Math Olympiad training is becoming popular and the 'it' thing to do amongst Singaporean families. We break down what it entails and how to excel in it.
Singapore has become known as a hub for science and maths with our students scoring highly across the board in most international tests for maths and science competencies.
What in the world is it?
The International Math Olympiad is an international competition that aims to discover, encourage and challenge mathematically gifted school students while fostering international relations between students and teachers, as well as sharing and exchanging information of mathematical syllabi and educational systems between countries.
This annual competition pits the top math minds in the country against each other and involves participants below the age of 20.
Why so much interest?
The IMO is seen as the pinnacle of math competitions and many Singaporean parents have begun sending their children for math competitions, such as the Asia Pacific Mathematical Olympiad for Primary School (APMOPS) and the National Mathematical Olympiad of Singapore (NMOS) while they are still in primary school. It is these competitions that have sparked interest in math Olympiad training. Added to that, the prestige of winning these competitions and the possibility of being offered a DSA (direct school admission) to one of the top and niche schools in Singapore such as NUS High School, Raffles Institution and Hwa Chong Institution doesn’t hurt too.
Once your child has been identified as a potential participant for the International Maths Olympiad, preparations need to begin. Many parents are of the opinion that to excel in these competitions and tests, their kids need specialised and dedicated training. Where should you start then? Here are three ways for you to prep your child to excel in the tests.
You can help your child with his preparations at home by getting him specialised books that offer Olympiad training questions – a ten year series equivalent of Math Olympiad tests through the years. Your child should be mentally prepared to drill all the information into his mind weeks before the official competition. It is through this drive and self-determination that will help your child master the kinds of questions that could come out during the tests.
There are currently a number of math enrichment centres that specialise in Math Olympiad Training. The centres that are highly recommended are called Maths Oasis and Maths Hub. These centres offer courses that specialise in training your child specifically for Math Olympiads. For example, Maths Oasis is offering special programmes this June holidays that allow children to sample, compare and practise Maths Olympiad challenges from all over the globe.
Check out this video where questions from the International Maths Olympiad are being solved step by step.