Preparation strategy for IMO

Stages of IMO

International Mathematics Olympiad is one of the most prestigious competitions held for students at class 12 standard. It consists of 3 stages. Regional Mathematics Olympiad is held for candidates for a state or region. Selected candidates from RMO write Indian National Mathematics Olympiad. Qualifying students from INMO participate in International Mathematical Olympiad Training Camp (INMOTC), from where 6 candidates make it to the Indian team for IMO.

1. Developing a mathematical mindset

Olympiads need a deep understanding of the mathematical concepts and not mere application of the formula, proofs. If you are studying in Class 8 or 9, the first step is to pick up the NCERT Mathematics books of Classes 8,9,10 and try to derive the proofs on your own. Although, you may not be able to come up with the exact solution on your own. But use your own techniques and then compare with the proof in the book. This builds your mathematical thinking which will help you in college.

2. Read Mathematics Olympiad Books

After finishing with the NCERT of Classes 8,9 and 10, read the book, “An Excursion in Mathematics”. Since this book has been authored by professors conducting the Indian Math Olympiads, you will understand the question pattern of the olympiads. Completing this book will build your mathematical thinking and prepare you for RMO fully. The book “A Problem Primer for Olympiads” is also a must-read, as it contains problems till INMO level. These books contains problems along with solutions, so it will be easier to judge your own approach and technique. Solving these two books will not only help in clearing RMO but also prepare you for INMO. 

 3. Previous year question papers

Check this link for previous year RMO and INMO question papers, which consists an important part in the olympiad preparation. Solving the past papers will be make you familiar with the question paper difficulty and pattern. For the RMO or INMO questions, make sure you have put sufficient time before checking the solution. Build upon the theory you know, apply proper laws and work on your methods. If you cannot solve then look at the hint of the solution and build on it following the same technique. 

4. Advanced Books, IMO questions

Based on your level of preparation, if you are ambitious enough, you can read and try solving the book “Problem-Solving Strategies” by Arthur Engel. It will prepare you not only for INMO but also the INMOTC, which is the selection camp for Indian IMO Team.Do not get discouraged or frustrated if you are taking too long to solve a RMO or INMO problem.

 Check out this video for more tips on IMO. 

Solving the problems honestly in itself is an enriching experience which will prepare you for similar journeys in the future. For more tips on Olympiad preparation, check out preparation strategy for IJSO.