What is RMO and how to prepare for it

What is RMO

RMO or Regional Math Olympiad is the first round of mathematics contest (in India) leading to the prestigious International Mathematics Olympiad. It is held in the month of December (first Sunday of December).

The test is conducted in each of the 19 regions of India. From each region about 30 students are selected for the next level (Indian National Math Olympiad). This next level (INMO) is held in February. About 600 students appear in this INMO. Among these 600 students 35 are selected for a one month long camp (International Math Olympiad Training Camp) held in summer in Mumbai.

From this training camp a team of 6 students are sent to the most prestigious mathematics contest on earth: International Math Olympiad. Champions in IMO are held in high esteem through out the world and accepted by leading universities like Harvard, Princeton etc.

The students who qualify in INMO are directly invited to the interview of I.S.I. (Indian Statistical Institute) and C.M.I. (Chennai Mathematics Institute) the two leading mathematics institutes in India (that is the INMO awardees are not required to take the entrance test of these institutes). These institutes of prestigious courses like B.Stat, B.Math and B.Sc. Math held in high esteem through out the world.

Test Pattern

From 2013, the test will be divided into two sections. First there is an objective section (multiple choice type). It’s duration is 2 hours and will consist of about 30 problems. Next there is a “subjective” type test where the contestant is expected to write down full answers. This section is 3 hours long and there are 6 problems to be attempted.

Eligibility and Application

Students (Indian Nationals) from class 8 to class 12 may appear for the test. A prospective contestant is required to apply online and also provide a recommendation letter from school.  The following link has the form.


Generally the application deadline is last week of October.


The questions in RMO are non standard in nature. They are from the following topics:

  1. Geometry
  2. Combinatorics
  3. Number Theory
  4. Algebra (Inequalities, Functional Equation, Theory of Equation).

The syllabus does not include calculus.


The books that will help you to prepare for RMO can be found in the following link:


  • Mathematical Circles: Russian Experience; Dmitri Fomin, Sergey Genkin, Ilia V. Itenberg
  • Challenges and Thrills of Pre-College Mathematics; V Krishnamurthy, C R Pranesachar
  • Excursion in Mathematics
  • Mathematical Olympiad Challenges; Titu Andreescu, Razvan Gelca
  • Mathematical Gems Vol. 1, 2, 3; Dolciani Series


  • Geometric Transformations; Yaglom
  • Lines and Curves; Vasilyev
  • Problems in Plane Geometry; Sharygyn
  • Geometry Revisited; Coxeter Greitzer
  • Geometrical Etudes in Combinatorics; Alexander Soifer

Number Theory

  • Elementary number Theory by David Burton
  • Elements of Number Theory by Sierpinsky
  • 104 Problems in Number Theory by Titu Andreescu


  • Elementary Algebra and Higher Algebra; Hall and Knight
  • Inequalities through Problems; Venkatchala
  • Inequalities; Korovkin (Little Math Library)
  • Functional Equation; Venkatchala
  • Complex Numbers from A to Z; Titu Andreescu


  • Principles and Techniques in Combinatorics; Chen Chuan-Chong, Koh Khee-Meng
  • Introduction to Combinatorics; Brualdi

Problem Books

  • Problem-Solving Strategies; Arthur Engel
  • The Imo Compendium by Dusan Djuki, Vladimir Jankovi, Ivan Mati

Other Resources

You may find previous year papers of RMO and some discussions in the following link


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