There is a need to continue undertaking academic excellence tests as they provide a reference point beyond our set of school points. This is of great value as knowledge the way it is growing can never be complete. It can only be at a point of time and in context and relation. By undertaking tests we get to know strengths and weaknesses alike. We can use it both ways-deepen our strength or weed our weakness.
Speaking from experience in Olympiads, I wish someone had highlighted the student’s point of view for undertaking such tests. Here are some points to help your journey through
competitions like these a little more easily.
Olympiads are a good measure of testing one’s mental and logic abilities and knowledge strength of the student for a particular subject. Having said that can we say that Olympiads do not require preparation beyond school curriculum? I would say they do require some calibrating type of preparation. The Olympiad test setters while preparing the test set of questions must be ensuring that questions provide a healthy challenge to all schools and in this averaging for schools one can find oneself handicapped on few topics if one will not prepare. They are taken to position the test takers in a bigger pool of students
There are misconceptions under which people think that the ‘Olympiad‘ name itself holds significance and academic weight. People do not know the plethora of organizations that conduct Olympiads. But each Olympiad becomes valid and important because they offer a reference point or context to your individual level of knowledge and logic. Olympiads add value because of number of participants, number of levels in the Olympiad contest, demographics of participants (geographical spread of students, cultural diversity of students etc.), quality of preparation material and low entry fees in order to provide access to more people.
My experience at SIMOC and subsequently for SASMO is unforgettable. Here we are in India or in our schools with our level of Mathematics and speed of logic and mental ability. But world is a village now. It was truly humbling to meet equally good students from other countries and getting an international context to my mathematics knowledge. There was tough competition from Vietnamese, Cambodians and Malaysians.
The Maths Warrior Challenge was meant to test team skills where members were strangers and were not so communicative meeting each other for the first time. The main SIMOC test was testing our application skills and not our grasp of theory of maths knowledge.
Such competitions make one realize that the real competition lies beyond our comfort zone of our school and he who does well outside their normal comfort zone and is able to think on their feet can say he knows the subject beyond school as well.