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My experiences at EGMO, IMOTC and PROMYS experience

Yes, I know. This post should have been posted like 2 months ago. Okay okay, sorry. But yeah, I was just waiting for everything to be over and I was lazy. ( sorry )

You know, the transitioning period from high school to college is very weird. I will join CMI( Chennai Mathematical  Institue) for bsc maths and cs degree. And I am very scared. Like very very scared. No, not about making new friends and all. I don't care about that part because I know a decent amount of CMI people already.  What I am scared of is whether I will be able to handle the coursework and get good grades T_T

Anyways, here's my EGMO PDC, EGMO, IMOTC and PROMYS experience. Yes, a lot of stuff. My EGMO experience is a lot and I wrote a lot of details, IMOTC and PROMYS is just a few paras.

Oh to those, who don't know me or are reading for the first time. I am Sunaina Pati. I was IND2 at EGMO 2023 which was held in Slovenia. I was also invited to the IMOTC or International Mathematical Olympiad Training Camp 2023 and PROMYS India 2023. And I will share my experiences about them! 

12th boards

I had my 12th board just before EGMO. In fact, my exams ended 2 weeks before the PDC. I just had two weeks to prepare properly for EGMO. So when my 12th boards end, I started doing a lot of mocks and a lot of problems. I didn't even have enough practice and was doing math very little, so I lost my touch.

Mentally and emotionally, it was like I was getting ready for a big tsunami but I felt I was too near to the beach, so I couldn't do anything but be prepared for it.

Like I remember crying every evening just because I felt I was underprepared but I couldn't do anything. I was infact very underprepared. My deputy leader was also probably annoyed by how I was not giving any problem sets or attempting any mocks.

Anyways, as I was saying, the two weeks before EGMO PDC were the most important and I luckily was very motivated. So I turned in a lot of problems and did a fair amount of Mocks. 

My mocks were going fine. I was not able to sweep but in every mock, I was getting one or two problems ( mostly 2) in every mock I was attempting which was very decent.

I decided not to focus on geometry because I think I was pretty strong in geometry. And I decided to focus on Combinatorics and Number theory. I practised 48hrs a day! ( two set violin reference if anyone doesn't know)


EGMO PDC or we say the pre-departure camp is the camp which is held just before we leave for EGMO. All four EGMO participants are asked to come to HBCSE and are trained for 10-12 days before they leave for EGMO together from Mumbai Airport. The same happens for any international olympiad. 

Listen, if anyone says their PDC was not stressful they are probably just lying to you or they are pretty confident about their performance.
People who know me know that I am probably the world's most underconfident person. So for me, EGMO PDC was THE most stressful period. 

As I said, I was very motivated ( man, I was solving problems during the aeroplane while going to Mumbai). Also, I was about to take the wrong flight but whatever, it's well known that I am careless. 

The next two days, we had EGMO mocks. And I didn't perform that well. ( I got 2+ on the first and 1 on the second day). I only got P6 on day 2 but I was sad that I couldn't get P5 which was a combont even after practising so much. 

Gunjan and I taking each other's photograph

I cried a lot. The time I was called to another room for discussing the practice mocks, I ended up breaking down fully in front of Rohan ( our deputy leader). I don't know for how many minutes I cried but yeah. Yes, so I was very scared. Everyone around me was asking me to not take stress. 

We went to Naturals for a treat too! 

Anyways, being sad about how I performed during the mock isn't nice and I decided to grind. I completed most of the problems from Rohan's number theory psets and did more combinatorics problems. I also did many problems on my own. 

Thankyou so much to Shantanu, Rohinee, Aditi and Ananya for teaching us and supporting us. You guys reallly helped me.
We gsolved a lot of problems

Our HBCSE hostel has two cats. This is one of them. Pretty no?

With my fav senior Rohan Bhaiya!

We also met the HBCSE director and also got our tshirts and hoodie!

This is me with our hoodie and egmo tshirt

The beautiful people to whom I am really grateful for 

With HBCSE's director, Arnab Bhattacharya Sir. He was so motivational and such a fun person to talk with!

