How to Handle IEO Questions For Success in International English Olympiad

IEO (International English Olympiad) is just around the corner and many of you are in dilemma about how to handle the questions and secure a sure shot rank. To put it another way, I am sure you don’t want to walk out of the exam hall wondering ‘Only if I had more time to solve the questions or I shouldn’t have spent much time on that one question.’

Seems like a story of your everyday life?

If your answer is yes, then you need to read this blog to save yourself by keeping these essential points in mind:

  • Understand the format of the IEO exam.
  • Read the question paper thoroughly.
  • Pre-decide which Section you will attempt first.
  • Practice with IEO Previous years papers and IEO Mock tests on SOF Olympiad Trainer.
  • Know how you are going to approach the question.
  • Attempt all the questions since there is no negative marking.
  • Spare some time at the end of the Olympiad exam to revise and check your answers.
  • Mark all your answers carefully on the OMR sheet.

These were the basic points that you need to keep in mind while attempting the IEO. Now, to begin with; The content of the IEO is designed to focus on communication and use of English language, rather than rote learning or correct grammar only. The IEO exam is divided into 4 sections. Let’s analyse each section for you separately!

Word and Structure Knowledge


IEO success chiefly depends on your hold over English grammar and vocabulary because the questions in this section consist of verbs, tenses, idioms etc. You need to be thorough with parts of speech that include:

  • Noun – names a person, place, thing, or idea
  • Pronoun – replaces/represents a noun
  • Verb – tells an action
  • Adjective – describes/modifies a noun
  • Adverb – describes/modifies an adjective or a verb
  • Preposition – tells the relationship between two things
  • Conjunction – connects words and phrases together
  • Interjection – an exclamation

Apart from that, you are asked questions on Idioms, Errors, One Word Substitution, Misspelt Words, Synonyms, Antonyms, Best phrase to complete the Sentence. Since, questions in this section are direct and based on basic grammar, try to attempt them in the least possible time.

This section is very scoring; it just requires little practice to master it. In addition, you need to work on your vocabulary and for that try to read English Newspaper and some novels by good authors. In fact, mark the words that you find interesting and try to inculcate them in your daily conversation or in your writing skills.



Reading section may seem like the most time-consuming section, but you can save your precious time if you handle it intelligently. Whenever you are answering a question try to eliminate the wrong choices one by one with reason. Sometimes two options seem to be the correct answer and you get confused, so, read the passage carefully and then finalize your answer.

Most importantly, you need to adopt a smart passage reading strategy. Either you skim the entire passage and then read the questions or read the questions first and then read the passage or poem. This will make it easier for you to mark the answers and you will save yourself from unnecessary wastage of time.

Spoken and Written Expression


The questions in this section are usually based on some situations or a conversation between people, so you have to mark the most appropriate response. The aim of these questions is to check your values, ethics and logic, so attempt these questions very carefully as they can get a bit confusing at times.

Let’s take an example; your father asks you about your exam preparation so how will you respond? You will definitely say “Dad, I am working really hard”; you will not say “I will start later” or “We will talk about it later.”

Another type of question could be where you have to choose the correct stress pattern for the underlined word.

Achievers Section


Achievers section is slightly challenging as compared to other sections. But then again it has its own advantage. This section has 5 questions with higher weightage, which gives you a chance to score high if you attempt the questions correctly. In fact, you need to take this section seriously and try to attempt this section first.

These were some of the tips which will help you to climb the Olympiad success ladder. Rest all depends on your hard work.  Good luck!

By Vanya Kapil : An Enthusiastic reader | Good listener| An Educationist in making | Introvert who loves to pen down her thoughts |


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