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The Mathematical Olympiad and Science Olympiad hold international significance among talent search programmes for students who are yet to attend a university. With an aim to identify talent at a young age, the Maths and Science Olympiads seek to test the innate skills of students for solving mathematical and science problems.

The National Board for Higher Mathematics (NBHM) has been organising the Indian National Mathematical Olympiad (INMO) in India since 1988. A non-profit organisation and an educational foundation, the Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF), based in New Delhi, conducts the National Science Olympiad (NSO) as well as a Maths Olympiad. An NSO is also conducted by the Department of Science & Technology of the Government of India.

There are three main stages:

- Regional Mathematical Olympiad (RMO) held in 25 regions, usually during October-December
- Indian National Mathematical Olympiad (INMO), generally held in February
- International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) Training Camp, usually organised in May-June; a team of six students is selected to represent India in the IMO, held in July in different countries

The 58th edition of the IMO was to be held from July 12-24, 2017, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

- RMO is a three-hour exam and consists typically of 6-8 questions worth 100 marks. These are of moderate difficulty. The same questions are asked in all regions to ensure uniformity. Some regions may choose to set their own question papers, however. The cutoffs are generally low (40%-50%), but may vary with difficulty levels
- Students selected from each region through RMO appear for INMO. They are given about six problems to solve in a period of four hours. The difficulty level is much higher and, usually, correctly solving four is sufficient to qualify. Strategic and deep thinking is required to answer the questions, although they involve pre-calculus mathematics. A number of conjoined ideas form part of the solutions and several elementary steps have to be followed to arrive at the solutions

Those who qualify RMO can refer to Mathematics syllabus up to class 12 for INMO. However, the syllabus does not include statistics and calculus.

Questions of increasing difficulty level from number theory, geometry, combinatorics and algebra are asked in RMO, INMO and IMO.

To go into a little more detail, elementary graph theory, complex numbers, finite series, number theory, probability theory, inequalities, factorisation of polynomials, permutations and combinations, linear equations, coordinate geometry, trigonometry, quadratic equations, geometry, elementary combinatorics and integers form part of the syllabus.

Some of the most important conditions that candidates must meet are as follows:

- Students of classes 8, 9, 10 and 11 who qualify the RMO can appear for INMO
- Those who received certificates of merit in the previous year, but were not among the awardees, can also participate
- Class 8 students who perform exceptionally well in RMO can also take INMO

The SOF Olympiads are aimed at inspiring pupils who love science and mathematics to achieve greater understanding of scientific and mathematical ideas and concepts. While preparing for these exams, they are motivated to improve their analysing, problem solving and logical reasoning skills.

Participation is open to students from classes 1 to 12. There is a different question paper for each class.

The Olympiad is conducted at two levels. Level 1 is of 60 minutes duration and comprises 35 multiple-choice questions of the objective type for classes 1 to 4 and 50 such questions for classes 5 to 12. There are four sections in the question paper:

- Mathematical Reasoning
- Logical Reasoning
- Everyday Mathematics
- Achievers

The details are as follows:

Classes | Exam Section | No. of Questions | Marks per question |
---|---|---|---|

1-4 | Mathematical Reasoning | 10 | 1 |

Logical Reasoning | 10 | 1 | |

Everyday Mathematics | 10 | 1 | |

Achievers | 5 | 2 | |

Total | 35 | ||

5-12 | Mathematical Reasoning | 20 | 1 |

Logical Reasoning | 15 | 1 | |

Everyday Mathematics | 10 | 1 | |

Achievers | 5 | 3 | |

Total | 50 | ||

Level 2 is conducted for classes 3 to 12.

All the questions are of the multiple choice type and the medium of instruction is English. The exam is held at two levels. The first level is conducted in the schools during normal school hours. The duration of the exam is 60 minutes. Students from classes 1 to 4 have to solve 35 questions and those from classes 5 to 12 have to solve 50 questions. Optical mark recognition (OMR) sheets are provided to the students to mark their answers.

For classes 1 to 10, the question paper consists of three sections, i.e., logical reasoning, science and achievers, whereas for classes 11-12, the sections are mathematics/biology, achievers, and physics and chemistry.

The details are as follows:

Classes | Exam Section | No. of Questions | Marks per question |
---|---|---|---|

1-4 | Science | 25 | 1 |

Logical Reasoning | 5 | 1 | |

Achievers | 5 | 2 | |

Total | 35 | ||

5-10 | Science | 35 | 1 |

Logical Reasoning | 10 | 1 | |

Achievers | 5 | 3 | |

Total | 50 | ||

11-12 | Maths/Biology | 20 | 1 |

Physics and Chemistry | 25 | 1 | |

Achievers | 5 | 3 | |

Total | 50 |

Only those who have cleared the first level are entitled to appear for the second level. Approximately 5% of the top performers from the first level take the second level of the exam. Marks scored in different sections are given due weightage.

Equal importance is given to each level of the exam.

The question papers cover state board, ICSE and CBSE syllabi for science. A separate question paper is set for each class and English is the medium of instruction. More information about the exams can be obtained through telephone at 0124-4951200.

Students from class 1 to 12 can appear for the first level and there is no other criterion such as minimum marks. Those who qualify for the second level include:

- Top 5% performers, class-wise, from the first level
- Top 25 class-wise rank holders from each zone
- The class topper, where at least 10 students have appeared from a class, provided they score 50% marks or more
- Students from classes 1 and 2 are not required to take the second level and are ranked on the basis of the first level only

The Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), Mumbai, also runs an NSO programme to promote excellence in mathematics and science among pre-university students. The government of India financially supports the programme, mainly through the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Space, Board of Nuclear Sciences and Department of Science and Technology. Junior science, physics, chemistry, biology, earth science and astronomy are covered. More details are available at the HBCSE website.

Events | Dates |
---|---|

List of registered centres available | June 20, 2017 |

Registration for pre-RMO (PRMO) | June 20 to July 25, 2017 |

PRMO exam | August 20, 2017 |

PRMO results | September 15, 2017 |

RMO exam | October 8, 2015 |

RMO results | December 7, 2017 |

INMO exam | January 21, 2018 |

Event | Dates |
---|---|

First level exam | November 9 and 23, 2017 |

Event | Dates |
---|---|

First level exam | December 5 and 14, 2017 |

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