Which country has the easiest math Olympiad?

The International Mathematics Olympiad is an exam competition for schoolchildren who enjoy solving difficult mathematical problems. It was launched in 1959 on the initiative of Romania and has been held annually in a different host country since then. Today more than 100 countries from all over the world are represented at an IMO.


Each participating country sends a delegation of six students to the IMO. The competition itself is an individual competition. In Germany, the team members are determined through a multi-stage selection competition.

In order to take part in the IMO selection competition, you must have successfully participated in the second round of the federal mathematics competition, the federal mathematics Olympiad in Germany or as a state winner in the "Jugend forscht" competition in the field of mathematics. You also have to live in Germany, still go to school and at the time of the IMO you must not be older than 20 years.

The selection competition for the International Mathematics Olympiad begins each year at the end of November or beginning of December with two exams. If you are eligible, you will be invited to these exams and your school will be informed of your invitation. The exams will then be written on two dates at your school. Participation is of course voluntary. If you are among the 16 best participants in the selection exams, you will be invited to five preparatory seminars, which take place from February to May, in which experienced mathematicians familiarize you with important solution strategies. The final seminar traditionally takes place in the famous Mathematical Research Institute Oberwolfach (MFO) in the Black Forest. The six members of the German IMO team are finally selected through a further seven exams during the seminars.

The team will travel to the IMO venue for around ten days. A four-and-a-half-hour exam takes place on two consecutive days, in which the participants each have to solve three tasks. 180 minutes of processing time are available for each exam. Only writing utensils, compasses and a set square are permitted as aids. The respective heads of delegation undertake the correction and evaluation of the solutions. It is coordinated by mathematicians in the host country, the so-called coordinators, with the correction of the other solutions. The point evaluation is also finally determined. At the end there is a big award ceremony with all participating teams and the award of medals.

At the IMO, gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded in the individual evaluation as well as recognitions for a completely correctly solved task.

No. In addition to the professional competition, the main focus is on meeting math enthusiasts from other countries and getting to know the venue, which is chosen anew every year. Therefore, outside of the exams, an extensive supporting program is always offered, for example introductory evenings, games and sports evenings, city tours and excursions or lectures and discussions with well-known mathematicians.

The competition is sponsored by the Talent Promotion Center for Education & Talent; the office of the Federal Mathematics Competition is responsible for implementation. The selection competition and participation in the IMO are financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.