How to Manage Your Time During an Olympiad Exam? - SOF Olympiad Trainer Blog
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How to Manage Your Time During an Olympiad Exam?

Have you ever walked out of an exam hall wondering, ‘Oh, I wish I had more time, I knew the answers to the last questions or I shouldn’t have spent so much time on that one question? If your answer is yes, you might want to read this blog before you appear for your next Olympiad exams. These highly competitive exams don’t just test your knowledge and skills, they also test your ability to handle pressure and complete the exams within the given time frame.



Managing your time effectively is extremely important when appearing for Olympiads. It’s not really that difficult and it can definitely make a vast difference in your results. To begin with, understand the format of the exam before you start preparing. This will help you to make the right preparation plan, create a time allocation plan, save time during the exam and reduce stress levels. Remember these basic principles when you head to your Olympiad exams:

  1. Give sufficient time to yourself in the beginning of the exam to:
    • Read the entire paper thoroughly
    • Decide which questions you will begin answering
    • Know how you’re going to approach the questions
  2. Allocate your time for each question based on the marks it is worth:
  3. Spare some time at the end of the exam to check your answers and fill in the gaps:

We bring you some useful tips from experts that will help you complete your exam in time:
  1. Know what to expect before you step in the examination hall
    Thanks to technology, you can now know the exact format of your Olympiad exam. Appear for mock tests and sample tests before your final exam so that you are prepared for the paper, its format and the instructions.
  2. Divide your time
    You should know how many questions will be asked in each section beforehand so that you can divide your time accordingly. Have a plan of how long you will be spending on each question and stick to that plan. Don’t spend equal time on each question though it may seem logical as some questions will require more time while some answers might come easily to you. Students who excel in the Olympiads are well-aware of how to approach their paper and they can portion out their time effectively so that they complete the entire exam in time.




  3. Start with something you know well
    A strong start in the exam can give you the motivation to do faster and better. Pick a question that you are extremely confident about and move ahead from there.
  4. Don’t forget to read the questions thoroughly
    Many students tend to read the questions in a hurry because they want to complete the exam in time. However, sometimes, the examiner might have framed a tricky question and you might miss the crucial points if you don’t read the questions properly.
  5. Don’t be scared to skip some questions and come back to them later
    There’s no rule that you have to answer the questions in the given order. If you feel that a particular question may take time, you can skip it, and return later after you have finished the other easy questions.
  6. Don’t be afraid to guess
    If you are unsure about a particular answer, you can take a guess in the Olympiad exams as there is no negative marking in most exams. However, don’t waste too much time on well.
  7. Use all the time you have
    If you are super quick and finish the paper before time, don’t waste the last few minutes. Utilize all the time you’re given to check your answers, see if you have missed any questions, and re-check your guesses to increase your chances of success.




  8. One of the primary reasons students struggle with time management during Olympiad exams is because they panic. Calm yourself, get a good night’s sleep and be confident about completing your paper. This will help you do well in the exams and get great results!
    All the best!

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Re: How to Manage Your Time During an Olympiad Exam?

 how long do you have to do each question normally