The pathway to the Olympiads starts with one of two competitions. For informatics, the Australian Informatics Olympiad (AIO) is the starting point. The mathematics pathway starts with the Australian Intermediate Mathematics Olympiad (AIMO). Both of these open competitions take place in late August/early September each year.
The AIO is a national computer programming competition held this year on Thursday 31 August.
Students write short computer programs to solve four problems that vary in difficulty. The competition does not test computer literacy or knowledge, but is focused on problem solving through programming skills. There are two papers: Intermediate for students up to Year 10, and Senior for students up to Year 12.
The AIO is suitable for students with some programming experience. In particular, you need to be able to write code that can open, read and write to files; declare variables and arrays; use loops, conditional (if) statements and simple arithmetic operations You need to know one of the following languages to participate: C, C++, C#, Java, Pascal, PHP and Python.
If you don’t know how to code, you can learn for free through Codecademy.
The AIMO is a four-hour examination for students up to Year 10 level.
The AIMO is appropriate for those who have done the Gauss or Noether stage of the Enrichment stage of the MCYA, high achievers in the Australian Mathematics Competition and students who have acquired knowledge of Olympiad problem solving.
The AIMO and AIO are some of the competitions used to determine which students are selected to a number of invitation only events, including other mathematics/informatics competitions, enrichment classes and training schools. They gives talented students an opportunity to be recognised and to participate in activities which will enhance their enjoyment and knowledge of mathematics/informatics.
To enter students into either of these competitions, head to our entry page.