Math Exams

5 Things that you must know about The SOF International Math Olympiad


20th November 2020

Reading Time: 4 Minutes


The SOF International Math Olympiad helps students test out their mathematical skills with reference to other students from all over the world. It is conducted by Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF) with the aim of identifying and nurturing future scientists, technologists and IT talent at school level.

The exams are conducted in two levels- Level 1 and Level 2.  

The level 1 exam is open to students in classes 1-12 and is conducted in the students’ respective schools during school hours. The exam lasts for 60-minutes and is attempted solely in English. 

The test paper of classes 1 to 4 consists of 35 questions and from class 5 onwards 50 questions from various mathematical sections such as Mathematical reasoning, Logical reasoning, Everyday mathematics, and an Achievers section. 

The students who perform exceptionally well stand a chance to qualify for Level 2 of the SOF IMO exam. However, students in class 3-12 are only allowed to appear for the Level 2 exam. Students who pass anyone criteria out of the following are selected for the Level 2 exam:

  1. The Top 5% grade-wise candidates who appeared for Level 1
  2. Top 25 Zonal and Grade level rank holders in Level 1
  3.  Grade wise toppers from different schools.

The International Math Olympiad is not just a math competition, it’s a global challenge that helps your child grow their mathematical skills in a competitive environment.

What are the five things that must know about the SOF International Math Olympiad?

1. IMO prepares your child for competitions in the real world:  

The world is filled with intense competition that your child will have to partake in and win in. School-level competitions are not the same as the level of competition your child will face while they are on their path to carve out a career for themselves. The SOF IMO welcomes teams from all around the world, having various levels of math aptitudes.

Competing against each other to win the race in math olympiad

Your child gets the real-life experience of what it is like to compete with people from all walks of life, thus preparing them for any and every competition in the real world.

The SOF IMO tests out math skills that are crucial for success in the 21st century through various questions in sections such as Mathematical Reasoning, Logical reasoning, Everyday Mathematics and Higher-Order thinking skills:

  • Mathematical Reasoning: Mathematical Reasoning equips students with the ability to evaluate situations, select problem-solving strategies, draw logical conclusions, develop and describe solutions, and recognize how those solutions can be applied.
  • Logical Reasoning: Logical Reasoning can be defined as the process of using a rational, systematic series of steps based on sound mathematical procedures and given statements to arrive at a conclusion.
  • Everyday Mathematics: Everyday Mathematics helps your child understand how the world around them works, and the importance and application of math in various aspects of their life and surrounding.
  • Achievers Section: This section helps students attempt questions that are new and more challenging for them and will give them exposure to learning new things with interest.

2. Math Olympiad is your child’s window to think innovatively:

When your child is at school, they are taught how to solve a problem in a set way, when in reality the problem might have different methods and procedures to solve it. But your child, in this case, is not allowed to explore the other possible results and ways a math problem can be solved.

Math Olympiad poses as a ticket for your child to broaden their horizons when it comes to the subject itself; it allows your child to look into it as a challenge instead of being scared of it.

Innovative thinking- A person trying to think up something new or looking at things in a different way   

At Cuemath, we believe in your child’s inherent ability to solve a problem on their own. We let your child experience math in a way that is both engaging and fun. Math Olympiad is fun and challenging at the same time, we make sure your child is Olympiad ready with our newly introduced TUCO(The Ultimate Cuemath Olympiad) course.

3. The Olympiad encourages the habit of problem-solving in your child:

IMO requires participants to look at a problem in many different ways to reach a solution. It inculcates the practice of real-life problem-solving. Outside the four walls and textbooks of schools is a world that heavily relies on problem-solving and logical skills.

Getting better at problem solving in math olympiad

Olympiad such as the International Math Olympiad, help your child get a glimpse of what it is like to be able to solve a real-life problem.

4. Math Olympiad develop mathematical thinking in your child:

Mathematical thinking can be defined as the process of looking at a mathematical problem in many different ways before concluding, in other words, mathematical thinking lets your child think outside the box, an ability that is very much useful and needed in today’s world.

A child observing things in terms of mathematical perspective at math olympiad exam

IMO not just tests your child’s ability to strategically come up with the right solutions to complex logical problems, but it also tests how fast your child can do it. 

