Essential Tips to Prepare for International Maths Olympiad (IMO)

The International Mathematical Olympiad is an annual mathematics competition for primary and high school students. The first IMO was held in 1959 in Romania, and since then, it has become the most prestigious international mathematics competition for high school students. The competition involves solving a series of challenging mathematical problems over two days. Each participating country sends a team of up to six students, who compete individually and as a team.

The problems in the IMO require students to demonstrate their problem-solving skills and mathematical creativity, often involving advanced topics in algebra, geometry, number theory, and combinatorics. The IMO aims to encourage and inspire young students to develop their mathematical skills and pursue careers in mathematics and related fields.

Preparing for the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is a significant undertaking and requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Here are some essential tips to help you prepare for the Maths Olympiad:

Master the Basics

You need to have a strong foundation in mathematics to excel in the IMO. Make sure you have a good grasp of the fundamentals, including algebra, geometry, number theory, and combinatorics.

Practice, Practice, Practice

The key to success in the IMO is practice. Work through as many problems as you can and try to solve them using different methods. You can find plenty of practice problems in math books, online resources, and previous IMO papers.

Join a Study Group

Joining a study group is an excellent way to exchange ideas and learn from others. It can also help you stay motivated and focused. You can find study groups online or through your school or local math club.

Attend a Math Camp

Math camps are intensive programs that offer specialized training for math competitions like the IMO. They can provide you with the opportunity to work with experienced coaches and other talented students.

Stay Up-to-Date

Keep yourself updated with the latest news and information about the International Maths Olympiad. Check out the official website and other math resources for updates, past papers, and other relevant information.

Learn from Your Mistakes

Analyze your mistakes and learn from them. Understanding where you went wrong can help you avoid making the same mistake in the future.

Stay Calm and Confident

The IMO is a challenging competition, but it’s essential to stay calm and confident. Believe in your abilities and trust your preparation.

Remember that preparing for the International Maths Olympiad requires patience, perseverance, and hard work. Be consistent in your preparation, and with the right mindset and dedication, you can achieve great success.


Calling Maths Teachers: Here are Tips to Flip Your Classroom

What is a Flipped Classroom?

Most teachers understand the “Chalk and Talk” or “Direct Instruction” method. The teacher begins by reviving what they did the day before, then continue with some new theories and concepts on the board, generally seeking student attention to work through the instances. Then once the maths students have the right set of notes from the board, they would use their textbook for a particular chapter, start solving the questions given by the teacher, and expectantly complete those tasks at home for homework.

As maths tutors, we are familiar that daily practice is significant. However, the students experience problems when practising, and their teacher isn’t there to assist them. The flipped classroom vision reorganizes what comes about at home and school compared to a more conventional plan. In short, the students will first find new content mainly independently, often as homework. Then in class, most of the time burnt out practising, finishing exercises, asking questions, and working on other activities in groups, with the teacher there to guide them.

Why do a Flipped Classroom?

Flipped classrooms permit one-on-one sessions with maths students who are practising, especially for the International Maths Olympiad, so we can move further in more effective directions. Change is challenging, so why do a flipped classroom? In short, change can be strenuous but productive. Bloom’s Two Sigma Problem demonstrates that a one-on-one session is the best method for teaching and learning.

How to Flip Maths Classroom?

Choose a topic to begin with, based on the timing, but you may select a topic that you believe matches the new strategy perfectly. 

No matter your standard or plan for the organization, we suggest making a calendar to organize your unit before you begin.

It would be best if you had a simple outline of what lessons or concepts you will cover each day. 

If you plan to create your own video sessions, you must figure out the best video recording practices.

Explain to students

If students are used to a specific teaching style and method, changing the pattern can also be an issue for them. It’s necessary to be clear with them about the switch that is taking place, why they’re happening, and what the students should anticipate in the outcome.

This is how one can flip for a maths classroom. Happy teaching!


Case Study: How a maths teacher makes his subject interesting

It’s first period, Monday morning, and I’ve written a math problem on the board. But in front of me is a room full of blank stares and lowered heads.

I’ve got to get this class motivated, so I look to one of the students in the last row. “Hey Sally,” I ask, “did you watch the Giants game yesterday?”

“No, I’m a Jets fan. They’re way better.”

Another student, Sam, pipes up, “The Patriots are the best. They have Tom Brady.”

