It has been a long time since I posted the RMO board. Some of us qualified RMO, but many of us disqualified. Oh yeah, it's a bitter truth. Even I lost first of the only three chances I will get in my life. And why did we disqualify? Just because of our preparation. Maybe you are shocked, but I'm not.
We do math, all day long, spend even sometimes five to six hours on Brilliant.So where do cracks lie? As per my experiences, the answer is preparation. Yup, I said that once again, just so put emphasis on the fact that we just studying whatever looks good, rather than what is good for us, currently.
We people read Calculus, and I find many junior geniuses on Brilliant posting problems on it. We have a very common misconception, that learning Calculus early is a symbol of genius. No, that's not true. Even one of the Calculus masters of Brilliant, Ishan Dasgupta said,"It is important how well you learn it, rather than how early you learn it." True fact.
So, what's next? If you have chances left, then do try to follow the following list of habits which I have gathered from others experience in order to excel in RMO:
First, what to read? Decide that. I am personally weak at Number Theory, so I have thought to leave it for RMO. That is nothing bad, since the Jack of all trades is the master of none . Prepare other sections well, you can qualify RMO easily. If you feel that you can cover all subjects, that's great!
Do study basic olympiad mathematics first. Don't get allured by Calculus and Linear Algebra. Why? Mathematical Olympiads like RMO focus on conceptual understanding, rather than the number of concepts you know.
Enjoy mathematics, and do it on a regular basis. All of us do, so nothing to worry about this.
Don't get discouraged for your speed. Speed has almost nothing to do in mathematics. I don't say it, but the one who said was none other than Terry Tao. I just read an interview of his in the New York Times.
Prove it! Don't apply useless logic, like it is a multiple of three of seven, and seems to be correct. Neither plug good values for it. Prove it, because that's what makes you a good mathematician.
Ooh, Lots of points. Think about it, and comment down. Feel free to post critical comments, even I commit mistakes. I wish you qualify RMO this year, and make all of us proud.
Best of luck!