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RMO Exam 2021: How to Prepare for it

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What is RMO?

RMO or Regional Math Olympiad is the second round of Mathematics Contest in India after the Pre-regional Mathematics Olympiad (Pre-RMO or PRMO) leading to the prestigious International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO). It is held in the month of December (the 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 Maths 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 the summer in Mumbai.

From this training camp, a team of 6 students is sent to the most prestigious mathematics contest on earth: International Math Olympiad. Champions in IMO are held in high esteem throughout 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 throughout the world.

RMO Test Pattern

From 2013, the test will be divided into two sections. First, there is an objective section (multiple choice type). Its 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.

RMO Exam: 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 the school.  The following link has the form.

Generally, the application deadline is the last week of October.


The questions in RMO are nonstandard 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.

Books to prepare for RMO 

The books that will help you to prepare for RMO are as follows:


  • 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

How to Prepare for RMO:

  • Focus on your basics:- Go to the root cause of every problem and ask yourself lots of questions for every problem you solve, every technique, formula, or theorem you learn. This in-depth study will always help you encounter the trickiest and the most difficult sums in your real exam. Having a clear concept gives you a lot of confidence and you can solve the hardest sum with a cool and calm mind.
  • Solve as many questions on a single concept:- When you are clear with a single topic or concept, take your time to find out your understanding level of the concept. Solve as many sums as possible on a single concept.
  • Have a problem-solving attitude:- Try to solve a sum with all the concepts you know and increase your understanding by solving it yourself. Take it as a puzzle and enjoy doing it. Check the solution after an ample amount of thinking and don’t take it as a failure. Instead, take it as a learning.
  • Chose the right books:- Book selection is a very essential part of preparation. Instead of selecting and practicing from many books, choose books that cover the concept. The books mentioned above will adequate for the preparation.
  • Solve Previous Papers:- This will help you to know the exact difficulty level of the exam and prepare accordingly. Try to solve them in a time-bound manner.
  • Solve Questions from similar exams:- Suppose, you are preparing for the Indian Math Olympiad, you can look out for questions that came in Singapore Math Olympiad, American Math Olympiad, Hong kong Math Olympiad, Australian Math Olympiad, etc. This way you will be well aware of the levels of the questions your competitors are facing.
  • Take Mock Tests:- Take Mock Tests to check your ability of problem-solving. If it is an online test, then it can help you know your preparation status in the competition. You will be able to know where you stand and what should be improved.
  • Find a coach:- A coach can closely examine your performance and guide you to improve in the fields you are lacking by evaluating you. Also, you will be able to get proper encouragement and push towards your goal.

RMO 2021 Update:

Due to Covid 19, the RMO Exam is cancelled for 2021. Instead of RMO Exam, the candidates will be having IOQM Exam 2022 in the month of January. You can check out the exam details here.

How Cheenta can help you prepare for RMO?

Since 2010, Cheenta is delivering outstanding Mathematics programs to students from over 7 countries.

We have a passionate team of Mathematics Olympians, Teachers, and Researchers who work tirelessly to train Outstanding kids around the globe to achieve brilliance in Mathematical Sciences.

Apply for a trial class ONLY if you are passionate to learn Advanced Mathematics.

All the best!

Also learn about Our Students' performance in INMOTC, EGMO & INMO :

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