UKMT Thread- 2018/2019 Watch

Poll: What was your mark on this year's SMC?
40 or less (11)
6.55%
41-50 (4)
2.38%
51-60 (9)
5.36%
61-70 (16)
9.52%
71-80 (23)
13.69%
81-90 (21)
12.5%
91-100 (19)
11.31%
101-110 (32)
19.05%
111-120 (13)
7.74%
121+ (well done!) (20)
11.9%
jbaillie2002
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#41
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#41
(Original post by J843126028)
Not much in terms of formulae, but you need to keep your French vocabulary ticking over.
I asked @A02 not you
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J843126028
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#42
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#42
(Original post by jbaillie2002)
I asked @A02 not you
Excuse me, I got a merit in the Hamilton Olympiad. I am totally qualified to give you good advice.
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A02
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#43
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#43
(Original post by J843126028)
I am aware that it was a joke, but I don't think other people reading the thread will necessarily know what is required for BMO1.

Most people here don't know much about how to prepare for BMO1, and it's not really helpful to post incorrect or stupid advice. I know that when I was preparing for the BMO for the first time, I found the people on TSR who had done well in the BMO/BalkanMO/IMO* really helpful.


*International MO, not Intermediate MO.
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J843126028
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#44
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#44
(Original post by A02)
I am aware that it was a joke, but I don't think other people reading the thread will necessarily know what is required for BMO1.

Most people here don't know much about how to prepare for BMO1, and it's not really helpful to post incorrect or stupid advice. I know that when I was preparing for the BMO for the first time, I found the people on TSR who had done well in the BMO/BalkanMO/IMO* really helpful.


*International MO, not Intermediate MO.
You do know I responded seriously in the spoiler.
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JordanD3vineHill
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#45
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#45
As evidenced by BMO 2017 Q3, the required theorem is Haider's theorem
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jbaillie2002
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#46
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#46
(Original post by A02)
I am aware that it was a joke, but I don't think other people reading the thread will necessarily know what is required for BMO1.

Most people here don't know much about how to prepare for BMO1, and it's not really helpful to post incorrect or stupid advice. I know that when I was preparing for the BMO for the first time, I found the people on TSR who had done well in the BMO/BalkanMO/IMO* really helpful.


*International MO, not Intermediate MO.
Could you try to answer my question? it's serious
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Dysf(x)al
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#47
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#47
OK, time to increase the proportion of serious posts on here by about 25%...

There really is no need to grind out obscure theory for BMO1. The majority of BMO1 questions are designed to be feasible with just GCSE knowledge applied in clever ways. I would say the two most important things to master are:
  • Modular arithmetic. Being good at spotting what base mod to use can make the difference between spending 20 minutes and 2 hours on a question. Also it's useful to know some properties of squares in various mods (e.g. squares are never 1 less than a multiple of 3, and are always 0 or 1 mod 4).
  • The "make an educated guess, show it can be done, show you can't do better" technique for combinatorics questions where you are asked to find a bound. This applied to Q2, Q5 and Q6 on last year's paper so it is well worth getting good at. Be sure to include both parts - if you only do one, you will go from 10/10 to 2/10.

Other pointers:
  • If you have not done much geometry (this will mainly apply to y13s who may not have touched it since GCSE) then revise the basic circle theorems and angle-chase techniques. Basic trigonometry and the different triangle area formulae (although I doubt you'll need Heron's at this stage) are helpful. There is no need to learn obscure stuff - it may even hinder you (I recall someone on here tried to instakill Q3 last year with Haider's theorem and didn't get the marks).
  • If you have a question along the lines of "find all ...", you must not only find them all, but prove there are no others.
  • Know some useful factorisations. Completing the square is useful if you need to bound something since squares are always positive.
  • If you see a seemingly arbitrary number (especially if it's the year of the paper in question), it's often best to just replace it with x and not get too hung up on the value itself.
  • Don't go into the exam with the mentality "I must solve 4 questions". Trust me, I did that for BMO2 and it really didn't work out. By all means read all the questions first, but don't go back and forth between them too much.
  • Finally don't be too put off by a bad score. Being good at olympiad maths is not a neccesary condition for being good at other maths or being good enough for Oxford or Cambridge or whatever.
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J843126028
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#48
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#48
(Original post by Dysf(x)al)
OK, time to increase the proportion of serious posts on here by about 25%...