We also discovered this ice cream/cafeteria place near HBCSE which has amazing icecream!!! It's such a nice place! And would recommend everyone to go there! It's called Kudoz Eatery. 

Everyone was trying to calm me and help me get less nervous. I am so so so grateful to everyone!
oh yes, Rushil and Malay visited us to wish us good luck! It was my first time meeting Malay or we say Mallu! 

Rushil and Malay with us
We played the spoon-fork game and also guessing the colour game. Both are very scam games but are fun! They also brought Chocolates for us!

Then the day came. We had to leave for Slovenia ( because EGMO was being held in Portoruz, Slovenia).


I have heard a lot of stuffs about European food. So I was prepared. 

In fact the purple bag you see I am holding is actually full of food items. (Spoiler: This bag was emptied by the end of EGMO LOL)

Our beautiful team

The travelling was chaotic. Why you might wonder? Because of me. Obviously. I lost my passport 3 times, my handbag 1 time and I lost a million times. In fact, even though I was the oldest, Rohan was asked to stay with me all the time!

See, in my defence, I was just excited. 😞

Even during travelling, I was nervous. EGMO was in 2 days and I felt underprepared. So I ended up doing geos on our flight! ( I do not recommend this at all, please do take rest before your exams.)

Then we reached Zuirch where we had our layover and then we reached Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana! 

Ljubljana airport was small but so beautiful. We were hungry, so we ended up going to a cafe inside the airport and has some snacks!

And darn! Ljubljana is just so beautiful!!!! My phone's album was filled with scenery, buildings, trains and sea pics!

We took a bus to Portoruz! And reached our hotel which was just beside the Adriatic sea! AND IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL! The food was decent too!

Oh! Yes, we got our backpacks and other stuff after registration!

Gunjan and I were roomates! And our room was so so so so big and so gooooddddd! Like it was facing the ocean and the view was amazing! The bathroom was also sooo big with so many facilities! Our dining hall was also soooo good! 

Me trying to take a selfie in our biggggg room

The dining hall

Another pic of the beautiful hall

The next day, we had our treasure hunt which was organised by EGMO people and then the opening ceremony! Dropping some more pics of them!

OO that's our lovely guide Nina beside us!

Funfact, so many people complimented our dresses! 

Here's my opening ceremony outfit

Other girls went out for socializing but I was stuck inside our room and I was so scared for Day 1, I was just revising all geometry lemmas. Also yeah, thanks to Atul for calling me and also making a best of luck card, it reallly made me less nervous πŸ˜‡

Day 1

I was nervous. I was very nervous. It was my first and last attempt. I entered the hall. And I could see the big timer displaying 4:30 ( 4hr 30 mins). I was very nervous. I had my chocolates ready too. Anyways, the timer started and I saw the paper AGC. Not the best distribution. My weakest was Algebra and this problem was an inequality. I tried and argh couldn't do it for like 2hrs (please don't judge me, I am really bad in inequalities). Then I saw P2 geo and decided to try it and I got it in 5 mins. Not even kidding. It took me 10 more minutes to write up and then I moved to P3 and worked on it. 

At the end, I was happy with my performance as I got P2 fully correct so hm was secured.  See, I had no expectations for a medal seeing how underprepared I was. Anyways at night, we ( leader too) met and discussed. There I was told that I performed horribly and my performance was not expected to be this bad. I was told that my expected score for day 1 would be 10. 

We then were told that paper was easy and cutoffs would increase, so bronze cutoff which is usually 14 is probably going to be 18/19. I was shocked.

I analyzed. With the performance I did on day 1, if I do the same or less, getting a medal would be hard. 
That night I just cried and cried. Praying god for another geo, because geo was the only thing I could do. 

Day 2

I was nervous again. But this time I decided not to sit alone. I rather, interacted with a lot of people right before the exam and wished them luck! It might seem weird, but I became friends with the Bangladesh team just 15 mins before day 2! 

