Taking part in the Singapore Mathematical Olympiad (SMO) is a great way to test your child’s mathematical aptitude. Not only does the competition give math enthusiasts an opportunity to put their skills to the test, but they can also gain valuable experience in problem solving and critical thinking.
Participating in a math competition can also help to boost your child’s confidence and open up new opportunities for them. It also gives students the chance to develop important soft skills such as communication and leadership abilities. For those looking to hone their mathematics proficiency or get ahead in life, taking part in the SMO is an excellent option.
What is the Singapore Math Olympiad?
The SMO is organised annually by the Singapore Mathematical Society. The biggest and oldest mathematical olympiad held here, SMO aims to test students’ creativity and problem-solving skills and discover students talented in math.
The competition consists of two rounds: round 1 features a 2.5-hour written paper. Only invited students will be able to attend round 2, which will be a 4-hour written paper.
What are the benefits of participating in the SMO?
Get greater exposure to competition math
At a math olympiad, tricky questions are aplenty. Does the famous math problems on “Cheryl’s birthday” or “Helen and Ivan” sound familiar to you? These are just a glimpse into how tough math questions can be in a math olympiad.
One of the benefits of participating in math olympiads is getting valuable exposure to high-level difficulty questions. Math olympiads are well-known for featuring challenging math questions that stump even adults. This sounds tough, but it encourages students to go out of their comfort zone and develop mathematical thinking skills at an even deeper level.
Hones problem-solving skills and critical-thinking skills
As your child gets more exposure to math olympiad questions, the experience is also a way of letting your child gain and refine problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Students will come across a wider variety of creative and challenging math problems that they may not see in their regular curriculum, and they’ll be encouraged to pick up new mathematical techniques or think outside the box to find solutions.
Gain an edge in Direct School Admissions (DSA)
Applying for a DSA into a secondary school of your choice? Participation and awards from math olympiads can form part of your child’s portfolio. They are an excellent way to demonstrate your child’s mathematical abilities and strong interest in the subject.
If your child is keen to pursue math at an advanced level, then the DSA route provides the chance to secure a spot at a school with available programmes that match his interests. This can help to lower some of the stress faced during the secondary school posting process. Most importantly, talk to your child and see how he feels about DSA.
Learn how to thrive in a high-pressure environment
Preparing for a math olympiad is no easy feat. The preparatory period that comes before involves ample revision and understanding of formulas. It’s also natural that students feel pressured before stepping into the examination hall for a competition, and that’s completely okay. Going through an olympiad, this eye-opening experience will help students to learn skills such as staying calm under pressure and time management. These are vital soft skills that will benefit students well in the future, especially as they enter the workforce.
Joining math olympiads also helps a lot in boosting self-confidence. During the journey, students get to experience the tough preparation process and face setbacks along the way, and these are catalysts in letting them learn how to persevere. Over time, these challenges encourage students to build resilience and become more confident in themselves.
Should your child take part in the SMO?
If your child shows a strong aptitude or interest in mathematics, then taking part in the SMO can be a good idea. SMO is an excellent opportunity for students to develop their mathematical skills further and gain valuable insight into the area of competition math. Not only does the SMO provide a good platform for math enthusiasts to hone their problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities, but it also gives them the chance to learn soft skills like handling pressure and time management.
There is a good chance that the SMO can lead to exciting, new opportunities in life. Therefore, for those looking for an engaging activity to sharpen both their academic and personal qualities, taking part in the SMO is highly recommended.