There really is no need to grind out obscure theory for BMO1. The majority of BMO1 questions are designed to be feasible with just GCSE knowledge applied in clever ways. I would say the two most important things to master are:
  • Modular arithmetic. Being good at spotting what base mod to use can make the difference between spending 20 minutes and 2 hours on a question. Also it's useful to know some properties of squares in various mods (e.g. squares are never 1 less than a multiple of 3, and are always 0 or 1 mod 4).
  • The "make an educated guess, show it can be done, show you can't do better" technique for combinatorics questions where you are asked to find a bound. This applied to Q2, Q5 and Q6 on last year's paper so it is well worth getting good at. Be sure to include both parts - if you only do one, you will go from 10/10 to 2/10.

Other pointers:
  • If you have not done much geometry (this will mainly apply to y13s who may not have touched it since GCSE) then revise the basic circle theorems and angle-chase techniques. Basic trigonometry and the different triangle area formulae (although I doubt you'll need Heron's at this stage) are helpful. There is no need to learn obscure stuff - it may even hinder you (I recall someone on here tried to instakill Q3 last year with Haider's theorem and didn't get the marks).
  • If you have a question along the lines of "find all ...", you must not only find them all, but prove there are no others.
  • Know some useful factorisations. Completing the square is useful if you need to bound something since squares are always positive.
  • If you see a seemingly arbitrary number (especially if it's the year of the paper in question), it's often best to just replace it with x and not get too hung up on the value itself.
  • Don't go into the exam with the mentality "I must solve 4 questions". Trust me, I did that for BMO2 and it really didn't work out. By all means read all the questions first, but don't go back and forth between them too much.
  • Finally don't be too put off by a bad score. Being good at olympiad maths is not a neccesary condition for being good at other maths or being good enough for Oxford or Cambridge or whatever.
Also try not to switch between problems too often. This happens often when you're stressed out and it only makes you more stressed out. I made that mistake with BMO1, BMO2 and Maclaurin last year.
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BahozM
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#49
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#49
(Original post by J843126028)
Also try not to switch between problems too often. This happens often when you're stressed out and it only makes you more stressed out. I made that mistake with BMO1, BMO2 and Maclaurin last year.
Silly goose
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LT13
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#50
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#50
(Original post by Dysf(x)al)
OK, time to increase the proportion of serious posts on here by about 25%...

There really is no need to grind out obscure theory for BMO1. The majority of BMO1 questions are designed to be feasible with just GCSE knowledge applied in clever ways. I would say the two most important things to master are:
  • Modular arithmetic. Being good at spotting what base mod to use can make the difference between spending 20 minutes and 2 hours on a question. Also it's useful to know some properties of squares in various mods (e.g. squares are never 1 less than a multiple of 3, and are always 0 or 1 mod 4).
  • The "make an educated guess, show it can be done, show you can't do better" technique for combinatorics questions where you are asked to find a bound. This applied to Q2, Q5 and Q6 on last year's paper so it is well worth getting good at. Be sure to include both parts - if you only do one, you will go from 10/10 to 2/10.

Other pointers:
  • If you have not done much geometry (this will mainly apply to y13s who may not have touched it since GCSE) then revise the basic circle theorems and angle-chase techniques. Basic trigonometry and the different triangle area formulae (although I doubt you'll need Heron's at this stage) are helpful. There is no need to learn obscure stuff - it may even hinder you (I recall someone on here tried to instakill Q3 last year with Haider's theorem and didn't get the marks).
  • If you have a question along the lines of "find all ...", you must not only find them all, but prove there are no others.
  • Know some useful factorisations. Completing the square is useful if you need to bound something since squares are always positive.
  • If you see a seemingly arbitrary number (especially if it's the year of the paper in question), it's often best to just replace it with x and not get too hung up on the value itself.
  • Don't go into the exam with the mentality "I must solve 4 questions". Trust me, I did that for BMO2 and it really didn't work out. By all means read all the questions first, but don't go back and forth between them too much.
  • Finally don't be too put off by a bad score. Being good at olympiad maths is not a neccesary condition for being good at other maths or being good enough for Oxford or Cambridge or whatever.
Thanks a lot!
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LT13
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#51
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#51
(Original post by J843126028)
Also try not to switch between problems too often. This happens often when you're stressed out and it only makes you more stressed out. I made that mistake with BMO1, BMO2 and Maclaurin last year.
Thanks still I recall you got like 56 last year in Maclaurin, so at least your 'stress' didn't exactly kill your mark
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LT13
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#52
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#52
(Original post by A02)
Ignore what's just been posted by J843126028 and jbaillie2002, I have no idea what they are talking about.