Anyways, day 2 started, I saw the paper and darn! God listened me. P6 WAS GEO! I tried it for 1.5 hrs and got a lots of progress. Then shifted to P4 and did it too! I had 1.5 hrs for P5, and I tried it. I got it just 10 mins before the exam. Luckily, I didn't had to rewrite much stuff for the P5 and yes! My day 2 went way better than expected! 

So in general, don't be nervous and everything will go fine!

Excursion and Results

We went for excursion! During the excursion, all of us were nervous because the arbitration was going on simultaneously. But finally the scores were out! 

But discussion wasn't over yet. The medal cutoffs took a lot of time and I was nervous the whole day. All my friends were saying "don't worry sunaina, you will get silver" but I was still scared T_T

I ended up getting a silver with the score 1/7/2/7/7/5. One of the four girls from India to get so. It feels weird but yeah! 

Also that night I was on a call with Atul, and he said like "I got bronze, you got silver and so I will try to get gold at IMO this year, and we will be completing each other". And well, he did get gold! Congratulations sir! So proud of you :)

Closing Ceremony Pictures!

Rohan Bhaiya got EGMO Silver


I always wanted to thank all the people who influenced me in a good way and helped me in this EGMO journey. 

Thnaks to my family! Thanks to Evan for writing EGMO and for OTIS! Thanks to HBCSE, TIFR and  DAE for conducting INMO and funding our EGMO trip! Thanks to Assam Mathematical Society for inspiring me from a young age to do maths!

Thanks to all the female friends I have group solved with and they helped me learn a lot of new things: Gunjan, Sanjana P., Sanika, Aditi, Ananya, Rohinee, Swastika, Srishti, Serena A. , Sanjana D. , Serena X. and Vivian! You guys really inspired me!
Thankyou so much to Anand and Arpan too for group solving with me! 
Also thanks to Shantanu, Aryan and Aatman too!

Thankyou to my lovelllyyy friends who supported me throughout the EGMO TST and EGMO Journey: Kaustav, Mehul,Pranav, Rushil, Malay, Krutarth, Sidharth, Ananda and Archit

Thankyou Rohan Bhaiya for everything! I never had an elder brother but if I had any, I wish he would be just like you! We have known each other since 3 years now and you have been helping me since then. I am so so so so so so grateful to have a mentor, a senior and a friend like you. Thankyou for always being there with me when I was sad. The amount of times I have cried infrot of you is actually scary LOL. I am still sorry for not performing the best in Day 1 and I am sorry that I disappointed you. But yes, I will try my best in CMI! 

And last but definitely the most important person, Atul or I should rather say "auto". Thankyou! okay I don't know what to write here, there are just sooo many things. Firstly, thankyou so much for being there with me during EGMO TSTs, EGMOPDC, EGMO, everything! The past 2 years I have spent with you were really the most memorable ones and yes, you helped me become a better, kinder and a tiny bit confident person! Also, group solving with you is always so fun! You are such a hardworking person and you inspire me to work hard every single day! Thankyou for making mocks, giving geos, helping me with some problems and also for being the besttttest friend I could ever ask for. 


We arrived on 20th April. I and Sanjana decided to be roommates and we got room 204. This was my third time being INMO awardee, so I was a senior. Senior IMOTCers were supposed to arrive on 21st April. However, one person did arrive on 20th April. Guess who? Atul :P

Actually Atul and Achuthan! They got room 206. Then on Rushil and Pranav arrived and then Sidharth and Malay arrived! Rushil and Pranav were 213 and Sidharth and Malay were 210. Are you guys surprised how I remember the room numbers? It's because we were mostly spending our time in 213, 210 and 206, and occasionally in 204 too! IMOTC is more or less very flexible. That is, you can choose to make yourself busy by doing math problems all day for four weeks or choose to play games and chill every day. No one cares. 

I was very chill. We used to attend lectures, do math day in and day out. Okay just kidding. 

