Higher order thinking questions are the questions based on the higher concepts formations, visualizing and generation of ideas. These questions are as important as the other questions.

The weightage of the higher order thinking questions are high as compared to the other questions in the Olympiad examination. In mathematics Olympiad the questions asked in the level-1 examination pattern from HOTS are 15, which is having the high ratio as compared to the other questions in the exam


  • They allow the great admiration of literature, and enriches the experience of mathematics.
  • They promote essential skills like critical problem solving and analysing the problems.
  • It helps the students to improve their intellectual skills.
  • It allows the students to apply their knowledge beyond the classroom.
  • It helps to increase interest in innovating and discovering new concepts.


  • Read the books that helps in increasing the logical thinking skills:

Refer to the books that are relevant to the topics you are studying. Select the books which have all the topics and elaborate each topic step by step and have the most number of questions in the multiple choice questions.

  • Take the full knowledge regarding the topic:

Knowledge is the only key to success. Take the full knowledge related to every topic of the syllabus for the mathematics Olympiad. Enhancing knowledge is most important in thinking about the topics in all directions. In higher thinking questions the most important part is to solve problems easily and in less time. The knowledge makes the concepts clear and you can also get a new view for observing the question in a different way which helps in saving time in exams while solving the HOTS questions.

  • Take the basic knowledge of formulas and their implementation:

The basic knowledge about the formulas, helps in knowing which formula is more suitable for solving the questions. Working on the formula implementation helps in saving time which you can utilise in other questions. Many students memorize all the formulas but they cannot implement them in the questions, due to lack of implementation technique. So practice for the implementation of the formulas in the right place.

  • Learn each and every formulas:

Formulas are in the basic concepts of mathematics. In higher order thinking questions, students get confused between the similar formulas and implement the wrong formula in the question and choose the wrong answers. So while preparing for the HOTS question make yourself familiar with the formulas in the topics.

  • Make correlation between the topics:

The questions asked in the HOTS are correlated with the different topics. The correlation of the topics make the concepts and fundamentals clear. Correlation helps in enhancing logical thinking skills and enhances knowledge related to the topics. Correlating the similar topics helps in solving the questions easily and this also decreases the time for solving the questions

  • Practicing:

Start practicing from the basics so that you can understand the fundamental units of the topics. While preparing for the HOTS, most of the students are lagging in solving the questions due to the lack of basic knowledge related to the topic. Start preparing from the basics to make the concepts clear. Practicing makes the preparation strong and stimulates the brain to catch the concept easily. Practice many questions of the single topic till you become perfect in that topic.

  • Increase area of thinking:

Increase the area of thinking for solving the problems. There are many ways to solve the questions, as the HOTS questions are used to check the thinking capacity of students. Make different angles for solving the different questions. As mathematics is having the number of ways to solve the questions and Olympiad gives the opportunity for the students to build more ways to solve the questions.

  • Segregate the question:

The easier way to solve the high order thinking question is segregation of question. By segregating them the question becomes easy to solve. While preparing for the mathematics Olympiad, learn how to segregate the questions in parts. Segregation divides the question in parts which tells what the basic concept of the question is and what we have to find in question. Some higher order thinking questions are confusing while reading it, and students are not able to understand how to solve the question and on which topic it is based, in this situation the segregation helps the student to understand the questions.

  • Previous year questions:

Solving the Class 9 IMO Question Paper 2011 questions helps in knowing the level of questions asked in the mathematics Olympiad. Preparing the last year’s questions builds the confidence of solving the questions. It helps in improving analytical, learning and logical thinking skills. For HOTS questions solving the previous questions makes the boost. Solving the sample papers and class 9th IMO question paper 2011 benefits in improving logical thinking and boosts the preparation of high order thinking questions.

  • Memorize the key concepts:

The concepts that are important in the topics should be in your tips. Memorizing the formula, equations and laws of every chapter makes it easier in preparing for the high order thinking based questions. Many students fail to solve the questions due to lack of knowing the formulas. By memorizing the key concepts it becomes easier for the students to solve the question based on high order thinking. So to avoid the situation of skipping the questions, memorize all the key concepts.

Q1.  Is it necessary to attempt higher order thinking based questions?

Answer:  There is no choice if you don’t attempt the HOTS question. Skipping these questions results in a decrease in score, and also decreases the ranking.

Q2. What is the pattern of exams for higher order thinking based sections for class 9th Olympiad?

Answer: Pattern of the examination is multiple choice question. Total number of questions in the higher order thinking section (achievers section) is 15.

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