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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bite-Size and Thought Provoking = GREAT, January 6, 2012
By 
David Roth (Oakland, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Math Olympiad Contest Problems, Volume 2 (Paperback)
This book (as well as the previous Olympiad book #1) is extraordinary. The problems are difficult, make kids think, need deep and careful interpretation and digesting, and nevertheless are bite-sized and do not require advanced math techniques. Most problems can be done in 4-7 minutes. Students can figure out what's going on with very dedicated thought and poking around at reasonable answers, and then a teacher/parent can show the relevant techniques/algebra if the students are ready for it. (And the book has lots of hints/answers/techniques in the back.)

The greatest thing about the book is that students can see clearly how difficult it is, but because the problems are so manageable, they will work and try and finally get there. It's a real sense of accomplishment to just finish a few of these problems, whereas in class the students usually get dozens of absurdly simple problems they're meant to perform flawlessly; where's the accomplishment there?

I have used these books extensively in 5th-7th grade math clubs and classrooms. (It's too hard for 90% of 5th graders, 80% of 6th graders, and 70% of 7th graders.) The kids gain essential skills in interpretation and meaning that they don't get when doing standard problems. For that purpose--if what you want is the most straightforward presentation of the middle school math basics--buy the Spectrum Math for grades 7 or 8. These are fabulous skill-building and practice books.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satisfied our needs, December 5, 2009
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This review is from: Math Olympiad Contest Problems, Volume 2 (Paperback)
My son is in 4th grade and has just started to participate in Math Olympiad contest. I found this book to be quite handy that he can practice with it, and have discussions with me on his solutions (or non-solutions), then compare with the result from the book. We found it entertaining that there are often alternative strategies seen from the book or coming on our own that we can cross study. Highly recommended.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking Forward to Volume Three., September 4, 2012
By 
Mr. Math Expert (Somewhere in New Jersey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Math Olympiad Contest Problems, Volume 2 (Paperback)
Read: 9/12
Rate: 5/5

9/12: No doubt after finishing Math Olympiad Contest Problems for Elementary and Middle Schools, Vol. 1, you will be going straight for Math Olympiad Contest Problems: Volume 2. I've worked every problem contained in these two books, and I am entirely pleased with everything about them with several exceptions. I think the difficulty is more ramped up in the second volume due to the uniqueness of the problems compared to the first book. Of all sets, #11 is the toughest. I am surprised that these kids went through that sort of gauntlet which is a bit unfair if you compare its total number of problems with sub 10% completion rate with other sets. No matter what, anyone who works with these books will infinitely learn a lot about mathematics and have a good idea of how to solve a myriad assortment of problems using different multifaceted techniques. I have several complaints about certain problems. There are some problems that only a special technique that will destroy them in seconds. I think it's essential to teach them, but the authors didn't include them in the back of the book. For example, how many factors does the integer 100 have? It would be suffice to reason this: 100 = (5^2)(2^2) has (2+1)(2+1) = 9 factors. It's just simple and efficient. Similarly for palindrome numbers, the maximum number of points that this many lines can intersect in 2 points, etc., introduce the formula. Quite honestly, the knowledge of algebra will simplify the majority of the problems in the book. I must say it is really helps to have the student to learn algebra in the early grades. One recommendation I make to help more with word problem solving is to buy the book called How to Solve Word Problems in Algebra, (Proven Techniques from an Expert). You'll thank yourself later when you work through the entirety of the book. On the technique level, many problems in Math Olympiad Contest Problems: Volume 2 are very similar to what's in How to Solve Word Problems in Algebra, (Proven Techniques from an Expert). The latter will give you a feel in depth for these sort of problems, and then when attempting the problems in the MOEMS, there is confidence in doing them. Anyway, problem 5D of Set 10: I couldn't solve it because it did not specifically say if I could repeat the numbers or not in the blank boxes. That missing additional detail is needed in there. Problem 3E of Set 12 is a very poorly worded problem. Obviously, when you try to solve it, you, like I did, will probably be prevented by the gaps in the diagram. Only if the author could add more details in what one can do during the paths for a clarification. Finally, problem 5A of Set 15 talks about kittens and cats drinking this much of milk. I wish they would refrain from this myth. Cats and kittens are lactose intolerant. Substitute the word with water. All in all, Math Olympiad Contest Problems: Volume 2 is an outstanding book that I've particularly enjoyed working with, and I hope to see Volume 3 coming out one day.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for students participating in Math Olympiad, February 7, 2011
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This review is from: Math Olympiad Contest Problems, Volume 2 (Paperback)
I purchased this book for my son who was a 4th grader to prepare for participating in Math Olympiad. The structure of the book is excellent. There are sections of hints and solutions. After my son tried hard to understand the math problems for a few times, I allowed him to know the hints. After he finished one set, I went through the five problems with him and reviewed the different strategies/solutions. The process definitely enlighten my son and helped him learn new skills.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book for Young Students, February 3, 2011
This review is from: Math Olympiad Contest Problems, Volume 2 (Paperback)
My child started this book as a 5th grader. We started volume 2 because the contests for elementary division and middle school division are separated in the second volume. In the first volume, there is only one division and problems at middle school level can frustrate an elementary student. After completing all the problems in the elementary division in this book and learning more middle school math, my child worked through the problems in the first volume, and then back to the middle school division of this book. There are five problems in each contest and it takes about 20 minutes to complete. After working through this book and the first volume, my child made a very easy transition to MathCounts preparation. I would recommend this book and volume 1 to any young students showing interest in mathematics.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Math Olympiad Contest Problems Volume 2, July 11, 2011
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This review is from: Math Olympiad Contest Problems, Volume 2 (Paperback)
well constructed questions.
The best parts are the hint and strategy. Save parents lots of time to find answers that is understandable to kids.
This is not just another book with just Q & A, the strategy part actually takes over more than half of the volume.
Beautiful book for serious math kids to have some deep thinking and fun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fun set of problems - well explained., November 7, 2014
By 
Junlei Li (Pittsburgh, PA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Math Olympiad Contest Problems, Volume 2 (Paperback)
Very well done. The problems are tough ... the explanations and solutions are thorough ... my daughter asks me on nights when she's free, "Can we do a few problems?" ... That's enough said about the interest/challenge within these problems. Never mind the Contest itself ... the prep is fun in and of itself. Weird thing to say, I know. I particularly like the inclusion of multiple solutions to the same problem. There are clever ways that I never even thought of, as an adult!
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5.0 out of 5 stars 2nd Volume is, June 17, 2014
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T. Turner (Chapel Hill, NC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Math Olympiad Contest Problems, Volume 2 (Paperback)
My daughter worked through the first volume during Math Olympiad at school. We ordered the second volume so she and our son could have a "problem of the day" to work on each morning this summer. They loved the idea and are enjoying this so far.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book, December 11, 2013
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This review is from: Math Olympiad Contest Problems, Volume 2 (Paperback)
Very nice book and spot on. My daughter is in 5th grade and was selected for Math Olympiad. I was looking for something to get her used to with questions asked in the test. This book really helps and it's fun for me too. I love it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars book is good, delivery is fast, the only thing it was wet by the time received, June 9, 2013
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This review is from: Math Olympiad Contest Problems, Volume 2 (Paperback)
My daughter wants the book ordered, everything is good except the delivery day was a raining day, by the time we came home and got the book, it was wet. There was no plastic bag to have some kind of protection. Hope delivery service considers about the weather too, special it is for books.
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Math Olympiad Contest Problems, Volume 2
Math Olympiad Contest Problems, Volume 2 by Richard Kalman (Paperback - 2008)
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