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Blogs / Educational Bytes / A Complete Guide to Maths Olympiad Preparation: Eligibility, Registration, Syllabus, and More!

Blogs / Educational Bytes / A Complete Guide to Maths Olympiad Preparation: Eligibility, Registration, Syllabus, and More!

Ananya Dasgupta

04 Jun 2024

A Complete Guide to Maths Olympiad Preparation

A Complete Guide to Maths Olympiad Preparation: Eligibility, Registration, Syllabus, and More!


While the most prestigious annual mathematics competition for school students, the Maths Olympiad exam is knocking at the door, you must be looking forward to pursuing the best possible preparation. Amidst intense competition, you require relevant guidance for your Maths Olympiad preparation and subsequently pass all the exam levels. This blog can serve as a complete guide for you!      

Overview of Maths Olympiad

The Maths Olympiad is typically an international-level competitive exam to assess a student’s mathematical skills. This exam is not only conducted for students to get recognized for their maths talent. But it also aims to create a competitive mindset among students and provide a broader understanding of the various maths topics and their practical application.

The first Maths Olympiad was held in 1959, in Romania, and was meant solely for the Eastern Bloc countries. Later, other countries too secured their participation. Organized annually, the Maths Olympiad allows six candidatures from each country and this selection process is decided and implemented by a definite organization from each! The National Board for Higher Mathematics (NBHM) heads the selection for the Maths Olympiad in India. The selection occurs in four stages. 

First Stage - Pre-Regional Mathematical Olympiad, conducted at the school level, where students must solve 30 questions in 2.5 hours. 

Second Stage - The Regional Mathematical Olympiad for the shortlisted students of stage 1, where students need to solve 6 problems in 3 hours.

Third Stage - The Indian National Mathematical Olympiad, where the qualified students of the second stage participate.  

Fourth Stage - The International Mathematical Olympiad Training Camp, held for about 1 month at Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education. Several tests are conducted during this stage, and based on the average performance, 6 final candidates are selected. 

After this, the International Maths Olympiad (IMO) occurs in two levels, and the candidates qualifying for level 1 can apply for level 2.        

Registration Process for Maths Olympiad 2024

Registration for the Maths Olympiad Exam in India takes place at schools and you have to contact your respective school authority to apply for this! However, many schools even allow students to register individually via the Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF) website. The process for registration through school and online is simple and almost the same!

The first step is to fill out the registration form. The basic details you must provide in this form are your school name and address, your name, grade level, section, roll number, etc. While registering online, make sure you choose the correct Olympiad name – the International Maths Olympiad (IMO) and select your preferred mode of delivery for the IMO books. For school registration, the Maths Olympiad books are delivered to you by the school itself!  

In both cases, the next step involves paying the registration fee for the Maths Olympiad. The registration fee for Indian students is Rs.125. Schools may charge Rs. 25 extra for other expenses like books, guidance, etc. When applying individually, you also have to pay the book charges alongside the registration fee! For students suffering from a physical disability, there’s no registration fee to appear in the International Maths Olympiad.

Eligibility Criteria for International Maths Olympiad 2024

All students in India from grades 1-12 are eligible to register for the first level of the International Maths Olympiad. However, for the second level, only the students in grades 3-12 can apply. Eligibility for this level depends on your score. The SOF declares a cut-off mark every year, after the exams, and based on this cut-off, you can track whether you are eligible to apply for the next level.    

Syllabus for International Maths Olympiad, 2024

The syllabus for the Maths Olympiad usually revolves around the academic syllabus from various boards, such as CISCE, CBSE, state boards, and so forth! Thus, it’s quite vast! Students must prepare to solve various question formats - Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs), Numeric Answers, Proof-Based Answers, or Detailed-Written Solutions to the Problems.

There are 4 sections within the syllabus, and they are -
1. Logical Reasoning 
2. Mathematical Reasoning
3. Everyday Mathematics
4. Achievers Section

The precise syllabus for each section varies as per the student’s grade level and they may get updates from following the updates in the academic exam curriculum. You can download the up-to-date detailed syllabus list for the International Maths Olympiad 2024 from SOF’s website.      

Maths Olympiad Exam Patterns

The exam pattern for the International Maths Olympiad is divided into two sections, one for classes 1-4 and the other for classes 5-12. So, you have to prepare for this competitive exam accordingly. 
For students of classes 1-4, there are 35 questions in total, where logical reasoning, mathematical reasoning, and everyday mathematics involve 10 questions each, and the achiever section entails 5 questions. The marks for the first three sections stand at 1 each and the achiever section reserves 2 marks per question, totaling 40.

Now, for students of classes 5-12, 50 questions exist in total, where the logical reasoning section constitutes 15 questions, mathematical reasoning holds 20 questions, everyday mathematics includes 10 questions, and the achiever section has 5. The mark for each question in the first three sections is 1; for the fourth, it’s three; together a total of 60!    

Benefits of Maths Olympiad for Students  

The Maths Olympiad exam undoubtedly has several significant benefits for students, and are as follows.

1. Students can discover their hidden maths talents and strengths and simultaneously identify their scopes of skill improvement.

2. The Maths Olympiad is an ideal platform for self-evaluation, where students can recognize their maths competency compared to their peers across various levels.

3. It can serve with enhanced motivation to work on your mathematical abilities and perform your best.

4. As a competitive exam, the Maths Olympiad empower you with exposure and experience to similar exams for higher education.

To wrap up, your Maths Olympiad exam preparation for 2024 requires you to be holistic in approach, paying heed to the complete registration process, recent syllabus, exam patterns, vital study resources and effective strategies to ace your exam. That’s the only way you can fulfil your goal of becoming one of the 6 Indian candidates to appear for the renowned International Maths Olympiad and ultimately win it.     

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