Hello, young Mathletes! Congratulations on taking this bold step and deciding to appear for the Olympiad. You, my friend, are already a winner. Now that you have made this decision, let’s see how to go on with the preparation.
1- Collect Detailed Information About the Olympiad
Your next step after deciding to go on this journey will be to gather detailed information about the whole process. Your Principal and Mathematics teachers of the school have all the necessary information and you can approach them. You can also refer to the following official website that tells you about all the six stages which you will have to go through right from.
2- Study. And Then Study a Lot More (Obviously Haha)
You must thoroughly know the syllabus and familiarize yourself with each concept from the study material. Make good use of your resources and take advantage of all relevant tips and tricks that you come across. Remember, each student is unique and has different methods of studying and learning. Similarly, some factors like grasping power, memory, level of understanding, etc are also unique.
This is why you should formulate your strategy regarding your study schedule with the help of your parents, Math teachers, or whoever is guiding you for the Olympiad. No need to worry if you are preparing all by yourself, there are tons of sources available for you online.
But whatever schedule you come up with, make sure you follow it strictly. No excuses! Be stronger than your excuses. Push yourself, because no one else can do it for you.
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Study a lot, yes. Study all day and night, nope. Don’t forget to include breaks in your schedule? Also, you shouldn’t have to give up on your social life and entertainment activities. Watching television or YouTube, etc should not be prohibited unless you feel that it is distracting and give it up on your own accord.
Don’t immerse yourself so much into your studies that you lose contact with reality and the world. Don’t Forget to Practice IMO Class 5th Question Paper as solving these papers will assist students to understand the concept and topics clearly.
3- Pay Attention to Your Physical Fitness as Well (But We Are Mathletes, Not Athletes)
Why should we pay attention to physical fitness? It is a Maths competition, not a sports competition. Well, all work (or study in this case) and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
You aren’t expected to be like Usain Bolt, but you should compulsorily take care of your body even when you are not preparing for your competition.
Exercising does help you to focus better on your studies and don’t even get me started on all the other countless benefits. And it doesn’t even take much time, even as little as 10 minutes can bring about a change.
It is super easy and if you are still not convinced, at least do those standard PE exercises that you have been taught at school. Don’t forget that for some stages you may have to travel to a center in another state and for the International Olympiad Competition, you may have to travel to a different country.
Acclimatization takes time and it would be helpful for you to be healthy enough so you can recover faster and give time for your revisions or other priorities, maybe even a little sightseeing.
4- Prepare Yourself Mentally
Someone once said that if you are mentally prepared then you can do anything you want, but if there is no mental preparation the chances of completion of any task are very less. It is quite normal to feel nervous, anxious and to start overthinking long before the Olympiad.
It is alright! Talk to your near and dear ones about it. Sharing your feelings helps quite often. There may be some fellow students or sometimes even adults who will try to demotivate you or tease you for whatever reasons.
Don’t let their negative vibes affect you and even if it makes you feel uncomfortable, just hang in there. Make your support system, so that whenever you are feeling low, you can always fall back on them and they shall help you to get back on your feet again. If and when you feel like giving up, remind yourself why you started this journey in the first place.
It is your brains, your talent, and your love for numbers that got you here. And you shall not back down.
5- Prepare for All Kinds of Situations (Winning, Losing, Not Attending the Olympiad at All, Etc)
In this journey, there are countless hardworking students just like yourself who sit for the exam, and not all of them move on to the next stage.
Although you have studied, prepared wholeheartedly, and taken so much effort, you may still not clear the stages and you may never even make it to the National and International levels at all which will make you feel like you have lost everything, your dreams have been crushed, it is all over, etc.
On rare occasions like this recent pandemic that we faced, competitions could be delayed or canceled. Hence, you may not get to participate at all, anything is possible. The pandemic has taught us all that. Despite all this, try not to take a negative approach and be disheartened. Also, watch out for those few critics.
After all, unfortunately, we humans tend to concentrate on that one bad comment over hundreds of good comments. Your so-called ‘failures’ do not define you and you are not a loser. There is no such thing called a loser. Life goes on and on and on. You have no bounds.
“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.”-Golda Meir
In case of winning, keep your luggage ready and passports handy. Wishing you the best for every step in your journey.