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    Hello guys.

    This year in Year 12 I want to achieve the following:

    *3A's in Biology,Chemistry,Physics (AS) and 2A*'s in Maths and Further Maths (A2) (with 95%+ ums average)
    * Gold Medal in the British Biology Olympiad
    *Gold Medal in British Chemistry Olympiad
    * I also want to reach the final stage of both competitions
    * I also want to score over 100/120 on each of the STEP exams.

    Thats pretty much it.



    I'll try and keep up to date since I have the Biology and Chemistry olympiad coming up over the next few weeks.

    Otherwise. :top:



    Edit:
    As has already been mentioned, despite extensive preparation for the Biology Olympiad, my **** state school didn't enter me for it. I am now stuck learning really basic biology in a ****** classroom.
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    Awesome goals!
    Keep us updated on what you're revising and how things are going in class
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    Good luck!
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    (Original post by Gingerbread101)
    Awesome goals!
    Keep us updated on what you're revising and how things are going in class
    (Original post by morgan8002)
    Good luck!
    Thanks will do.
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    This weekend was possibly the longest weekend of my life.

    I got through four entire sections in Campbell's Biology. Of course the style of writing in the book is such that it can be read quite effortlessly, so I wouldn't it was painfully long.

    Nonetheless that was over 500 pages!!!! wohoo :eek:!!!!

    The sections I read were also interesting anyway:

    - The Cell
    -Genetics
    -Mechanisms of Evolution
    -Plant Form and Function

    A lot of which was a first time read so I am quite proud.

    I just need to get through "Animal form and function" by Tuesday night and I'll be sorted for the Olympiad.

    Aiming for a top 20 score. Wish me luck.
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    Very very very annoyed.

    Just found out today from my teacher that I has not been entered for the Biology Olympiad. This was after talking to them yesterday and confirming it.
    I had told them back in December that I was interested.
    Now I guess I have to aim for the IBO next year, since I pretty much know Campbell now. Its going to be in Vietnam which admittedly sounds like a better location then Denmark.

    I still have the chemistry Olympiad left though, so going to put my all into that.

    Going to finish of M3,M4,FP2,FP3 by the half term and I'm then going to begin intense STEP prep.

    I has always questioned whether private school teachers are better than state school teachers. Now I'm quite sure of the answer.
    As illogical as it may be.



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    (Original post by Xin Xang)
    Going to finish of M3,M4,FP2,FP3 by the half term and I'm then going to begin intense STEP prep.
    Which modules are you doing this year?
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    (Original post by morgan8002)
    Which modules are you doing this year?
    C1-C4,M1-M2,S1-S3,D1,FP1,FP2

    This will give me Maths and Further Maths AS+A2

    I learnt a lot of it quite a long time ago so it isn't too much work, but I have yet to learn FP3,M3 and M4 and D2(lol).
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    Just confirmed that I will be sitting the chemistry Olympiad on the 9th of February.


    Going to read a few chapters from Physical Chemistry by Atkins, as I have yet to learn any real physical chemistry. Had a quick skim through the book and I am somewhat surprised by the way in which chemical laws are logically derived. I don't see much of this side of chemistry at school.

    Looking into higher level maths at the moment and after doing some research into the typical course structure of maths at the undergrad level, I have realised that I will begin with linear algebra as this seems fundamental to understanding all areas of advanced maths.
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    (Original post by Xin Xang)
    Just confirmed that I will be sitting the chemistry Olympiad on the 9th of February.


    Going to read a few chapters from Physical Chemistry by Atkins, as I have yet to learn any real physical chemistry. Had a quick skim through the book and I am somewhat surprised by the way in which chemical laws are logically derived. I don't see much of this side of chemistry at school.

    Looking into higher level maths at the moment and after doing some research into the typical course structure of maths at the undergrad level, I have realised that I will begin with linear algebra as this seems fundamental to understanding all areas of advanced maths.
    Trawling around recent Olympiad threads I seem to find quite a few which you've posted. Kudos to you for paying attention to what is a far more worthwhile academic challenge than normal high-school exams.

    My first comment would be you seem to be focused in maths (why else take it early, including STEP), so why the disinterest in the Maths Olympiad? It is usually recognised that the IMO is the highest of all Olympiads - the hardest to qualify for and by far the deepest in terms of the problem-solving skills needed (and a match for any of the others in terms of theory). But you're focusing on Bio and Chem Olympiads instead?

    (I say this as someone whose main focus in my high-school years were the Chem and Physics Olympiads. I could never have done well in an IMO. But then ... I'm not planning to study maths!)

    Analysis is an interesting subject you may also find worthwhile to start with. (I mean simple functional analysis of course - for example the question

    For each of the following sequences of functions on [0, 1], indexed by n = 1, 2, . . ., determine whether or not the sequence has a pointwise limit, and if so, determine whether or not the convergence to the pointwise limit is uniform.
    1. fn(x) = 1/(1 + n2x2)
    2. gn(x) = nx(1 − x)n
    3. hn(x) = √nx(1 − x)n

    copied straight from a current math problem sheet, which you may even be able to answer now!)