We used to play Mafia and subway Surfers almost all the evenings! Seniors didn't have much classes, so we used to spend our time together talking and dancing to Barbie songs. We went out to watch movie, shared our sad life gossip and treated each other with so much care. Even though I was one of the older people, I was treated as a baby there. Like every day Kanav just used to say I am a second grade kid. A

But yes, I met so many people I knew online for the first time at IMOTC and it was such a nice experience! Also, I made new friends! Kanav (keti peri), Siddharth, Achuthan, Ritul, Agamjeet, Adhitya, Kapil and so many more! I also met Mehul too! One of the best memories were created here. 

And congrats to Siddharth for the best-ever IMOTSTs distribution!

Thank you HBCSE and thank you to everyone who was part of my memories during IMOTC!

Some photo dump!


I was a first-year student at PROMYS India 2023. Ever since I was in 10th grade I was trying to apply for PROMYS, but it finally came true this time! Honestly, I was a bit scared of joining PROMYS India as I was joining it a bit late compared to other kids (since I had IMOTC), but everyone was so welcoming! I made friends so easily and I was able to catch up with Professor Ila's NT Lectures. My counsellor, Nilava, recommended me to try one of the advanced courses and I ended up taking Professor Karnataki's Quadratic forms. I also took an exploration lab project on Counting rational numbers and our group explored a lot! Taking three tasks together was challenging, especially in the last few weeks when PSETs were getting harder for both Quadratic forms and NT. I had a few sleepless nights keeping up with submitting psets but in all, it really pushed me as a mathematician and made me learn so many new things! 
The guest lectures were also so fun and informative. Professor Khare even interacted with us apart from his lecture! My other counsellor, Adit, was also very helpful to me! He helped me prove Minkowski! 
I can't express how grateful I am for getting accepted into PROMYS India. Being in IISC ( btw beautiful campus!), doing maths with people just like me, learning new math and talking about math and non-math stuff, this experience was such a memorable one! 
I received the Mehta Fellowship and Spirit of Ramanujan because of PROMYS! So I am really grateful to them!  
PROMYS really pushed me as a mathematician. I learnt a lot of new mathematics and I was the only kid who took 3 projects together ( rest others were taking 2 or 1 classes).

The community built by PROMYS is so safe and has such a family feeling! I am really grateful to everyone for making me feel PROMYS as my second home. And I would recommend everyone to apply for PROMYS India! 

The friends I made in PROMYS are just sooo kind and special to me. I will still remember the nights we used to sing to taylor swift as if we were singers, going out at 3 am for icecream, ordering food, fighting dogs and surviving the psets together. 

Atul also came to IISC during PROMYS to visit!

Well yes, that's it! These are all my experiences, I hope you guys enjoyed going through this post! Hope this post made you smile a little bit! 

To the people who like math posts, don't worry, I feel for the next few months, there will be only math posts! 

Let me know how you felt about this post! Please do comment as it really makes me very happy reading them! I will also try to answer the questions asked in the comments, so feel free to ask me! Do share this post with anyone you think is interested in math olympiads as this might motivate them! 

With love,


  1. Your story is inspirational! Lots of love ❤️

  2. Great post!! Loved spending time with you!

  3. I'm pretty sure Malay's room was ahead of mine. Mine was 210, malay sid was 213, kanav Krish was 212 and Ananda Sid c. Was 208

    1. Oo I see, I think I got confused yeah I knew Krish and kanav were 208

  4. very wholesome 12/10

  5. Loved every single section you wrote, all the pictures you added and it's a lot to read!

  6. Miaow very cool blogpost, IMOTC was definitely very funn!

  7. Hola, great blogpost! IMOTC was so much fun! Also, nice to see Choco pic being added πŸ₯Ί

  8. Very inspiring story.Mahadev bless you,keep moving forward like thisπŸ™

  9. The post was really motivating and inspiring!Really loved the entire JOURNEY!!!!

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Sorry for deleting again and again!Actually , I have saved this so that it could always inspire me to be a mathematician like you one day!I mean , for once daily , I will read( whenever I get distracted or really become day-dreamer.Cuz my name is not Day Dreamer , it's Shreosee , yeh, the one in LinkedIn , recently got connected with U!)

  12. Sunaina from Guwahati which institution you belong ? Allen


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