Are you a student entering 10th grade? Then you have probably noticed how different this year’s Mathematics book feels. The difficulty of maths peaks in 10th class, but that has not been a reason for many Olympiad aspirers to shy away from it. The Indian Math Olympiad (IMO) administers problem-solving questions rather than standard school exams. The Olympiad not only tackles the regular testing but also improves a test taker’s understanding of the subject. As the Olympiad aims to test a person’s clarity on a topic rather than their memory, it improves their confidence and academic performance.
Alright, so you’ve enrolled yourself to take the IMO but you have no idea what your next steps should be? Well, take a deep breath and scroll down because we are here to help you prepare for it.
1. Stay Calm
This is your first and most important step. Preparing for the Olympiad can be overwhelming all on its own but with the added pressure of 10 board exams, you have a full plate. While it is easier said than done, staying calm and collected throughout the process will definitely serve you right. Find ways to cope with exam anxiety and panic, such as exercise, listening to music, or even a quick walk.
2. Know your test
Once you are ready to begin the preparation for the Olympiad, gather as much information as you can. How are the tests administered? What is the scoring pattern? How much time do we have? For instance, IMO level 1 contains 50 objective type MCQ with 60 minutes to solve them. Many other details are worth looking over, so you can refer to the Olympiad pre-study guide handed to you or visit their website.
3. Find your syllabus
The Olympiads papers are curated according to the syllabus of the respective class’s school curriculum. This is a fair advantage because you do not have to spend excess time trying to understand new concepts. Instead, concepts you already learn in your standard classroom will help you study for the Olympiad. This is also why it is important to know the full syllabus in great detail. Having a well-detailed syllabus will help you schedule your studies better and more efficiently.
4. Timetable or no timetable?
This is a rather confusing question to play with while planning for an exam. But, what works better? Well, you know best. Time tables, or any format of schedule, usually helps put your day in slots. You will know what to do and when to do it. This will save you time from debating what to do at the last moment and keep you from getting distracted at the main goal at hand.
On the contrary, over-scheduling the day down to account for every minute will result in anxiety. This, in turn, will result in procrastination when a certain task runs even a little over time. This is why it is important to experiment with different levels of scheduling. If you work best under a highly detailed schedule, good for you! If you don’t, no need to worry, you can always make a to-do list and let the day carry your spirits.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice
Tests are best taken. Even if you put in every minute of your day and study there is no way to test your abilities, except for a sample question paper. There are many sources available for required papers. Download one of those, set a timer, turn the internet off and avoid cheating. Even if the result is discouraging, you will at least have a glimpse into your strengths and weaknesses. You can understand where you are lacking and focus on those topics. Additionally, these practice tests will help you get used to the pattern of the paper. The practice may or may not make you perfect, but it will give you the confidence you need to ace the Olympiad! Students should Practice IMO Sample Paper for Class 10th as it will help them to understand the concepts and topics more clearly,
6. All work and no play?
Well, not really. While it is important to dedicate a good amount of time to study for the IMO, it is also very important to rest. Studying with regular breaks has proven to be more productive and healthy than studying for hours on a stretch. So, remember to take 15-30 minute breaks at least once in 2 hours. Ideally, these breaks are spent in calm environments where your mind has time to ease off and let out some steam. A good amount of sleep and a healthy diet is important for your productivity.
7. Get A Teacher’s Opinion
Asking a teacher for advice may give you certain insights you may otherwise miss. You could ask them for better ways to study for the Olympiad. If possible, show them one of your practice tests and seek their advice on how you could improve. Also, ask them for books they recommend to widen your knowledge of needed subjects.
8. You are not your score!
These tests can be challenging and often stressful due to pressure, but it is crucial to remember that you are not defined by your academics. Especially in a highly competitive academic country like ours, it is easy to succumb to the pressure. So, one may equate their worth with their productivity or academic performance.
This can result in low self-esteem and affect your life. It is important to look within yourself and introspect to understand that you are much more than your marks.
9. Make the most of your time.
In order for your preparation to be productive, you must start early. Starting early would only increase your productivity. Make a schedule and allocate your time to thoroughly practise all of the topics.
10. Keep your cool.
During an Olympiad, stress will only distort your judgement. Find out what helps you relax, whether it’s taking deep breaths, going on a stroll, or drinking a cup of tea. It’s just another test; don’t let the pressure get the best of you.
These are a few ways to best prepare for an Indian Math Olympiad, but you know yourself best. Once you find the methods that bring out the Maths genius in you, you are all set to go. All the very best!