Part 2 Tips from an Olympiad Instructor

27 Jan

Mr. Khoo Seng Teck :

Students should get a feel on how the question works, or how the relations between numbers turn out. Surely a pattern must appear somewhere, and it is later up to them to translate the pattern into the answer the question requires.

For a start, pupils can learn to simplify the problem, to look for a pattern or relation, by breaking it down into simpler portions then assembling them back. Besides learning how to dissect the problems into simpler portions, students should have a good grasp on numbers and operations, which will aid them in solving the question much faster. Examples include:

Knowing the squares of numbers 1 to 30
Manipulating the expression for easier multiplication. (How would you multiply 198 and 199 faster than your normal technique?)

Finding faster ways to add many terms: E.g. 1+2+…+100

With determination and some ingenuity, they can solve whatever problems that are posed to them.

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