I realise this must have been posted to death already, but brushing over that: What's the best way to study for the (British) physics Olympiad? Feel free not to answer all of the following points (I've arranged it this way for clarity): Firstly: would it help in the regional finals to have studied for the IphO, even if there is a nebulous chance of being selected for the IphO itself? (Is there a nebulous chance?) Secondly: I am strong in mechanics (a little worse at waves), but looking at past papers, I'm poor at most else. To what level does one have to know thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, waves and geometrical optics for the Olympiad, and what are some good books on the subjects? Is it better to have specific books for each field (with the risk of getting bogged down in necessary details) or broader ones (,running the risk of shallowness)? Will the exercises in them be easier (or less devious) than Olympiad-style questions? Thirdly: Are these recommended books bare minima (that is, would it be helpful at all to know more, or should I solely focus on polishing the phO curriculum)? Fourthly: How amenable are the problems to more advanced methods? Will knowing Lagrangian mechanics or more differential equations help more than incrementally, for example? Fifthly (the most gruesomely subjective of all): How should I prepare? Should I use (some) phO problems to steer study, or should they be locked up until all is learnt? Is the internet good for learning (the topics from different approaches), or is it much better to stick to paper? Is there a knack to these problems, or is it a pure aptitude test? So many questions... Anyway, thank you for reading through.