science competition advice!!

<p>Hello, I am interested in science and though I am taking science courses at my high school i cannot take aps yet and want to further my knowledge to prepare for science competitions. To those of you who frequently enter into these types of programs, how do you increase your knowledge? Should I take classes at a community college, online? Please respond, I do not have many resources.</p>

<p>Get a good textbook, read almost all of it, and do many problems.</p>

<p>Physics: I made the national exam using Physics for Scientists and Engineers (Serway) but I have heard good things about University Physics and Halliday/Resnick. Make sure you get a calculus-based textbook.</p>

<p>Chemistry: I made the national exam using Zumdahl but apparently the classic text for the USNCO is Atkins.</p>

<p>Biology: I think most people use Campbell for their AP classes, I have yet to find someone who hasn't.</p>

<p>Math: These competitions are a bit different since the big one (IMO) doesn't test anything past trigonometry. There is a body of specialized knowledge (inequalities etc) that you should attain to become nationally competitive. I never did this (and I'm not great at math), so I didn't make USAMO, but try getting the Art of Problem Solving books or taking their classes.</p>

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<p>Yea, what n271828 said. The key is to be proactive and self-reliant; nobody is going to hand these things to you, the key is to put in the time and effort. Don't complain that you have no opportunities, for the large part people create them for themselves.</p>

<p>For physics, I've heard Halliday/Resnick is the standard (and I've used it, it's quite good). With Chemistry, Atkins is the standard, but if you make USNCO you're going to want to get an Organic chemistry textbook as well (there was one standard one, forgot which one). With Bio, literally just memorize Campbell's. That's basically it; to make camp, you'll want some plant biology as well (again, forgot which textbook).</p>

<p>For math, the key is practice (and learning the necessary techniques). Do lots of practice AIMEs (and by do I mean don't look at the solutions until you've figured a problem out even if it takes you an hour and a half), work through the Art of Problem Solving books, Art and Craft of Problem Solving, and once you make USAMO you should just do practice USAMOs and other olympiads (i think APMO, IMO Shortlist, and BMO are standard sources of problems) as well as working through Engel's Problem Solving Strategies. If you're weak at geometry I've heard good things about Geometry Revisited and Challenging Problems in geometry.</p>

<p>Also, if you're interested in programming you should check out USACO. Get your coding skills down, work through problems on Project Euler and past USACOs.</p>

<p>The fact that you have the internet means you have a sufficient amount of resources.</p>

<p>Thank you! And by resources I meant people that have participated in these competitions or know a lot about them.</p>

<p>Try going to, it's a website specifically for people who do those competitions. Well only math, but I'm sure if you go there some of them will have done well on physics, chemistry etc.</p>

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<p>^ Check out the "Arts and Sciences" section of the forums of AoPS for information on non-math competitions.</p>