I took the period during quarantine as an opportunity to study mathematics as much as I could, which is one of my favourite subjects. I ordered a collection of Japanese and Singaporian math problems to study and noticed that I was improving my knowledge.

While studying this, it made me realise that it would be a great opportunity to test my abilities. So I decided to take the chance and applied to the Mathematical Olympiad for the first time. It was my first challenge, so I was full of anxiety and accidently took the wrong grade level. (Since the competition was postponed due to the pandemic, I signed up for the competition at year level higher). During the competition, I got very nervous because the questions were different from what I expected. I didn’t get my hopes up too high and waited for the results to come out. Once they came out, I looked through the list of the winners, and to my surprise, my name was on it and I had won a medal. This boosted my confidence and actually made me study more and to aim for even a better medal next time.

Even though I challenged myself for the first time as a Grade 9 student, it’s never too late to start. It depends on your motivation and how to use your time wisely. Now I want to try to challenge myself in a lot of things without giving up.

Ryota Lesmana – Grade 9

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