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Practice makes perfect

Tran Nhat Minh, a 12th-grader of Le Hong Phong High School for the Gifted, spends hours browsing the internet daily, searching for maths tests to do.

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Tran Nhat Minh, a 12th grader of Le Hong Phong Highschool for The Gifted looks for Maths materials at his school library. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Lanh

Minh, who won a bronze medal at the virtual 61th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) 2020, said that besides assignments teachers give him in class, he seeks out online examinations to practise.

The internet helped him access tremendous sources of maths materials in Vietnamese or other languages, Minh said, adding that mastering foreign languages like English or French was very useful for his studies.

“Studying is a process in which learners have to accumulate knowledge and skills day by day,” Minh said, adding that he did not allow himself to be lazy for a single day, especially when it came to maths.

Minh was born and grew up in Binh My Town, Binh Luc District of the southern province of Ha Nam.

After graduating from secondary school in his hometown, Minh decided to apply to Le Hong Phong High School for the Gifted in Nam Dinh Province.

His parents were very concerned about his decision as he applied to the maths-specialising class which usually required high admission scores.

In addition, if he gained admission, he would have to leave home, stay at his uncle’s house and manage his daily life and studies by himself.

Minh said when he started studying at high school, he was struggling to catch up with his peers as well as to understand lessons.

“There were many things and knowledge I did not know before,” Minh said.

Homesickness, a new school, new teachers, new friends and difficult lessons all kept Minh from his passion for maths.

He said that he taught himself whenever he had free time.

He also asked teachers and friends for help when he was unsure about solutions for difficult maths problems.

With a great passion for maths and hard work, Minh won many maths contests including a gold medal in Hanoi Olympiad Maths Contest when he was at 10th grade, third prize in the national contest when he was an 11th-grader and first prize in the national contest when he was in the 12th grade.

In the 61st International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) 2020, Minh and five other Vietnamese students earned medals including two gold medals, three bronzes and a certificate of merit.

The competition was hosted by Russia in September, attracting 616 contestants. A total of 316 of them won medals, including 49 golds, 112 silvers and 155 bronzes.

Minh said that due to COVID-19, contestants took online tests.

The medal he earned at that contest was for the 100th anniversary of his school, Minh said.

Minh’s maths teacher Nguyen Hoang Cuong said Minh always worked hard and dug deep to find new creative ways to solve maths problems.

“Minh can master and apply what I teach him very quick,” he said.

Pham Thi Hue, the school principal, said that Minh’s performance could help encourage other students in the school to study hard and show their ability in local and international contests.  VNS 

Vietnam comes 17th at International Mathematical Olympiad 2020

Vietnam comes 17th at International Mathematical Olympiad 2020

All six members of the Vietnamese team participating in the virtual 61st International Mathematical Olympiad 2020 brought home medals and certificate of merit, including two golds, finishing 17th out of 105 participating countries and territories.

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