    University study often commences by looking at vectors and matrices but I personally would not recommend that.

    If your goal is the Olympiads you may not need to worry about the deep subtleties in the derivations of physical chemistry laws (though they do exist and may occasionally crop up in Olympiad questions). However, I would recommend a thorough study of (if you're in the UK you'll already know this) Chemical Structure and Reactivity (Keeler and Wothers), Physical Chemistry Vol. 1 (Atkins), a chemical thermodynamics book (e.g. Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics by Smith & Van Ness) and a kinetics book (e.g. Reaction Kinetics by Pilling and Seakins), a detailed organic chemistry book (Klein explains well but Clayden is needed for good detail), at least 1 inorganic chemistry book (you could try Vogel Qualitative Analysis, it's pretty thorough). Analytical chemistry will still remain; standard books do not really cover it in IChO depth; you can try learning it from practice problems, but might be best off just leaving it until you qualify. Same for biochemistry (you won't need much of that anyway so I could recommend a book, but why bother? - it doesn't come up hugely).

    I'd probably recommend the books in that order, because IChO is seriously physical-heavy. Get on that Keeler & Wothers, Atkins and perhaps Clayden ASAP - even after that you'll need loads of practice. For any details missed, the Oxford Chemistry Primers usually mop up pretty good (on the same topics as above) and should be an easy read in terms of concepts once you've read the corresponding main texts!

    I might see you if you do make the team, and good luck.
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    (Original post by Big-Daddy)
    Trawling around recent Olympiad threads I seem to find quite a few which you've posted. Kudos to you for paying attention to what is a far more worthwhile academic challenge than normal high-school exams.

    My first comment would be you seem to be focused in maths (why else take it early, including STEP), so why the disinterest in the Maths Olympiad? It is usually recognised that the IMO is the highest of all Olympiads - the hardest to qualify for and by far the deepest in terms of the problem-solving skills needed (and a match for any of the others in terms of theory). But you're focusing on Bio and Chem Olympiads instead?

    (I say this as someone whose main focus in my high-school years were the Chem and Physics Olympiads. I could never have done well in an IMO. But then ... I'm not planning to study maths!)

    Analysis is an interesting subject you may also find worthwhile to start with. (I mean simple functional analysis of course - for example the question

    For each of the following sequences of functions on [0, 1], indexed by n = 1, 2, . . ., determine whether or not the sequence has a pointwise limit, and if so, determine whether or not the convergence to the pointwise limit is uniform.
    1. fn(x) = 1/(1 + n2x2)
    2. gn(x) = nx(1 − x)n
    3. hn(x) = √nx(1 − x)n

    copied straight from a current math problem sheet, which you may even be able to answer now!)

    University study often commences by looking at vectors and matrices but I personally would not recommend that.

    If your goal is the Olympiads you may not need to worry about the deep subtleties in the derivations of physical chemistry laws (though they do exist and may occasionally crop up in Olympiad questions). However, I would recommend a thorough study of (if you're in the UK you'll already know this) Chemical Structure and Reactivity (Keeler and Wothers), Physical Chemistry Vol. 1 (Atkins), a chemical thermodynamics book (e.g. Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics by Smith & Van Ness) and a kinetics book (e.g. Reaction Kinetics by Pilling and Seakins), a detailed organic chemistry book (Klein explains well but Clayden is needed for good detail), at least 1 inorganic chemistry book (you could try Vogel Qualitative Analysis, it's pretty thorough). Analytical chemistry will still remain; standard books do not really cover it in IChO depth; you can try learning it from practice problems, but might be best off just leaving it until you qualify. Same for biochemistry (you won't need much of that anyway so I could recommend a book, but why bother? - it doesn't come up hugely).

    I'd probably recommend the books in that order, because IChO is seriously physical-heavy. Get on that Keeler & Wothers, Atkins and perhaps Clayden ASAP - even after that you'll need loads of practice. For any details missed, the Oxford Chemistry Primers usually mop up pretty good (on the same topics as above) and should be an easy read in terms of concepts once you've read the corresponding main texts!

    I might see you if you do make the team, and good luck.
    Wow thanks a lot.

    With regards to the Maths Olympiad, I have resolved to attempt to do that next year. I have begun training for that by reading 'Geometry Revisited" at the start of this year. I hope to learn all the theory for Combinatorics/Number Theory/Algebra/Inequalities by the Summer Holiday, so that I can solely focus on the IMO /BMO problems throughout the holiday. I have sort passively picked up on a lot of the Olympiad Theorems but this year I hope to go through it all in a structured way.

    The reason I have focused mainly on the Biology and Chemistry is because I doubt I'll have the time like this learn the subjects after I begin studying Maths, and I don't just want to leave all of it at A level. I know there is so much more.

