There’s a new addition to my olympiad problems and solutions archive: I created an index of many past IMO/USAMO/USA TST(ST) problems by what my opinions on their difficulties are. You can grab the direct link to the file below:
In short, the scale runs from 0M to 50M in increments of 5M, and every USAMO / IMO problem on my archive now has a rating too.
My hope is that this can be useful in a couple ways. One is that I hope it’s a nice reference for students, so that they can better make choices about what practice problems would be most useful for them to work on. The other is that the hardness scale contains a very long discussion about how I judge the difficulty of problems. While this is my own personal opinion, obviously, I hope it might still be useful for coaches or at least interesting to read about.
As long as I’m here, I should express some concern that it’s possible this document does more harm than good, too. (I held off on posting this for a few months, but eventually decided to at least try it and see for myself, and just learn from it if it turns out to be a mistake.) I think there’s something special about solving your first IMO problem or USAMO problem or whatever and suddenly realizing that these problems are actually doable — I hope it would not be diminished by me rating the problem as 0M. Maybe more information isn’t always a good thing!
3 thoughts on “MOHS hardness scale”
[…] problem was outside of my scope, till recently I came across a hardness scale of MO problems in Evan Chen’s blog. In this scale only two problems among all IMO problems 2000 – 2019 were rated 50M, the […]
[…] the second post, inspired by the Evan Chen’s hardness grade for the IMO/USAMO/TST problems, 2000 – 2019. This time an inequality problem given at USAMO […]
[…] in a previous post. The problem discussed is not hard, it is graded 10 in the Evan Chen’s math olympiad hardness scale and I agree with it. But it is an implication of a more general claim, that’s why I want to […]