A few other kids chime in, throwing out their favorite teams. This goes on for a minute or two. Then I turn back to Sally and ask, “What was the score of the Jets game?”

“27–14. They beat the Dolphins.”

“Was it a close game?”

I get puzzled looks, but at least the whole class is looking at me now.

“No way! They won by 13, it was a blowout,” scoffs Sally.

Another student raises his hand, “Two more touchdowns and the Dolphins would have won. The quarterback threw an interception that should’ve been a touchdown.”

“Well, what did the Dolphins need to do in order to tie the game? A few field goals?”

Heads pop up. Now I’ve got their attention.

I start by writing on the board all the ways to score in football, and how many points a team gets for each: 6 for a touchdown, 3 for a field goal, 2 for a safety, and 1 (extra point kick) or 2 (scoring on a run or pass) for a conversion after a touchdown.

Excited, the students start discussing how the game could have been tied by the Dolphins. After a bit of back and forth, they agree that a touchdown, an extra point and two field goals is the best solution to tie the game. (6 + 1 + 3 + 3 = 13 points.) Though a field goal and five safeties would have been cool to see. (3 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 13 points.)

If you have a child who struggles with math, one thing you can do is connect math to his everyday life and interests. That real-world connection can get your child excited and engaged in learning.

Football is one of my favorite ways to motivate kids because there’s literally a new, fun math problem on every play. If you watch a game with your child, you can use this to your advantage.

Ask questions about score changes, yards gained or lost, time remaining, and so on. You’re not solving problems on a worksheet. This is a chance to be the coach or the announcer and analyze the game, all while reinforcing math concepts.

Want to try it out? Here are a few of my favorite conversation starters to get the football math flowing:

Situation #1: The score is Giants 17, Dolphins 21. There’s only enough time for the Giants to run one more play. Should the Giants go for a touchdown or kick a field goal?


Five Ways to Reduce Math Anxiety in Kids: What Parents Can Do

Primary school is where it begins. This is when kids normally get introduced to math learning and when math uneasiness takes root repeatedly. Some children find math challenging yet exciting, while some find it extremely strenuous. They might feel distressed about not getting the answers correctly, or not keeping up with their levels of what the trainer or teacher is explaining.  

When kids don’t improve math learning skills at an early age, they tend to grow stress levels while doing math questions. This anxiety develops as they proceed through school and, due to the progressive structure of math, they go down further and further at the back. This generally results in hating the subject. Lack of skills and confidence in maths subjects can lead to self-hesitancy and not only below-par performance in math, but in other subjects as well.

Children who are anxious about math are expected to avoid it, which embellish a further barrier to studying math. Instead of being anxious, students should look for IMO sample papers and practice hard to participate in International Maths Olympiad Challenge and gain confidence.

Parents can play a key role in guiding to lessen their kids’ stress levels about math and develop their confidence and belief. It begins with encouraging children to learn and practice math and providing support at home. Moreover, by making Math playful and exciting at home, parents can remove negative discussions about math assignments and assure their kids to adopt a positive approach towards solving it, helping them recover their excitement and interest to learn more and grow their skills.

Some effective ways parents can reduce their kid’s math anxiety

Make math interesting at home by arranging math games and quizzes and engaging your child in math-related works around the house. 

Be up to date on your connection and viewpoint toward math. Did you know that math anxiety can be infectious? The study has shown that parents can transfer their burden and stress about math to their kids, which can lead to bad performance and marks for your kid at school. Remember that you’re not manifesting negative feelings in front of your kid. Try to develop a positive, cool attitude in front of your child. 

Reach out to your kid’s school and meet teachers to discuss how you can help your child’s math learning skills at home. There are many assets out there, including IMO sample papers by International Maths Olympiad Challenge for kids to help them practice the maths concept they’re learning at school. Ask the teacher to suggest an excellent productive resource where your kid is at in their learning. A resource that is too tough to understand can create anxiety and more hesitation!

Enhance your math skills before giving attention to your child. Use resources and IMO sample papers and practice doing math questions. Communicate with your child in a comforting, positive way about math and have daily discussions about their recent math challenges and small successes that can take them to greater heights. Help them realize that mistakes are not the end; learning opportunities are limitless.

IMOC (International Maths Olympiad Challenge) offers a curriculum-specific student assessment & practice resource that is created by International Maths Olympiad experts on how your children learn best and efficiently. Don’t get distracted by any usual black-and-white practice books. For more information about the maths practice, visit our website.