curriculars is also an essential.
- Eat nutritious food
Who doesn’t know the benefits of a healthy diet? Some fruits and especially nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pistachio etc are especially good for school going students as they help in normal functioning of the brain and helps improve your memory
- Get proper sleep
This is essential, getting good sleep keeps you active throughout the day. Sleep on time and wake up on time this reduces body and mental fatigue and keeps you energetic throughout the day.
Finally, it is important to define why do you want to perform in this exam? The answer to this question will be your driving motivation that will help you to strive for your goal. It will ensure your consistent in your effort’s day in and day out. Consistency is key and effort is the lock, if the fruits of your effort need to pay, you have but one choice and that is to be consistent with it. With the right preparation and studying method you are sure to clear this exam. All the best!