The IMO or International Maths Olympiad is one of the exams conducted by the Science Olympiad Foundation every year for students studying in various classes.
The International Maths Olympiad is a great opportunity for school students and prepares them to face various competitive exams nationally and internationally. The Olympiads also promote the students to practice more which helps them form a good base in most of the key topics in mathematics. The IMO also provides the students with an idea of how they are doing at the school, city, zonal, regional and international levels. The students are also provided with an analysis of their strong and weak areas and a comparison with the toppers.
The official website will definitely be the best source to know all about the information regarding the examination. https://sofworld.org/imo
The Olympiad will consist of 2 levels. All the students who wish to participate are eligible to give the level 1 exam. The top 5% of students, 25 zonal toppers and toppers from every school with a minimum of 10 participants provided they have a minimum 50% score will be eligible for level 2.
On receiving information from SOF, the schools conduct the examination.
These assessments have their own syllabus in addition to the schools. It’s one of the most effective approaches to assess individual knowledge on a variety of topics. Olympiad exams expose students to a wide range of advanced-level questions which promote them to think out of the box which is also a starter for various competitive exams to be faced later in life. Students can get a clearer idea of the type of questions by going through various past year papers. Experts in the field of mathematics put together the Class 9 Olympiad exam questions that are tailored to the students’ abilities. The syllabus is a mixture of the syllabus provided by ICSE, CBSE, and various state boards.
Basically, the exam aims at testing how clear the students are with the concepts they are studying hence the Level 1 exam also contains 40% of questions from what the student had studied in the previous year (class 8). Level 2 is completely based on the syllabus of class 9
The IMO for class 9 has four basic sections: Logical Reasoning (15*1), Mathematical Reasoning (20*1), Everyday Mathematics (10*1), and the Achievers Section (5*3) thus having a total of 50 questions with a total score of 60.
The logical reasoning section consists of basic verbal and non-verbal reasoning, promoting the student to go beyond just the basic syllabus for study.
The other 3 sections – Mathematical Reasoning, Everyday Mathematics, and the Achievers Section will purely deal with the basic areas in mathematics taught in school in class 9 and some from class 8 namely Polynomials, Number Systems, Linear Equations in Two Variables, Introduction to Euclid’s Geometry, Coordinate Geometry, Lines and Angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Areas of Parallelograms and Triangles, Circles, Constructions, Heron’s Formula, Surface Areas and Volumes, Statistics, Probability. The achiever’s section has a higher order of questions which motivates students to think and deviate from the conventional methods. Students should train themselves to solve tricky questions.
Where to prepare from?
The basic source of preparation should be the NCERT textbook or the concerned ICSE/CBSE/State syllabus maths textbook used in school. The SOF website is also replete of resources. SOF also recommends various other sources for preparation like
- MTG Class wise Workbooks
- SOF Olympiad Trainer’ Mobile Apps
- Olympiad Skill Development System
- Previous Years’ Papers
- Olympiads’ Books of Reasoning
- The 100 Percent Real Test Papers
All these resources are available on the MTG website http://www.mtg.in/
How to prepare?
Once the student is clear with the syllabus, then analyse the previous year’s question papers and find out the type of questions and identify the most important areas or the most frequently asked type of questions or areas focussed on.
Take each topic at a time and cover the basic school textbook on the topic and prepare notes (notes should contain all the important formulae or concepts and points that the student may find difficult). These notes can be used for the revision of topics.
The next step would be to solve all the examples and exercise questions in the textbook and make a note of all difficult questions separately. By the time all the exercises in the textbook are over the student will have a good idea of the topic and will be able to solve most questions that they may face.
As part of the paper will contain questions from standard 8, make sure to revise those topics as well.
Another important step is to solve as many mock tests as possible. It is not just about solving the mock tests. How the student deals with the mock test after it is done will play an essential role in attempting the exam in the end. The student should analyse the question paper in general and the mistakes specifically analysing the weak areas and stressing on them more will help minimise the errors. Before each mock test makes sure to go through all the self-made notes and pay particular attention to the weaker sections. Minimise mistakes with every mock. Also, note down any questions with different patterns or which are taking time to solve.
Solving as many IMO Sample Papers for Class 9 as possible is the key to getting better with time.
It is always good to save time and energy. The number of youtube channels that deal with tricks to solve questions easily is plenty. Learning these tricks is also an added bonus. Moreover, there are plenty of videos that explain each concept in detail – this will help in giving a clearer idea of the topic.
The most important tip while preparing for the Maths Olympiad is to stay calm and confident and work hard. Managing time is the key to success. Along with preparing for the Maths Olympiad, students should also find time for other subjects in school and also for good rest and enjoyment.