Olympiad Preparation Resource FAQ
We are listing some of the very crucial resources which most of the Olympians use. However, the distance between point A to point B is not a straight line in Olympiads, and there are many ways one can succeed given that he is passionate enough to try damn hard. But access to proper resources may reduce your hustle to a much lesser level- you should always seek for mentorship and kind advices from your seniors who have followed your path earlier. Do NOT try to be a one man army. Mentorship is one of the best ways you can improve, and get access to newer resources.
But do remember that NO AMOUNT OF RESOURCE IS GONNA HELP YOU IF YOU DO NOT HELP YOURSELF. Quoting Feynman,
“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest one to fool”
So, don’t just look at these materials, think how to use them properly. Your goal should never be to win a national medal, we would not have built this website with hours of labor then. Your goal has to be at least to become the next IPhO, IMO silver or gold medalist!
Where I Can Buy Olympiad Books?
But I live in Rajshahi, How Can I Buy Books from Dhaka?
Indeed it is one of the biggest drawbacks of living in Rajshahi. However, we at Smartians believe that no drawback is an actual drawback until you subjugate yourself under it. There are many ways you can still get books from there.
Firstly, the very obvious method, go to Dhaka and buy the necessary books by yourself. I myself have done it many times. However not every parent would allow you to do so, I am aware of that.
Secondly, to ask any of your relatives living in Dhaka to buy book for you, and then parcel it to you.
What if you don’t have a relative in Dhaka?
Well, there is another method. I am listing two book-shop owner’s phone number here. You can call them and ask if your desired book is there. They will parcel the book to your address here, and you will pay by bKash mobile payment system. Note: We don’t get any commission or anything like that for you to buy books from these contacts. We ourselves sometimes bought books this way from these two shops, so we are simply putting their names.
Angel Library (Nilkhet): 01816220927, 01616169090 (Before buying, ask them to provide whitepaper copies, not newsprint ones)
Sumon Library (Dhaka New Market): 01670159615 (Books are more expensive, but you should buy from here, if your book needs to be used for a long term)
Should I Use Print Materials or PDFs?
This is largely your personal preference.
However, I would always prefer paper books over PDFs for a few reasons. It is very easy to move around in physical books, and in Olympiads, you frequently need to combine two or more ideas from different part of the book to comprehend a topic. PDF is terrible for this purpose. Plus, you can mark a book as much as you want, which is very inconvenient in PDFs, use the PDFs only when you are travelling or something like that.
You MUST use printed question papers when you solve the official APhO, IPhO or national questions. This is because, you need to get accustomed to the conditions you will face in the exam center. Moreover, I personally feel more connected toward the problems while solving a question from a printed source. For the APhO IPhO question papers, you should print all questions from past 20 years, compile them together and bind as a book. It doesn’t cost that much compared to the convenience you will get in the coming days. You should do the same for the experiment questions as well.
Best Way to Print: The best way to print your paper materials is simply to own a printer. Printers may be little pricey, but you will find it lot more cheaper in the long run. Beware! DON’T buy color inkjet printers, you should buy black and white laser printers: they are much more efficient, and the printing cost is a lot more cheaper than the inkjet ones. You will find a laser black and white printer around 7 to 9 thousand taka, depending on the brand. You can expect to print 1200-1400 pages after refilling every time. Refilling costs around 200 taka. Mind it, buying a printer on your own will be one of the best investments you will ever make.