There has always been a misconception around the institution of Olympiads. The first one is that they have not been classified in a separate category and have been treated similarly to any other school examination. The second one is the stigmatized approach of considering Olympiads for the ‘elite’ or ‘scholarly’ children and that someone with a not-so immaculate academic record is incompetent to take it. The final and the most unbelievable common misconception is that it would hinder the academics of school students and divert their interests to something irrelevant to their curriculum. As absurd as these misconceptions sound, they are widely believed if not by everyone.
What is the structure and content of different Olympiads –
Before we delve deeper into how the Olympiads influence the learning curve of students, let us understand the pattern they follow and what the examination consists of.
|Name of the Olympiad||Sections||Tentative Dates|
|National Science Olympiad||Logical Reasoning, Science Achievers section(1-10) + PCMB (11-12)||October-November|
|National Cyber Olympiad||Logical Reasoning, Computer, and IT, Achievers section||November-December|
|International Math Olympiad||Logical Reasoning, Mathematical reasoning, everyday maths, Achievers section||November-December|
|International English Olympiad||Word&structure knowledge, reading, Spoken&written, achievers section||October-November|
|International General Knowledge Olympiad||Quantitative Analysis Reasoning, Economics, Business Studies, Accountancy, Achievers Section||December-January|
|International Company Secretaries Olympiad||General Awareness, Current affairs, life skills, Achievers section||September-October|
What are the advantages of taking Olympiads –
There are a lot of advantages to appearing for an Olympiad examination. One of the most undermined benefits is that it helps a student get a more holistic and in-depth understanding of those subjects, which they study in their regular curriculum. So, it adds an extra dimension to the learning curve of a student.
- Students in our country are exposed to fierce competition at different stages of their academics. Olympiads help these young minds in realizing their potential strengths and weaknesses among various subjects.
- They encourage students to delve deeper into the reasoning behind various concepts and thus helps to enhance their analytical skills.
- Olympiads go beyond the theoretical concepts and inculcate a knack for the application of such concepts.
- Premier institutes in our country rely on aptitude entrance tests for admission procedures. Olympiads strengthen the foundation of students and inculcate conceptual understanding and hence would render helpful in entrance test preparations.
- National Olympiads are stepping stones for International Olympiads like IMO. Bright candidates could grab academic exposure at prestigious institutes.
- Olympiads generally encompass general school curriculum and preparation for the same, improving the performance of students owing to improved analytical skills.
- It promotes a great deal of problem-solving and critical thinking abilities and helps in sharpening them.
- It gives them a chance to come out of their comfort zone and get an experience of how the other participants perform, which provides them with exposure and helps them grow.
- The exam fees are reasonably economical and give an equal opportunity to everyone irrespective of their financial status.
Some interesting facts about Olympiads in India –
- Each section in the Olympiad examinations has a separate weightage to ensure that they manage at least a cut-off score in each.
- Some of these Olympiads, like the NSO, has two levels, the first held at their respective schools and the next where the students who have managed a high score compete.
- India has poor representation at the International level due to lack of awareness (this can be changed, though).
- Students who have taken more Olympiads tend to perform better in the competitive exams in the future.
- Students can appear for every exam throughout their school-going years without any constraints on the number of attempts
- Winners are awarded medals and cash prizes at all levels. The international level cash prize for the topper can go up to INR50,000. Others also receive a prestigious participation certificate, which adds tremendous weight to their overall profile.
- During the academic year 2016-17, over 42800 schools from more than 1400 cities registered, and millions of students appeared for the six Olympiad exams. These Olympiads were conducted across 25 countries.
A glimpse of some brilliant Olympiad questions –
Despite their outreach of targeting the only school going students, Olympiad questions succeed in giving food for thought to a majority of adults as well. Here are some interesting questions to give an idea of questions:
- The only number in Mathematics, which, when written in English, is already arranged in alphabetical order.
- What can be heard and caught but never seen?
- Let a and b be positive integers such that ab+1 divides a2+b2. Show that (a2+b2)/(ab+1)is the square of an integer.
Olympiads carry a considerable value in a child’s mental growth, and their parents and guardians must be vigilant about it.