5. The International Math Olympiad changes the subjective perception that Math is evil:

The regular learning educational system has successfully made your child believe he cannot solve a particular Math problem unless it’s done in the way it has initially been taught at school.

Math anxiety and learning how to overcome them

The Indian education system, when it comes to a versatile subject such as Math does not teach the habit of solving a problem in many different ways. It’s rooted in the fact that a particular issue, can only have a single answer and that answer can only be reached using a unique formula or problem-solving technique. It instills a sense of dread and fear in your child, which does not allow them to think about the solutions to the problem in a different way.

Why should my child participate in the International Math Olympiad?

There are many benefits for your child upon participating in the Math Olympiad, including that of getting a first-hand experience of how they are conducted.

Here are the top 3 reasons why your child should participate in the Math Olympiad:

  • Build situational awareness:

Did you know, soldiers in the military go through a strict routine of training that tests their memory power and recalling skills in stressful war-like situations, to prepare them for the actual battle?

Situational Awareness will help your child be prepared and foresee what is about to come in terms of the exam. The Math Olympiad is designed in a way that it mimics a similar pattern and the exact test-taking environment that your child will face in the IMO.

Your child will be exposed to the International Math Olympiad, much like how soldiers in the military are trained to win at war.

  • Get the right training: 

IMO not just tests your child’s ability to strategically come up with the right solutions to complex logical problems, but it also tests how fast your child can do it. 

Cuemath Math Olympiad serves as a good exercise for your child to test themselves in a timed scenario similar to that of the IMO.

  • Get a complete SWOT Analysis:

As with every exam, it’s imperative that your child know the areas that they’re lagging behind at so as to work harder in grasping those concepts, to claim mastery over the subject. 

The whole point of Math Olympiad is for your child to understand their strengths and weaknesses, where there is a knowledge gap that needs further revision.

Also read:


The SOF International Math Olympiad helps students test out their mathematical skills with students from all over the world. This examination aims to help students assess their Math aptitude at the All India Level by checking their Math knowledge and critical thinking skills.

What measures can be taken before attempting the Math olympiad exam?

We at Cuemath, are devoted to helping your child get the right kind of training that’s needed for them to ace the International Math Olympiad. So, we are conducting TUCO(The Ultimate Cuemath Olympiad) exam before participating in  SOF International Math Olympiad. 

Before the Olympiad exam, you should take the practice of the preparatory course given to your child. This will help you determine your weakness and strength. It also gives you an idea of the type of question that you might be facing during the exam.

To know more about TUCO, and how you can register your child for it, click here.

About Cuemath

Cuemath, a student-friendly mathematics and coding platform, conducts regular Online Live Classes for academics and skill-development, and their Mental Math App, on both iOS and Android, is a one-stop solution for kids to develop multiple skills. Understand the Cuemath Fee structure and sign up for a free trial.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is TUCO (The Ultimate Cuemath Olympiad)?

Cuemath is conducting India’s largest Online Math Olympiad for students from Class 1 to 10. This examination aims to help students assess their Math aptitude at All India Level by checking their Math knowledge and critical thinking skills. TUCO 2020 Prelims will be a 60 min mobile & Web enabled test, and Round 2/ Advanced is a 60 min web enabled test.

What is the eligibility criteria for TUCO 2020?

Grade 1 to 10 students (studying in schools affiliated with any State, Central or International board) are eligible for the test. Note: There would be different test papers for each grade. For prelims, students enrolled for the 28th Nov exam will solve Set A of Question Paper and students enrolled for the 29th Nov exam will solve Set B of Question Paper.

Are there any mock tests for a student going to write the test for the first time?

Yes, there are Mock Tests and Sample Questions which will give you a feel of what will be asked in the actual TUCO Exam. Once you have successfully registered for TUCO 2020, the link to attempt the mock test and a PDF containing the sample paper will be sent to your registered email ID. All the registered candidates will be given free access to our Olympiad preparatory course.

Where should I attempt TUCO 2020 - Desktop / Laptop / Mobile?

Round 1- Prelims are Web & Mobile enabled. A student may use any of the devices to attempt the examination, while having a fairly strong and reliable wifi network.

Round 2- Advanced is a web-enabled test only.

External references

To know more about the Math Olympiad exam, visit this blog:

Related Articles
Access Personalised Math learning through interactive worksheets, gamified concepts and grade-wise courses
Learn More About Cuemath