The Indian National Mathematical Olympiad is a prominent high school-level olympiad exam that has been held annually in India since 1989. It is one of the most prestigious and commonly held Olympiads for students after the tenth grade. The Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education organizes it and it has multiple levels starting with Regional Mathematical Olympiad (RMO). INMO is a national-level Olympiad and succeeding in this stage results in qualifying for International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) which is the pinnacle for olympiads.

Stages of math olympiad?

The first and foremost question every parent and child faces during their Olympiad trials is – How to get into the math Olympiad? The availability of resources, the stages and the awareness of the syllabus are of paramount importance and need to be carefully considered. Let’s first start with some basic understanding stages of the math olympiad.

Stage 1: IOQM (Indian Olympiad Qualifier in Mathematics)
Stage 2: INMO (Indian National Mathematics Olympiad)
Stage 3: OCSC (Orientation Cum Selection Camp)
Stage 4: PDT (Pre-Departure Training Camp)
Stage 5: IMO (International Mathematics Olympiad)

Let’s understand each of these stages in detail.

Stage 1:  IOQM (Indian Olympiad Qualifier in Mathematics)

There are 30 questions (Multiple Choice type) asked in the examination in 3 hours (180 minutes) and the answers to these questions should be marked on an OMR sheet.

Stage 2: INMO (Indian National Mathematics Olympiad)

The INMO test consists of six extremely difficult questions and lasts four hours. All of these questions must be answered on the response script, which must be submitted with the rough sheets at the end of the test.

Stage 3: OCSC (Orientation Cum Selection Camp)

The top students from the INMO (approximately 35) are invited to this stage, the International Mathematical Olympiad Training Camp (IMOTC) held at HBCSE. The camp is organized to give orientation to students for the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO).

Stage 4: PDT (Pre-Departure Training Camp)

Pre-Departure Training Camp is the final step before IMO. Six top-performing students from IMOTC (A combined pool of junior and senior batch participants) are given intense training for 8- 10 days. The camp is conducted by top educators and professionals from all over the country who are invited to train young minds.

Stage 5: IMO (International Mathematics Olympiad)

More than 100 countries, representing over 90% of the world’s population, send teams of up to six students, plus one team leader, one deputy leader, and 2 observers or mentors to represent the country at the international level.

Table of Contents


Students who have passed the first qualifying level are eligible to take the INMO exam. Approximately 30 students from classes 8, 9, 10, 11, and 6 from Class 12 are shortlisted for regional mathematical olympiads and pre-regional mathematical olympiads with 5 female candidates fulfilling the girls’ quota. In addition to this, there is a special criterion for KV schools outside of India where more than 5 students from these schools may be chosen for the INMO exam without going through the selection process. (girls in the 12th grade in KVs are not eligible for the girl’s quota).


The INMO syllabus focuses on higher algebra, geometry, number theory and combinatorics. Students are evaluated based on their conceptual understanding of the following.

  • Arithmetic of Integers
  • Geometry
  • Quadratic Equations & Expressions
  • Trigonometry
  • Coordinate Geometry
  • System of Linear Equations
  • Permutations & Combinations
  • Inequalities
  • Elementary Combinatorics
  • Probability Theory
  • Number Theory
  • Finite Series & Complex Numbers
  • Elementary Graph Theory
  • Factorization of Polynomial

How to enroll for the math olympiad?

The IMO Registration Form is available to students from their schools. All OF registered schools receive a prospectus along with the registration paperwork. The prospectus can be requested for schools that are not SOF members by submitting an email through the SOF website. Another great way of enrolling for math olympiad is getting in touch with a seasoned olympiad mentor such as Sri Chaitanya’s Early Champions Advantage. Students can benefit greatly from the specially designed curriculum is a result of years of in-depth research, created by understanding the Olympiad challenges from a student’s perspective