Various training camps are held throughout the year to select and prepare students for participation in the UK team at forthcoming International Mathematical Olympiads and other international events. In addition, there is correspondence training for team members and potential team members through the Advanced Mentoring Scheme and practice exams.
Since 2001–2, the annual cycle has started with a week-long camp in September (originally at the University of Bath; at The Queen’s College, Oxford from 2009) for students who are new to Olympiad training, and who may be ready to join the Advanced Mentoring Scheme. Students for this camp are selected based on information from Summer Schools, the Senior Mentoring Scheme and various competitions held over the previous year, including those for younger students such as the Intermediate Mathematical Olympiad and Kangaroo (IMOK).
Since 2001–2, there has been a visit to Budapest over the New Year to train with the Hungarian IMO squad. Students for this camp are selected based on performances in BMO 1, taking into account how much previous training they have received.
The traditional Easter training and selection camp has been held at Trinity College, Cambridge from 1989 onwards. The BMOC is most grateful to Trinity College, Cambridge for its generous hosting of the event. Based on performances in BMO 1 and BMO 2, along with any other relevant information such as that from exams at the Hungary camp, 20 students are invited to the Trinity camp. The group includes all candidates for the current year’s IMO team along with some younger students being blooded for the future. There are 4 or 5 sessions per day covering material which is useful for IMO problems. Part way through and at the end of the 5-day camp, students sit two IMO-style 4½-hour papers, after which a final small UK IMO squad is selected for intensive training. This group normally contains 8 or 9 students. In addition, the team for the Balkan Mathematical Olympiad is selected at the end of this camp, subject to the timing of the camp and of that Olympiad.
The team of 6 for the IMO is finalised towards the end of May after a training and selection camp held at Oundle School. This camp is attended by the 8 or 9 students selected at the end of the Trinity camp. This camp has been held at Oundle from 2002 onwards, with a similar camp being held at Trinity in 2001.
A final camp for the IMO team is held immediately before the IMO; when possible, that final camp is a joint camp with the Australian team and the Mathematics Ashes competition is held at that camp.
In addition to the main UKMT mentoring schemes, there is an Advanced Mentoring Scheme for those students working closest to IMO level. This scheme works in the same way as the other mentoring schemes, but students are selected for it based on performances at the Oxford camp and in BMO1 and BMO2. Students invited to the Hungary or Trinity camps will automatically be added to the Advanced Mentoring Scheme, so it also constitutes a squad of students who are potential team members for international competitions, but performances on mentoring sheets are not part of the selection criteria for those competitions. Students generally remain on the Advanced Mentoring Scheme from one year to the next until they go to university.
In addition to the mentoring schemes, practice exams may be set at various times for squad members and for those selected to participate in particular competitions. These are sat individually under timed conditions as practice for the various international competitions and selection tests held under such conditions.