Getting started with the Indian National Olympiads : Tips & Traps

You must be wondering about the best way to go about your preparation for Olympiads.  Let us discuss some tips and traps to help you in your preparation.

Here, we focus on Physics and Chemistry Olympiads. Soon, we will be coming with guides on Astronomy also.

  • Syllabus and Expectations: Chemistry Olympiad– The syllabus is vast, encompassing areas of organic chemistry, physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, analytical chemistry and spectroscopy.  Most of these subjects are covered in some detail at the class 11th and 12th level, but the Olympiad requires a far greater knowledge and deeper understanding of the interconnection between these subjects, as well as their application to the practical world.
  • Syllabus and Expectations: Physics Olympiad– Just like NSEP, the syllabus for INPhO is also based roughly on the school syllabus of class 9th and 10th (CBSE board). But, the syllabus of higher secondary school is only a broad guideline. Here the problems and questions in National Physics Olympiad are usually non-conventional and of really high difficulty level, just as comparable to International Physics Olympiad. For that matter, the syllabus of IPhO should be considered for INPhO.
  • Starting your Preparation : The syllabus for the Olympiad is very vast, and you will have to compete with the best in the country, and ultimately, the best in the world.  Be sure to begin your preparation well in time.
  • Accept the Challenge: Take the Olympiads as a challenge rather than a battle.  A challenge is exciting, and your concentration will be more on the preparation rather than the outcome.
  • Be in touch with the HBSCE site: The Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education is the nodal center for the Olympiad programs in Chemistry.  There are a number of preparatory resources available on the official website. Additionally, all notifications regarding the Olympiads come first on the HBCSE website only.
  • Take regular online practice tests: There are a number of online practice tests available for you to evaluate yourself.  Keep taking these tests, and ensure that you score a minimum of 95% in them.
  • Be tough with yourself: Remember again that you will be competing against the best. Be very tough on yourself, both in preparation and in marking.
  • Take advantage of online resources: There are a number of online resources available to supplement your study material; you just have to look for them.
  • Be sure to study Organic chemistry: The Indian Chemistry Olympiad and the International Chemistry Olympiad ask a wide variety of topics from organic chemistry.  Some of the topics asked are basic reactions, nomenclature, stereochemistry, Sn1, Sn2, E1 and E2 reactions.
  • Visit forums: If you can’t attend special classes for your training, visit forums on chemistry and participate in the discussions.  They are normally very informative and will give you preparation pointers too.
  • Work hard: Finally, there is no substitute for consistent hard work.  It is only when you really apply yourself that you will be able to get the results you are aiming for.

16 thoughts on “Getting started with the Indian National Olympiads : Tips & Traps”

  1. How can I get JD Lee, Solomon’s, and Bruce mahan in my to in two years for my nsec (as they are quite bully and I’m preparing for jee too)?

    1. I used Irodov. Frankly speaking, it’s enough. Though I have heard a lot of praise for Young and Freedman.
      See, if you understand the concepts and are able to apply them well, then it should be sufficient

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