If you live in Toronto and you want to go to the IPhO, then you should definitely visit Olympiads School. They have courses for all levels of physics, ranging from absolute beginner to olympiad level. In fact, Olympiads School has courses specifically for physics olympiad preparation. And the courses work! Every year, they send students to the IPhO, IMO, IChO, and IOI. Last year, 2 out of 5 of the Canadian physics team was from Olympiads. The year before that, it was 3 out of 5!
Liking your chances? Continue reading.
My personal experience with olympiads SChool
When I started studying last September, I hardly knew a thing about physics. I remember very vividly that I was unable to solve an Atwood’s machine with more than one pulley! Olympiads School is the primary reason I’ve been able to learn so quickly.
Put your work in and you will see results
Olympiads gives you the resources to help yourself succeed.
The homework problem sets and lecture notes were perfect. In the course, we started off with mechanics, but we gradually moved on to fluids, gravitation, thermodynamics, electrostatics, circuits, magnetism, special relativity, basic quantum mechanics, and much much more. In each of these topics, we focused a lot on problem solving and practice exams.
When you finish your homework, you’ll get to test your skills in real competitions! Olympiads School integrates contests like the F=ma, the United States Physics Olympiad (USAPhO), the Sir Isaac Newton exam (SIN), the American Association of Physics Teachers exam (AAPT), and the Ontario Association of Physics Teachers exam (OAPT) throughout the year. I want to place special emphasis on the F=ma and the USAPhO exams because it’s super difficult to find in Toronto. After a lot of work, a few of my classmates managed to convince the physics teachers at my school (UTS) to set up the exam. But if you go to another school, save yourself the trouble and just take it at Olympiads.
small classes = more learning
My class consisted of exactly 5 students, myself included. This does a couple things. First of all, we don’t have lectures, we have conversations. We can ask questions without raising out hand. We can throw in comments whenever we have a cool idea. After our practice exams, the teacher can go through our incorrect solutions individually. When one of us has a neat solution or a nice problem, it’s super easy to share with the rest of the class. The point is, when their are so few people, everybody learns better.
I’ve saved the best for last
Olympiads School’s teachers are amazing
I still remember my first class. I arrived late, and I didn’t understand a single equation on the board. We were talking about pulleys, and I had so many questions: Why does the tension always point along the rope? If there’s tension in the rope, why doesn’t a small rope element accelerate? Why is the tension constant? I got lost, and if Mr. Cui didn’t stay behind to personally explain things to me, I probably would have dropped out then and there.
But I was still in class a month or two later. The only difference was I went from being confused by mechanics to being confused by electromagnetism. I remember spending about a week thinking about a parallel plates problem that I couldn’t understand for my life. I sent one email to Mr. Cui and a day later he sent me back a full solution.
I’m looking through my outbox right now and it’s crazy how many questions he’s answered. The one after the parallel plates was about the resistance of a sphere, the one after that was about rolling friction, and the one after that was about waves. I sent him questions about Faraday’s Law, Newton’s rings, Babinet’s principle, heat engines, light dragging, gauge invariance, and laser cooling. I think Mr. Cui might have got forty emails in total. It’s pretty incredible looking back.
If you want this kind of dedication in your teachers, then there’s no better place to go than Olympiads School. Mr Cui is the probably the number one reason I didn’t give up on physics, and he’s one of my biggest inspirations in writing this blog.
Let’s get started!
Want to try Olympiads School out? Please visit their site to find details about their courses and their schedule.
Here’s the location:
306 Consumers Rd.
North York, ON
And here’s their contact info:
Tel: (416) 756-9865 or (647) 998-9865
Please feel free to leave questions and comment below. If you like this post, please subscribe to my mailing list!