The International Mathematics Olympiad is a platform for students who wish to excel in their aptitude towards Mathematics and is looking to channel their passion towards their subject. Although the difficulty level of these exams may be slightly more, it is not impossible for students to get excellent scores and come into the major ranks. The exam has different levels the students are required to go through in order to reach the final stage and be an IMO medalist. The Olympiads are extremely prestigious and will give students an added advantage further in their higher studies and also put them at the forefront in terms of their career opportunities both in the national and international level. Even participating and scoring a decent mark in these olympiads helps students to have more appreciation towards the subjects and makes the students capable of imbibing mathematical concepts better along with increasing the logical reasoning skills they possess.
The entire question paper of IMO is divided into three sections which distinctly deals with three different categories in which the students’ aptitude is tested. The first section includes Logical reasoning questions, the second consists of Mathematical reasoning and the third section comprises questions under the category of Everyday Mathematics. In order to be well acquainted with the unique pattern of the question paper and the questions asked in olympiads, students are generally recommended to go through the sample papers that are published by the authority concerned. Students can even avail these online from the official websites of the authority that conducts the exam and also from numerous other websites that have access to it. In olympiads, there is usually a separate question paper and answer sheet which is in the form of OMR and answering is generally done by bubbling the correct answer from the choices of answers given. This means that the questions are in the form of multiple-choice questions. Students from the lower classes especially primary and upper primary sections might not be familiar with this kind of question pattern which again brings back to the need for solving at least one practice test with the same structure as the original question paper.The best way to do practice tests when it comes to olympiads or any kinds of exams for that matter is to solve previous years’ question papers. These are also published by the authorities and are sometimes even compiled into a book for easier access and brought forth under different publications. The students can also get question papers from each year separately from trusted websites along with their answer keys. For instance, the Previous Year Paper for IMO Class 7 Maths 2012 can be searched for, to get the particular question paper for the Math olympiad from 2012. Since the answer keys for the previous years’ question papers are also published beforehand, students will have the advantage of the exact answers to each question which again gives the students a more compound idea on what and how the expected answers are like. The syllabus for the International Mathematics Olympiad for class 7 is close to the curriculum prescribed by the CBSE based on the recommendations and guidelines by the National Council of Educational Research and Training. It includes Integers, Properties of integers, Multiplication and Division of
decimals, Conversion of units, Fractions, Multiplication and division of fractions, Powers and Exponents, Algebraic Expressions, Representation of rational numbers on a number line, Operations of rational numbers etc. For students who are preparing for the math olympiad, it is therefore inevitable to study the ncert syllabus first. This gives the students a chance to comprehend and understand the concepts well which is a prerequisite for any exams let alone the olympiads. A clear cut understanding of the concepts under study gives the students a more easy way to solve any kind of question. But for olympiads, a surface level understanding might not be enough as the questions usually come with much more difficulty than the board exams. Usually, there are workbooks that come along with the registration to participate in such exams and these books have the adequate resources needed by students to prepare for the exam apart from the covering of NCERT books. They have questions belonging to various difficulty levels for students to test themselves. The inclusion of questions that require Higher Order Thinking Skills or HOTS is an important feature that can further assist students in their preparation as they encourage students to go beyond the normal solving skills and push the students to be capable of thinking from a higher sense of aptitude in mathematical and logical reasoning. It can also further help the students if they are to follow a specific timetable dividing their time efficiently to include the studying time for the exam apart from the need for covering school syllabus of various other subjects as well. Even though studying for the olympiads is in a way like studying for school portions, they sometimes require more effort and demand the students to go an extra mile with respect to dedicating their time and resources. But at the same time, it is essential that the students do not exhaust themselves by putting in too much effort than they can afford. Each student has different levels of capability and it is important for the students to find a perfect balance to it during the course of the preparations. They should remember to relax and take adequate breaks in between so as to not saturate themselves by learning more than possible at a given point. Therefore, with an in-depth knowledge of the topics included in the syllabus followed by ample solving of question papers and practice tests and a consistent level of hard work from the students’ part might be more than enough for an average student to crack the International Mathematics Olympiad. This method of study can be followed for all the next levels of the examination to move up the ladder comfortably and be a rank holder and a medalist at the International Mathematics Olympiad.