How to apply for Mathematical Olympiad 2020-21


Are you passionate about mathematics? Are you looking forward to participating in the International Mathematical Olympiad conducted by the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education in various stages? Read this article and get the latest updates about the Mathematical Olympiad to be organized in the country and overseas for the session 2020-21.

Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE) is a premier organisation that promotes excellence in science and math education in schools and colleges in the country. It is the nodal centre which conducts various Olympiad programs for a host of disciplines such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology and junior science. Through its notification dated 14th September 2020, HBCSE has released the tentative schedule for the mathematical Olympiad for the session 2020-21.



Every year, the math Olympiad is organized at four levels to select a team that will represent India for the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) and European Girls' Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO). This year due to the raging COVID 19 pandemic in the country and elsewhere, the four-stage selection process has been condensed into a three-stage one. The three stages of this selection process for the IMO 2021 and the EGMO 2022 are:

  1. Indian Olympiad Qualifier in Mathematics (IOQM)
  2. Indian National Mathematical Olympiad (INMO)
  3. The International Mathematical Olympiad Training Camp (IMOTC)

It is to be noted that this arrangement of a three-stage selection process is applicable for this year only. The selection process will revert back to the previous four-stage process, once the current crisis due to the pandemic subsides. As of last year, the first stage IOQM qualifier round was conducted in two stages – Pre-Regional Mathematical Olympiad (PRMO) as the first stage and Regional Mathematical Olympiad (RMO) as the second stage.

Indian Olympiad Qualifier in Mathematics (IOQM)

IOQM is a 3-hour test that is organized by the Mathematics Teachers' Association (India) (MTA(I)). The first stage of the screening process, the test will have 30 questions. For each question, the answer will be in integer form between 00 - 99. The standard of the paper and the syllabus will be the same as that for the previous years' PRMO test. The MTA will conduct this test with the support from HBCSE and Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT). The test will be held at various centres across the country.



Indian National Mathematical Olympiad (INMO)

INMO, the second stage of the qualifying cycle this year, will be conducted by the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education – Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (HBCSE – TIFR) itself. This is a four-hour test and there will be six questions in all. The syllabus is the same as the previous years' INMO test. Those who qualify the IOQM will be able to appear for the INMO.

The International Mathematical Olympiad Training Camp (IMOTC)

The third and final stage of the selection process for the international event, the training camp will be held by HBCSE for those students who qualify the INMO. After the training camp, a final team of the best six candidates will represent the Indian team for the International Mathematical Olympiad. During the training camp, the students are made acquainted with the pattern of the IMO and also trained on techniques and concepts to do well in the IMO.

Important Dates (Tentative)

HBCSE has released a tentative schedule for the tests as given below.
  • Online enrolment for IOQM (at the IAPT website www.iaptexam.in): 15th October 2020
  • IOQM test: 17th January 2021 (Sunday), 9 am – 12 pm
  • INMO test: 07th March 2021 (Sunday), 12 pm – 06 pm

It is to be noted that the above schedule is a tentative one. Depending upon the pandemic, the dates may get changed at short notice. Applicants are advised to keep a track of the updates at the HBCSE website. The schedule beyond INMO, for the training camp and the IMO, will be released at a later date, depending upon the circumstances.

Eligibility Criteria for IOQM

The tentative eligibility criteria for applying for IOQM are given as follows. The detailed information is yet to be announced by HBCSE.

  1. The candidate should be studying in class 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12.

  2. They should have been born not earlier than 01st August 2001.

  3. The candidate should be an Indian citizen. Students with Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) status may apply provisionally. They will be able to participate in all the three stages of the selection process, including the Olympiad training camp, but they will not be eligible for selection in the Indian team that will represent the country in the International Mathematical Olympiad.

Those aspiring to participate in the IOQM are advised to visit the PRMO page of the Mathematical Teachers' Association (India) website at https://www.mtai.org.in/activities/exams/prmo/. The details given for PRMO are similar to those required of IOQM.



How to prepare for IOQM

The pattern and syllabus for IOQM will be the same as that of PRMO. Like PRMO, there will be 30 questions to be answered in three hours. To prepare for the test, the candidates can refer the past PRMO question papers as well as sample questions available at the HSBCE website at https://olympiads.hbcse.tifr.res.in/how-to-prepare/past-papers/. It is to be kept in mind all the three stages of the selection process are highly competitive and the students will have to prepare really well to qualify the tests.

How to apply

The application for IOQM, the first stage of the selection process for the mathematical Olympiad, is to be done online by visiting the IAPT website. The registration for the same opens on 15th October 2020. The registration fees and other details are yet to be announced.

For queries, if any

Details of the current notification posted by HBCSE dated 14th September can be had by visiting the page at their website at https://olympiads.hbcse.tifr.res.in/olympiads-2020-21/mathematical-olympiad/.

For any clarifications regarding the tests, the candidates to visit the HBCSE website or write to them at the address given below.

Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education -
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
V. N. Purav Marg, Mankhurd,
Mumbai – 400088

Important Websites
HBCSE: http://www.hbcse.tifr.res.in/
Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT) (for applying for IOQM): https://www.iaptexam.in/
Mathematics Teachers' Association (MTA): https://www.mtai.org.in/


Article by Dhruv
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