### I don't know how to solve it... what to do?

Everyone has trouble with math olympiad problems, but what makes the difference is what you do *after*.

Below are steps you should do (in order) if you do not know how to solve a problem.

1. Keep thinking about the problem until you completely run out of ideas, and you have tried every single one and it hasn't worked. Don't let any idea go; e

2. Okay, now it's time to give up. Read the solution carefully and understand every step of it. Don't think about the motivation for it yet.

3. When you have finished reading the solution and have verified that it is correct, in your mind summarize what they did, yet without thinking about the motivation.

4. Now, think about what the 'key' in the solution was, or what the 'heart of the problem' was. Basically, think about the main insight in the solution after which it got easy. Make sure to remember this 'insight', because it will apply to many, many other problems than just this one.

5. After a couple days, come back to the problem and you should be able to solve it if you have followed steps 1-4 correctly. If not, repeat this cycle again.

The key steps are #3, #4, and #5, which most people miss. These are *extremely *important.

**By the way, if you have a specific problem request which you would like me to solve, use the contact form (scroll down, it is on the right side). I will make a post in which along with an detailed solution to your problem, I will explain the motivation for it. **

I hope this helps!

Thank you so much for the advice!

ReplyDeleteI will follow this advice, and I'll update you in a few weeks to let you know if it's working :)

I fully agree with this.

ReplyDeleteOlympiad math is all about insights -- if you don't get a problem, revise those insights and not the problem itself.

@anonymous (comment #1)

ReplyDeletethanks for reading this post! I hope it works. However, I think it will take more than just a few weeks. In my opinion, it is more of a over-time thing. It took me a couple months to grasp, apply, and see the results of this method of learning after my dad told me about it.

@anonymous (comment #2)

ReplyDeleteYou got it๐

BRUH ARE YOU KIDDING ME

ReplyDeleteI DID THIS EVER SINCE YOU POSTED THIS AND NOW I'M SO FAR AHEAD OF WHERE I USED TO BE

I CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH DUDE