Class 10 IMO exam: The International Mathematics Olympiad is a math competition in which there are participants from various schools. Every student can participate in this Olympiad irrespective of their academic performance. Some tips and strategies to compete and excel in the IMO exam are:
- Have detailed knowledge of the syllabus. Do not skip this step. This is very important in order to have an effective preparation strategy. The syllabus will help you to understand what you need to study. Make a list of all the topics mentioned in the official syllabus. You will spot that a lot of chapters are from your school curriculum. It is definitely a good thing as you have some prior knowledge of the concept. But do not think that you are done with the syllabus. The requirements of the IMO exam are very much different from your school exam. The level of difficulty and complexity is quite advanced when it comes to the IMO examination. So no doubt it’s good that you have some prior understanding of the topics mentioned in the syllabus, but do not treat that as enough for the IMO exam.
- The next thing which should come into focus is the pattern of the question paper of the IMO exam. This is very important in order to understand the requirements of the paper. Have all the necessary details about the number of questions, their type, marking scheme, etc. For example, you have the chapter on Probability, now if you know that you have to answer descriptive questions in which you need to solve the question, you will obviously focus on following the right steps in order to fetch marks and study accordingly. But if the questions will be objective in nature then you will study the same chapter with a focus on getting the right answer and not following the steps. So basically the pattern of the question paper plays a crucial role in setting the tone of our preparation.
- To compete in the IMO exam, you need to chalk out your daily study plan. The day should be planned in a way that nothing gets neglected. Not only your day but you should also plan your months. Keep daily and monthly targets. For example, keep a daily target of 1 new chapter and 1 chapter for revision, in the same way, a monthly target of finishing around 3 chapters. Planning your days and months will help you in having a systematic study schedule. This will ensure consistency in your studies.
- A very important tip to excel in the IMO exam is to have clarity of all the concepts in the syllabus. The class 10th IMO syllabus has around 12 topics. Make a point that you have a clear understanding of all these topics. In mathematics, if you have clarity on the given concept then you can solve all the related questions. Now here it is advised to start from the basic books, which at the end comes down to the NCERTs. These will help you in getting a basic understanding of the concepts. It will give you the foundation for your knowledge building. Do not skip NCERTs thinking that it is too simple or basic for IMO. This is clearly not the case. You need to first have the basic things clear before moving on towards the complexities. The questions of the IMO are tricky in nature, so it is quite important to have all your concepts clear.
- Whenever you are starting with a new chapter it is suggested to start by solving the easy questions first. Attempting the difficult ones in the very beginning might lead you to lose confidence and feel burdened. Go for the questions which are basic in nature. Once you are done with them then go for the difficult questions. Doing the easy questions first will boost your confidence and will help you to move on to the difficult ones with a positive attitude.
- Mathematics is all about practice. Try and solve as many questions as possible. Here do try and have a mix of a variety of questions. Make sure that the questions are based on different patterns. One important tip here is to practice questions that require the application of mathematical reasoning to everyday life problems. The IMO requires you to have analytical abilities so you can expect this kind of question. While solving the questions try to build on your reasoning and critical thinking abilities. Always try and look for out-of-the-box solutions. Basically have a creative mind when solving the questions.
- Maintain a notebook of handwritten notes comprising all the important formulas and theorems chapter-wise. Writing improves your retention capacity and it is even good for your writing skills. Having all the important formulas will also save your time and energy.
- Speed and accuracy are very much important to excel in the IMO exam. It is not just important to get the correct answer; it is also important to get it quickly. You have to answer 50 MCQ questions in 1 hour. You need to be very quick and accurate with your solutions. This point again boils down to practice as this will only come with practice.
- Do not take your revisions lightly. Revision is very important if you wish to leave any gaps in your preparation. Humans tend to forget things and their very nature, so revision is the key that will help you retain all the important concepts. Have around half an hour exclusively every day just for revising the older chapters.
- The last tip is to practice as many mock papers as you can. This will help you in analyzing your own performance and preparation. Also, try and solve at least 10 previous years’ papers. Hereafter solving the paper you must patiently indulge in some post-analysis in order to spot where you are lacking. For example, if you attempted the IMO Class 10 2013 Question Paper, do not just move away from it. Check the answer key and see where you need improvement.
All the very best to all the IMO aspirants.
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