20

I'm not sure whether your question aims at educators or at the students themselves, but my answer actually would be very similar. Having as well as being a good, perhaps gifted student is a treasure. It's fun both to teach and to be one. The subject is fun. Conversations are fun. New angles are appearing which were not obvious, perhaps not even to the ...


13

Short answer: The skewed content is not a good reason for avoiding IMO-style contest training, because if the training is done right then the students will be led to explore mathematics and would never have a mistaken picture that mathematics is mostly about IMO topics. (I of course compare between good IMO-style training and good teaching of university-...


11

One rather major argument in favour of contest-style mathematics is its ability to cultivate problem-solving abilities in students while not requiring much difficult machinery. It is of course undeniable that the ways of thinking in contest math are much different from the ways of thinking in university mathematics, but what both have in common is a ...


7

I personally think taking advanced math would be way more fun than preparing for some contest largely based on tricks. I'm not convinced these contests are very revealing of much for most students. I've had students who went on to be successful in graduate school in nontrivial pure math and yet scored barely above the noise in one of these contests. On the ...


6

One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is the social aspect. There are always some people who like to stay alone, but for the large majority, meeting like-minded people and engaging in some sort of activity with them is much more fun than sitting at home and staring at textbooks. Especially at the higher level, where some traveling is involved, ...


5

Talented students with interest are much better served by learning more math than by being trained at contest math. Where contest math may play a positive role is in getting talented students interested in other kinds of math, something that might otherwise be difficult to do. In practice students are often guided/directed to contest math rather than ...


4

I don't know the answer, but clearly understand the question...which means it is a great question. I think it will depend both on the student (interests, abilities) and the situation. For the situation, it probably includes quality, but also pedagogy (efficient approach) as well as fun factor. Consider the difference between just having a library card ...


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