Honestly, just doing BMO1 problems is the way to improve. Papers earlier than 2000 are slightly different in style, so it's probably best not to spend too much time on them. There's not much theory needed, except induction, which is a fairly natural idea.

Knowing what modular arithmetic is can often make arguments a lot easier to express, and the Chinese Remainder Theorem is occasionally useful, but for BMO1 is not essential. AM-GM is worth knowing, as is the pigeonhole principle, although the pigeonhole principle is really just common sense. For geometry, power of a point comes up a lot, and knowing GCSE circle theorems is essential. It's also worth knowing what if and only if means.
Thanks a lot!
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J843126028
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#53
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#53
(Original post by LT13)
Thanks still I recall you got like 56 last year in Maclaurin, so at least your 'stress' didn't exactly kill your mark
I lucked out somewhat with the marking to be honest. It wouldn't really have improved my mark but I'd have had more time to write neater solutions (which may have actually deserved 10/10). Also I only had one problem solved after an hour which I found pretty stressful.

It did definitely impact my (awful) BMO performances though.
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JordanD3vineHill
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#54
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#54
(Original post by Dysf(x)al)
OK, time to increase the proportion of serious posts on here by about 25%...

There really is no need to grind out obscure theory for BMO1. The majority of BMO1 questions are designed to be feasible with just GCSE knowledge applied in clever ways. I would say the two most important things to master are:
  • Modular arithmetic. Being good at spotting what base mod to use can make the difference between spending 20 minutes and 2 hours on a question. Also it's useful to know some properties of squares in various mods (e.g. squares are never 1 less than a multiple of 3, and are always 0 or 1 mod 4).
  • The "make an educated guess, show it can be done, show you can't do better" technique for combinatorics questions where you are asked to find a bound. This applied to Q2, Q5 and Q6 on last year's paper so it is well worth getting good at. Be sure to include both parts - if you only do one, you will go from 10/10 to 2/10.

Other pointers:
  • If you have not done much geometry (this will mainly apply to y13s who may not have touched it since GCSE) then revise the basic circle theorems and angle-chase techniques. Basic trigonometry and the different triangle area formulae (although I doubt you'll need Heron's at this stage) are helpful. There is no need to learn obscure stuff - it may even hinder you (I recall someone on here tried to instakill Q3 last year with Haider's theorem and didn't get the marks).
  • If you have a question along the lines of "find all ...", you must not only find them all, but prove there are no others.
  • Know some useful factorisations. Completing the square is useful if you need to bound something since squares are always positive.
  • If you see a seemingly arbitrary number (especially if it's the year of the paper in question), it's often best to just replace it with x and not get too hung up on the value itself.
  • Don't go into the exam with the mentality "I must solve 4 questions". Trust me, I did that for BMO2 and it really didn't work out. By all means read all the questions first, but don't go back and forth between them too much.
  • Finally don't be too put off by a bad score. Being good at olympiad maths is not a neccesary condition for being good at other maths or being good enough for Oxford or Cambridge or whatever.
cough "make an educated guess, show it can be done, show you can't do better" cough primer and companion
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Your Local Cat
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#55
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#55
If I get 100+ I will eat a lemon
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BahozM
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#56
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#56
(Original post by Your Local Cat)
If I get 100+ I will eat a lemon
Including the skin?
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Dysf(x)al
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#57
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#57
(Original post by BahozM)
Including the skin?
^ Important questions being asked

Of course he meant 100+ in BMO1
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Your Local Cat
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#58
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#58
I'm not game enough to eat the skin
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J843126028
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#59
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#59
(Original post by Dysf(x)al)
^ Important questions being asked

Of course he meant 100+ in BMO1
Nah, he meant 100%+. 100% is 100/100 = 1 so he plans to eat his lemon if he gets 1+ in any of SMC, BMO1 and BMO2.
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TheGame314
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#60
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#60
Pretty stressed about MOG tomorrow- and not sure where the optimal point is between spending time on studying and spending time on sleeping. Have a feeling I'm going to be disappointed in my results and keep setting the bar lower and lower. Probably just overthinking things.
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