Before we get started on tips and tricks to prepare for Class 9 Math Olympiad, I would first like to give a clear idea of what Olympiads are. Olympiads are international exams held on a school level that help students compete with other students on a similar educational level, on a national or even an international platform. Some of the main subjects of these exams are English, science, mathematics, computer science, general knowledge, and logical reasoning. These exams also focus on skills such as critical and analytical thinking along with the main subjects. These promote a sense of competition among students and as well as help them learn about their educational strengths and where they stand on an international platform. These examinations help a student understand their weaknesses and also help them get a deeper look into the core subjects, allowing them to improve themselves academically.
Olympiads are very famous among parents as it gives their ward a chance to compete with students from all over the globe and make a mark for themselves on an international scale. Olympiads are seen as good training for any future competitive exams as well as it makes a child’s resume seem brighter. These exams also help the parents understand the true potential of their children and help them take the necessary steps for their academic development. Olympiads also help children get used to facing competitive exams from a younger age and help them strengthen their basics from the beginning as these exams are nothing like our normal high school exams and require a deeper understanding of each concept, both theoretically as well as practically.
Now coming back to our main topic: How do we prepare for Class 9 Math Olympiad? Class 9 is considered to be one of the hardest years of schooling as the portions are pretty vast and very different from what students have been taught before. Grasping these new concepts itself can take some time for any student. Don’t believe anyone who says that Olympiads don’t require a sufficient amount of time as well as effort. Nobody is saying that it is impossible to crack these exams as with the right amount of hard work and knowledge, these exams to are bound to seem easy. Here are some very important points to remember while preparing for these international Class 9 Math Olympiad:
- Make yourself a schedule: Before starting anything else, you first need to make a timetable and devote a large amount of time to preparing for these exams. It is extremely important for us to stay motivated and dedicatedly follow the timetable. We must think before we make one, carefully divide our time as we also have other day-to-day chores that can’t be missed out on either. Time must be divided carefully to be able to revise the 9th-grade portions as well as learn some new concepts. Hence it is advisable to properly think before making a timetable as there is no use in having one which is impossible to follow. There is no need to be extremely strict with yourself but also being too lenient and spending an ample amount of time on unnecessary activities can be bad. Hence, make a timetable which is the right mixture of both and helps you give the needed time to your preparation. Students who are willing to crack these exams must remember that they can’t go at the same pace as their school. They must complete studying the majority of their portion beforehand to have time to study the advanced material related to the topics.
- Know your syllabus: This might not seem like a tip at all and is quite obvious: know the topics that require the most attention and the comparatively easier ones. If statistics and geometry are your fortes, keep these both aside for later and practice something you might find difficult, like trigonometry or algebra. Skipping topics may land you in trouble as these exams check your overall knowledge and a minimum of 1-2 questions are bound to come from every topic, if not more. Start preparing for subjects that seem difficult to you beforehand and do not wait for the 11th hour to start studying.
- Understanding the level: Another main thing is realizing that these exams are very different from our normal school exams. These examinations require a deeper knowledge of the respective topics and also a practical as well as a theoretical perspective for each question. The basics can always be covered from the school textbooks but for higher-level questions, one has to refer to other books and can also resort to the internet. Practicing previous year’s question papers and solving questions back is also a great tip for preparation. Always remember that the more questions you solve, the closer you are to cracking the exam.
- Never forget the basics: Skipping the basics to cover the advanced level portions is pretty common among students. But this can have a negative impact as the student might have to leave the easiest questions because of the lack of knowledge in that particular topic and it can be really disheartening. Hence always remember to first cover the basics and then move on to the advanced stuff. Start from solving basic equations as they will act as a stepping stone for solving the complex equations at a later stage.
- Gather your materials beforehand: Always have a head start. Starting to prepare 3-4 months before the exam is always helpful. Download questions banks and question papers only from trusted sources. Get guides such as R.D Sharma and R.S Agarwal as they are the bible for any student who wants to crack a competitive exam. The sooner you start preparing, the more time you’ll have to revise. Don’t stop after one revision. Keep revising time and again as revising is the most important part of this process. Be ready to learn topics that are way beyond your 9th-grade syllabus. Remember to go through the grade 8 portions as well as brush up on some of the basics of grade 10, as it is almost normal for Olympiads to have questions from a higher level to check how much a fellow student has prepared for the exam.
- You are going to make mistakes: the level of an Olympiad is pretty hard and it is normal to make a few mistakes while solving equations related to trigonometry, calculus, and various other difficult topics. Don’t be too hard on yourself and get disheartened. Instead, try to practice the same kind of problems until you are 100% sure that you won’t make the same kind of mistake again.
- Remember to take time-based tests: Time is a very crucial factor in these competitive exams. To be able to solve all the questions within the given time limit, an ample amount of practice is needed beforehand. Solving a minimum of at least 5 question papers before the exam is necessary. You can make use of class 9 IMO question paper 2011. Set a time limit for each question and try to solve the questions within the given limit. It might take some time to get used to this, but doing this helps the brain work faster and lets you solve the maximum number of questions in a shorter time.
- Last but not the least, remember to stay confident. This is by far one of the most important points to remember: never lose confidence. Stress is the worst enemy. It not only clouds our judgment but also reduces our efficiency. Always remember to relieve stress by taking small breaks from time to time and doing whatever helps to let go of the pressure. Keep in mind that this is just another test and letting the pressure play into your emotions is just going to make things worse.