Problem Solving Skills and Strategies for Olympiads


Indian Talent Olympiad conducts Olympiads for students from class 1 to class 10 at both national and international levels. These Olympiads are conducted on multiple subjects like Mathematics, Science, Social Science, Art, Computer Science and English. They are conducted with the aim to develop skills like Logical Reasoning, Analytical thinking and Problem solving at a young age itself. Nobody likes problems. But they are a part of life, so it’s important to find effective ways to deal with them. Problem solving is the act of defining a problem; determining the cause of the problem; identifying, prioritizing, and selecting alternatives for a solution; and implementing a solution. Let us talk of a few ways to develop the skill of problem solving-

• Any problem has various components. Think of it as stages: beginning, middle, and end. Like any project or recipe, following the steps and working in stages helps give you a sense of accomplishment when you complete each one. In addition, once you’ve gone through the steps, what once seemed impossible or incredibly difficult won’t seem as overwhelming.

• You might feel challenged when assessing the full scope of a problem or situation if you're closely involved with it. In these cases, try to visualize the problem by taking the time to focus on each individual element. While visualizing the problem can be helpful, it may be easier to understand a more complex problem if you can see it. Try drawing a picture or a diagram to help you illustrate the situation.

• A specific action may cause a problem that is reinforced over time. Collecting information about the problem and organizing it into a chart, table or list can help you identify if there is an underlying pattern.

• Why go it alone when you can make use of your friends and teachers to help you arrive at potential solutions, kick around ideas and gather suggested approaches? While the problem you’re facing may be something your friends and teachers haven’t experienced, the support and encouragement they offer will always help.

• Problems come in all shapes and sizes and so too should the problem-solving techniques you use to solve them. If you find that one approach isn’t yielding results and you aren’t finding creative solutions, try mixing it up. You’ll be surprised at how using a new creative problem-solving activity can unblock you and generate great solutions.

The most important point to remember is that problems happen all the time and they will keep happening. To sum up, here are the main takeaways of these problem-solving methods-

– Keep calm and avoid high and dry approaches to solving problems

– Ask great questions, a lot of them

– Take a look at the bigger picture and the overall context of a situation