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Someone please guide me for IOAA (most likely NSEA, i.e., the first stage of IOAA in India), like what material and books to use for mathematics, physics and astronomy and is it too late to start my preparation in the 11th class?

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you already have text books for maths to CBSE Class 12 and Physics to class 10? Many of the questions are maths and physics based, rather than specifically astronomical. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Aug 18, 2023 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ Yes ,I have ncert books but they are not relevant to ioaa as far I know any other recommendation? $\endgroup$ Aug 18, 2023 at 15:11
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    $\begingroup$ Many of the questions are maths and physics. So much of the paper can be done without any specifically astronomical knowledge. You should look at the topics on the syllabus (page 17) It notes that "Any in-depth knowledge of astronomy is not required. However, basic familiarity with astronomical terminology, objects and phenomena, as can be acquired through an interest in astronomy (reading popular books / listening to popular lectures etc.), is expected." $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Aug 18, 2023 at 15:14
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    $\begingroup$ recommendations of maths books are not on topic. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Aug 19, 2023 at 5:49
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    $\begingroup$ And general requests "a book about astronomy" is too opinion based. I've linked to the syllabus which says that specific astronomical skills are not required, only general astronomical concepts and terminology. But you'll note I've not voted to close. It's possible that someone can write a good answer to this. If someone knows more about textbooks in India than me they can answer. I'd suggest that the OP start with the syllabus and past papers $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Aug 19, 2023 at 5:56

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I've bagged a gold medal for India in the IOAA-Jr, so I think I may answer your question to some extent.

Math and Physics are pretty standard introductory JEE level stuff they ask in NSEA. If you take out some standard JEE book, you might as well be done doing just till the medium level exercises. Important concepts like gravitation, magnetism, mechanics should be done at a bit more depth.

They don't ask too much hardcore astronomy in the first stage. Just learn some basic definitions from 'Astronomy: Principles and Practice, A.E. Roy, D.Clarke' like stellar magnitudes, Lagrange points. This book is literally god for astro olympiad aspirants. Look up the chapter on celestial coordinates. Don't delve into the math part of it now, only understand the basic terms, and voila! You're good to go for NSEA! You can look up some constellations and learn spherical trig too if you wanna be on the safer side (but that's more relevant only for INAO). Anyways, love Astronomy and keep working hard. I wish you the best of luck!

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