‘Olympiad’- a word every student is familiar with, is an international level competition, to test the knowledge of students in different disciplines. The literal meaning of ‘Olympiad’ is associated with the Olympic games held in ancient Greece.
The motive of organizing such a competition is to provide a common platform to all the students, studying in different schools all over the country. The level of questions asked in these exams is competitive in nature. Thus, it gives an opportunity to school students to prepare for future competitions.
Olympiad is generally held in subjects like Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English. Out of which, Maths Olympiad is usually considered to be the toughest by students. It is because the kind of questions asked is quite similar to that of asked in competitive exams.
The first and foremost step for a class 10th student to conquer Maths Olympiad is to go through the syllabus thoroughly. It is better if the student begins with the class 6th Maths syllabus and revise all the fundamental concepts. This would clear all the basics and would strengthen the foundation. It may sound like a waste of time, to go through the already learnt concepts, but it is a very significant step before
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the actual preparation begins. After revising all the basics, it is very important to understand the level of this exam. Visiting the official website of the Maths Olympiad would give a clear view of what kind of questions are asked. A pre-exam guide is available on the official website, which can be downloaded by students. Previous year papers with solutions and sample questions are there in such guides.
After a thorough study of fundamental concepts and understanding the level of the exam, the students need to make a timetable. Sticking to a well-planned schedule is always beneficial for such intense-level examinations. This exam is usually of two hours duration. So, it is advisable for the students to sit for the same duration, while giving mock tests, without taking any break in-between. This practice would really help in preparing the body as well as the mind of the student for the upcoming exam. It would also reduce pressure to some extent. Another important advantage of giving practice tests regularly is that it helps in determining the areas/concepts, one is weakest in, and hence lead the student to pay attention to his/her weaknesses, and thereby work on them. A person can overcome his/her shortcomings only after being aware of them completely. As a result of this, the student will start focusing on those problems, that he/she finds most difficult.
Taking the advice of the Maths teacher can prove to be very crucial at this stage. It is due to the fact, that teachers are the ones, who understand the weaknesses and strengths of their students in a particular subject. The teachers, after teaching daily in the school, are in a position to comprehend very well, the sections/problems their pupils struggle with. Taking suggestions from the school teachers also gives an insight into the mind of a person, who sets the question paper for an exam. Moreover, they can share their bit of experience, when they were students and appeared for Olympiads or similar competitive exams. Hence, teachers can guide a student before taking Maths Olympiad and students can get benefitted from the guidance and experience of their teachers.
“PRACTICE MAKES A PERSON PERFECT. This is not just a saying but a principle which, if applied properly, could enable one, to conquer the world. After clearing the basics, understanding the level of the exam, setting a time-table, giving mock tests, seeking advice from teachers and doing everything necessary for the preparation of Maths Olympiad, it is the only practice that would eventually lead a student towards the goal of performing well in the Maths Olympiad exam. The more one practises, the more it is
likely for a student to do well. On top of that, if it is the Maths Olympiad of class 10th,one must expect a highly intensive level exam with some questions set deliberately tricky. Taking into consideration, that the question paper of Maths Olympiad is full of difficulties and complexities, it is very natural for any person to get nervous and develop examination fear before exam. Any student who is stressed and thinks it impossible to have a command over each and every topic, PRACTICE is the key. Students can learn to solve the most knotty questions by practising. Practice boosts up confidence. Practice until you get it right, because Practice and only practice is the solution, as far as Mathematics is concerned.
A question that is raised every time, is ,what is the utility of conducting these Olympiads? Some may go to an extreme to criticize these exams considering them as a waste of time for a class 10th student who has to appear for board exams. But people fail to take into account that appearing for an Olympiad exam, actually prepares a student for not only his board exams but also for the national level competitive exams that he/she may appear in the near future. So, students should not have any doubt regarding the significance of Olympiads. After all, hard work and practice never goes into vain.
To conclude, it can be said that, no one can get anything in this world without putting in efforts. It may sound like moralizing, but it is a practical truth, that with the help of hard work in the right direction, one can achieve anything. Practice, hard work, determination and perseverance always lead to success. For a person, who has all these qualities, the sky is not the limit. Then, how can students appearing for Maths Olympiad, not succeed . Students, especially of higher standards like 10th, should challenge themselves in order to understand their true potential. No matter, if you don’t get a medal or can’t secure a good rank, participating is most important. It will polish your skills and leave you more confident.
You can also refer to IMO Maths Olympiad Previous Year Question Paper Class 10 2013.