    You have mentioned quite a few books but I'm not sure where I can get those. They seem a bit expensive.

    Edit: I have found the Wothers book for very cheap so ignore?!!

    For the physical chemistry I have been using "elements of physical chemistry" which is also by Atkins and this seems like a nicer book to get through as it does not go deep into some of Physics needed at a Senior Undergrad level (which I'm sure won't be tested at the IChO), though upon looking at this years preparatory problems I suspect that I may at some point need to nip into that book.


    Also will you be training the team or are you a participant?

    Also would the fourth edition of McMurry's Organic Chemistry be sufficiently detailed as this is the only organic chemistry book I have access to?
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    (Original post by Xin Xang)
    Wow thanks a lot.

    With regards to the Maths Olympiad, I have resolved to attempt to do that next year. I have begun training for that by reading 'Geometry Revisited" at the start of this year. I hope to learn all the theory for Combinatorics/Number Theory/Algebra/Inequalities by the Summer Holiday, so that I can solely focus on the IMO /BMO problems throughout the holiday. I have sort passively picked up on a lot of the Olympiad Theorems but this year I hope to go through it all in a structured way.

    The reason I have focused mainly on the Biology and Chemistry is because I doubt I'll have the time like this learn the subjects after I begin studying Maths, and I don't just want to leave all of it at A level. I know there is so much more.

    You have mentioned quite a few books but I'm not sure where I can get those. They seem a bit expensive.

    Edit: I have found the Wothers book for very cheap so ignore?!!

    For the physical chemistry I have been using "elements of physical chemistry" which is also by Atkins and this seems like a nicer book to get through as it does not go deep into some of Physics needed at a Senior Undergrad level (which I'm sure won't be tested at the IChO), though upon looking at this years preparatory problems I suspect that I may at some point need to nip into that book.


    Also will you be training the team or are you a participant?

    Also would the fourth edition of McMurry's Organic Chemistry be sufficiently detailed as this is the only organic chemistry book I have access to?
    Posted from TSR Mobile
    I may do a little by way of training for Chemistry. Nothing for Physics, as that's largely based in Oxford.

    Good luck with the Maths Olympiad. Sounds like you have an admirable attitude. Of course, as I said, you will most likely find IMO harder than anything else, and maths is also the one Olympiad where there are plenty of other UK contestants who have been training for several years.

    If you have this kind of interest, it is not uncommon to learn mathematics in some detail and then switch back into science (most often physics and/or fluid properties). Someone with mathematical background could make a very strong scientist in any field from theoretical physics to molecular biology (if not even more applied fields).

    During my Olympiad days I downloaded many of the books on the Internet using Scribd or as PDFs available online.

    I have never read "Elements of Physical Chemistry" but you should bear in mind that while IChO may not access all the material in an undergraduate physical chemistry textbook, it will go deeper than the basics of a pre-introductory book like I suspect the one you are reading is. So you would see the content you need to cover in "Elements of Physical Chemistry" but probably not cover them in enough detail. If you can get a hold of Physical Chemistry Volume 1, I suggest you try to, and then choose the topics to study in there somewhat more judiciously than just attacking the book. Looking at Part 2 on Structure in 8e that I have in front of me now, the only things you need are molecular symmetry (maybe, if you aren't happy just to visualize), molecular interactions, and solid-state crystal structure (which is about a fifth of everything in the Part).

    The best idea would be to try to thoroughly understand everything in the Wothers' book first of all.

    When you come to IChO problems you will most likely find yourself at odds with the elevated difficulty of some analytical chemistry problems in IChO and other National Olympiad finals. It's tough to explain how to deal with them. University courses do not tend to approach them in enough detail at all (unlike other subjects like organic chemistry where you need only look at an undergraduate book). You may want to just leave this until later.

    Also, the preparatory problems are pretty odd/hard (I used to find), especially if you have a very mathematical/physical mindset. The idea of the training camp for the team is by and large to go through them and help you "understand" them. So, try and build up as much prior knowledge as you can (from textbooks and previous Olympiads) but do not necessarily expect to find the preparatory problems easy, no matter how much theory you learn, and I would recommend you base your syllabus off previous IChO papers rather than the prep problems. Every extra detail you may need to learn from the prep, you will, when you make the team.

    I haven't read McMurry's Organic Chemistry book but it does seem to be mentioned online in the same breath as Clayden and Carey (which are the two books you should really be looking for if you can get your hands on them). I managed to get Carey as an eBook so you may want to look briefly for that. Perhaps McMurry would be sufficient but better to be safe than sorry.

    Keeler & Wothers is the start they would ask for, even prior to your national final in the UK. On top of that, you will certainly need lots of practice solving problems from Olympiad national finals (the UK Round 2 is not generally available). It is only if you want to do particularly well at IChO, that you ought to get as much of the rest done as possible even before Round 2.
 
 
 
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