How to Prepare for RMO

Fast facts

  • Name of the exam: Regional Mathematics Olympiad (RMO)

  • Age and educational qualification: Usually students of class 9 through 12 are eligible for the RMO. The Regional Coordinator at his/her discretion can allow a student of class 8 in case of exceptional talent.

  • Importance of the RMO: Gives recognition to skills and knowledge of the candidate and adds to the list of credentials while selection for studying abroad or clearing an interview.

  • How and where to enroll: Enroll for the RMO in one of the 27 listed regions to which you belong. Visit the following URL to contact the Coordinator for your region:

  • Notifications: For important announcements and dates of exam of different regions, visit

  • Preparation time: Regular study of 1-2 hours a day for 4-5 days a week for around six months is recommended to crack the RMO with a good score.
What is Regional Mathematics Olympiad (RMO)?

The Regional Mathematics Olympiad (RMO) is conducted in India by the National Board for Higher Mathematics (NBHM) in coordination with the state universities registered under the UGC, under the guidance and association of Homi Bhaba Centre for Science Education (HBCSE). The exam tests an aspirant's problem-solving ability at a young age (undergraduate level).

A little about NBHM

The National Board for Higher Mathematics (NBHM), formed by the Atomic Energy Department, aims to develop higher mathematics and establish centres for mathematics. It provides financial assistance to doctoral and post-doctoral scholars, as well as to various research projects.

Next Step after the RMO

The next step is the Indian National Mathematics Olympiad (INMO). The top rankers of the RMO from the 27 regions are selected to take part in the INMO.

Examination pattern

TestType of QuestionsTime (In Hours)
26-7 Problem Solving Type3


The topics covered in the RMO are arithmetic of integers, geometry, quadratic equations and expressions, trigonometry, coordinate geometry, system of linear equations, permutations and combination, factorisation of polynomial, inequalities, elementary combinatorics, probability theory and number theory, finite series and complex numbers and elementary graph theory. Calculus and statistics are not included.

Tips to prepare for the RMO

  • Know the topics inside out: While there is a prescribed syllabus for the RMO, there is no set pattern. Therefore, it is strongly suggested that you have a very strong knowledge of the topics involved, without relying on any particular book or teacher.

  • Develop a clear understanding: First and foremost, focus on getting the concepts right and acquiring the basic skills needed to solve problems and prove theorems. In fact, the first few days of study should be spent in avoiding difficult problems and going through the material over and over.

  • Practice: Once you've got your feet wet, it's time to practice. Take out at least 1-2 hours in a day to practice mathematics regularly for at least five to six months. Make sure that you are doing as many different types of problems as possible. If you're able to solve almost all of them very easily, rest assured that your choice of problems needs to be improved.

  • Strong and weak portions: While solving different problems, try to find out the topics that you are strong and weak in. That said, your major focus has to be on combinatorics, geometry and number theory.

  • Solve previous years and model papers: This will help you to get acquainted with the pattern and structure of the test along with giving you an idea of the standard required. But more than anything, treat such papers as material for practice rather than an exhaustive question bank.

  • Memorise important theorems and results: Although memorisation is one of the least-needed skills for the RMO, having the important theorems and results at your fingertips will help you save time and reduce effort.

  • Read question properly: If a problem appears too easy, it's a sign to be alert and read more carefully. Olympiad problems are known for their craftiness, which means the entire test will be a sweet struggle.

  • Don't try too hard: Do not waste time when stuck in solving a question. Solve the others and later if time permits try the ones you have left earlier. Revise your answers before submitting the paper.

  • Dip into advanced topics: Try to get a hang of the advanced topics in the Olympiad exam from the Internet. The idea is not to spend too much time, but form some understanding which will boost your interest and expand your awareness.

Some useful books
  • Challenges from the Olympiads by C.R. Pranesachar, S.A. Shirali, B.J. Venkatachala, and C.S. Yogananda
  • Problem Primer for the Olympiad by C.R. Pranesachar, B.J. Venkatachala, and C.S. Yogananda

Last Updated on : January 19, 2016

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