Mathematics is a subject that demands attention and engagement. For a student planning to sit for Maths Olympiad, it’s not fair to give a lukewarm attempt. There is a lot of scopes to make mistakes in the exam and it begins with the preparation period itself. Every mistake made during the planning, assessment and preparation phase magnifies in the exam and shows itself as the marks/rank obtained. There are a plethora of mistakes to be made but fortunately, most of them can be avoided. Good practice helps one to avoid mistakes and to also learn from others mistakes. For example, the Previous Year Paper for IMO Class 9 Maths 2011 would help you to avoid making mistakes by practising concepts that are included in the exam.
Here’s a review of some of the general mistakes made by most of the students going to appear for the exam. Read further in the article, to not commit those common mistakes made by students giving maths olympiad.
- Not Adhering to Timelines
Mathematics is a subject that develops reasoning, creative thinking and problem-solving features in the student’s brain and thought processes. Topics like polynomials, Coordinate Geometry, Linear Equations in Two Variables, Geometry need regular attention so devotion to the timeline is of utmost importance. Lags in the following schedule mean lagging in syllabus completion for the exam.
- Faulty Preparation
Preparation with no daily targets and deadlines is flawed preparation. The regular subject-wise syllabus for class 9 is very vast. Only a focused routine can balance all the subjects. Sacrificing all subjects for one subject or vice-versa is not indicated. Thus, avoid this common mistake of compromised preparation. To avoid this start your revision early. Organise your study time and place. Do ticks every daily goal that has been completed successfully.
- Irrelevant study material
Staying busy with reading irrelevant topics or advanced material is of no use. Don’t create an illusion of practice. Stay aware while selecting your study material. Don’t just refer to any popular textbook or source, it might not be the right source for you. Choose content that suits your calibre. Be alert and pick the content you read depending upon your stage in preparation. For example, if you have covered basics then invest in solving basic questions and reading advanced topics alongside. By doing so you would be ready to solve advanced-level questions gradually.
- Indiscipline and Carelessness
Indiscipline has no place in a rigorous preparation process. It is up to one’s wisdom to realise the purpose of the preparation and sitting for the exam. These acts of carelessness only qualify for horrid post exam results. The solution to this behaviour would be to start small and slow. Don’t be over-ambitious with the planning. Take all factors into consideration and do regular assessments/self-checks.
- Skipping Workbook
The Olympiad workbook is the bible for the olympiad exam. Therefore, considering every fancy source over the authentic workbook is a big error. Workbook highlights every category of question that can be asked. Some of the questions are even repeated. The workbook is an opportunity to streamline your study material if read carefully. It’s this little book that describes a lot about the exam than any other source.
- Last-minute Cramming
Mugging up topics last minute before any exam is futile. For a subject like maths, it’s even worse. As concepts in maths need clarity and in-depth knowledge. Use this time to revise the previous syllabus rather than creating confusion for yourself at the very last moment. Sharing a Pro Tip-Last few days ahead of exams exempt from reading any new book or source. It is more likely to create confusion than clarity of thought about the concept.
- Not Having A Plan To Attempt
To not have a plan in mind on how you are going to attempt the question paper indicates a flaw in preparation to reach the goal. This mistake can cost one dearly. One might not have enough time left to attempt all the questions due to no strategy. A goal has to be reached following the aim and a well-designed plan of small aims. Attemptation strategy is the most crucial step in delivering the desired goal.
- Incorrectly Filling OMR Sheet
Inability to not manage time well in exams or mental stress forces students in a panic situation. Students tend to fill the OMR sheet in the wrong order or sequence. As a result, even the right questions are not counted. It’s always suggested to double-check the OMR sheet before submitting it.
A pro tip- In the last five minutes, it’s better to leave an advanced level question and re-check the OMR sequence. To secure marks for the rest of the attempt.
- Self Sabotage
Your under-confidence or over-confidence might prevent you from reaching your goals. Even after the right preparation if one lacks self-control over one’s thoughts and mind, one lands in a failure. This process has many factors to be taken care of for perfect results. Therefore, every aspect needs to be taken into consideration sincerely. Cultivate motivational behaviour and thoughts and do a self-assessment to be able to control such situations. Spend time on building and shaping your confidence.
- Giving the exam for the wrong reasons
When someone sits for the exam without any purpose and aim. Peer pressure is no reason to appear for an exam. Inherent passion for the subject or academics is the right reason to give an exam. The mistake of giving the exam without any real purpose would have a negative impact on your mind. One becomes a propagator of misinformation for the rest of the students. Eventually, a tendency to do things half-heartedly and regret it later develops. In the long run, one develops a non-enthusiastic nature towards most things in life.
It’s acceptable to make mistakes in exams and life. But, if possible avoid making as many mistakes as you can. Listen to your inner voice to guide you in such situations that are bound to happen in your career and life.