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Curiosity about the Contests

Hello... I am currently a newbie in mathematical competitions... It's my first time joining mathematical Olympiads, not to mention, starting from Philippine Mathematical Olympiad this year. I have some questions regarding these contests:

  1. In number theory, can I use the laws of algebra or (other branches of mathematics I know) in this matter? Just to ensure knowledge.

  2. How much do I need to know mathematics (apart from the mathematics subjects offered in my school and that I parallel study or independent study) in order to succeed in the contest? The subject is very new to me, yet I know some of the concepts yet I don't master some.

  3. In mental competition, how does one achieve answer especially questions are difficult when mentally calculated? (Actually, I don't have much experience with mental calculations, except for MTAP orals.)

Thanks in advance for answering and good day!

Note by John Ashley Capellan
3 years, 11 months ago

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If it's your first time I'd say don't worry about it too much. Just go in with what you know already and see how you do. The more you do these things, the more theorems you get introduced to, the more tricks you learn, and ultimately you get better at problem solving. If it's your first time then, hey, no pressure. Just try your best and see what happens. And, most importantly, have fun with it. Don't do math for a chore, please. If math ever feels that it's tedious and not worth your time, then take a break. Michael Tong · 3 years, 11 months ago

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@Michael Tong Thanks.. but I'm having a bit of trouble in number theory and algebra.... I found finding training too short because I have school for almost a day (at most 12 hrs.).. Any advice here? John Ashley Capellan · 3 years, 11 months ago

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@Michael Tong well said! Anirudh N · 3 years, 11 months ago

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For those who have first time joining math olympiads (especially PhMO and others), I recommend you to read Mathematical Excursions, written by Dr.Ian June Garces. This book is a pre-olympiad introduction, starting from the fresh concepts of algebra, number theory, geometry and combinatorics up to some challenging IMO-caliber problems. Russelle Guadalupe · 3 years, 11 months ago

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@Russelle Guadalupe Where can this book be found? Tanishq Aggarwal · 3 years, 11 months ago

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@Russelle Guadalupe okay, thanks :)) Anna Ruth Alvarez · 3 years, 11 months ago

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I hear there's a cool new contest called Proofathon coming out soon... ;) Cody Johnson · 3 years, 11 months ago

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@Cody Johnson Indeed. I am very excited about the inaugural contest, which, according to the home page, will be held on \(26-27^{th}\) October. What's most exciting is that the contests are focused on specific subjects, which vary across the year. Sreejato Bhattacharya · 3 years, 11 months ago

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@Cody Johnson that's nice :) Anna Ruth Alvarez · 3 years, 11 months ago

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hello, did you start your review already? :))) It is my first time too to join the Philippine Mathematical Olympiad this year. Anna Ruth Alvarez · 3 years, 11 months ago

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