• Andrew Suh

The Impacts of Olympiad Going Online

One of the best ways to demonstrate academic intelligence or skill is through competitions. Especially for the more driven students interested in the STEM field, competitions such as the Olympiads are great opportunities to prove themselves. Due to an ongoing pandemic these Olympiads were put on hold; however, many of these different competitions and Olympiads have instead gone online to the surprise of many competitors.

As one of such students who have competed and qualified for such olympiads, it was quite a shock to know that in these trying times this competition would instead be held online. A large amount of studying and honing your understanding of certain topics is what results in ur ability to compete in the Olympiads. Therefore, lack of preparation will result in much lower or even disappointing scores. As a student who qualified for the American Invitational Math Exam, or AIME, the notice only a few days before the competition allowed for minimal preparation time. Many students nationwide probably had very similar experiences with the abrupt decision to hold online competitions.

In an interview with Edward Chang, an accomplished math student who qualified for the AIME, on his experience with the exam, he said, “I’m quite happy that we were able to take the test one more time before the end of the school year. I’m a little disappointed with my score which I hope I can improve by next year.” Furthermore, when asked about his reaction to the tests going online, he responded, “I was really surprised with how they decided to make the tests online. I wish they had told us a little earlier but I’m still glad I was able to take the test regardless. If only I had studied a little harder before.”

For many students who have worked exceedingly hard to qualify and participate in these different olympiads, it may have seemed almost unfair to have not been given enough time to prepare due to the unforeseen circumstances, especially in comparison to students from years prior. However, even the fact that students as a whole were given this opportunity as a reward for their struggles, even in these trying times is truly gratifying. Although for some it may have been their last year at high school, for many other students, it is another piece of experience to help them further their educational journeys.

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