International Biology Olympiad (IBO) icon

About International Biology Olympiad (IBO)

International Biology Olympiad or IBO is an international-level olympiad for secondary school students. The olympiad is structured to test the knowledge of students in Biology. The IBO 2024 is focused on Bioinformatics, a field of Biology which incorporates Biology, Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, and Data Science. The 35th International Biology Olympiad will be held in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The aim and objective of the IBO are:

  • To promote interest in Biology and allied sciences.
  • To provide an international level of exposure to students across the world.
  • To encourage research and development in Biology.

IBO Syllabus

There is no official syllabus, but the IBO operational guidelines mention the topic covered during the theoretical and practical exams.

The topics that will be covered in the theoretical exam are as follows:

  • Cell Biology: Structure and function of cells and their components, Biotechnology, Microbiology
  • Plant Anatomy and Physiology (with an emphasis on seed plants)
  • Animal Anatomy and Physiology (with a focus on vertebrates and especially humans)
  • Ethology
  • Genetics and Evolution
  • Ecology
  • Biosystematics

The topics covered in practical exams are as follows:

  • Biochemistry
  • Bioinformatics
  • Plant Physiology
  • Zoology and Biosynthesis

Since 2020, the International Group Project has been added as another section in IBO. The International Group Project will cover the topics mentioned below. Each team has to choose one topic and prepare a research proposal.

  • Biomedicine
  • Bionics and Biomimicry
  • Across Species
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Bioinformatics and Artificial Intelligence

Stages of The IBO

The IBO exam is structured in 5 stages:

  1. National Standard Examination In Biology (NSEB)

The Association of  Teachers in Biology Sciences (ATBS) organises the NSE exams in Biology. The syllabus covers the biological sciences up till Class 12. The registration fee for NSEB is Rs 200.

  1. Indian National Olympiad in Biology

Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE) organises the INO for Biology and other science streams. The syllabus is the same for INOB and NSEB. It is held in January every year.

  1. Orientation cum Selection Camp (OCSC)

35 students from the Indian National Olympiad in Biology went for the orientation cum selection camp. HBCSE organises the camp, and several observational/experimental tests are conducted for students to work on their skills.

  1. Pre-Departure Training Camp

The pre-departure training camp is to train students in specialised libraries developed by HBCSE. Thorough training on experimental and theoretical concepts of Biology is given to the students to prepare for the International Biology Olympiad (IBO).

  1. International Biology Olympiad (IBO)

Students selected from the national camps get to participate in the International Biology Olympiad (IBO).

IBO Important Dates

The International Biology Olympiad 2024 was held in Astana, Kazakhstan, with the dates to be announced soon.

Dates (In 2024) Event
To be announced Participants Registration and Welcome Dinner
To be announced Safety and Laboratory Instructions, Visit the Exam Venue and Excursions.
To be announced Practical Exams
To be announced Excursion to Geghard Monastery, Garni Temple, and Matenadaran
To be announced Theoretical Exam 1 and 2
To be announced Cultural Programmes
To be announced Excursion to Erebuni Museum International Group Project Poster Session
To be announced Excursion to Cafesjian Center for the Arts Excursion to “Yerevan Park” (Amusement & Theme Park)
To be announced Excursion to “Vernissage Market”
To be announced Award/Closing Ceremony Farewell Dinner
To be announced Departure

IBO Selection Process

The selection process of IBO starts on the national level olympiad in Biology. The students who qualify for the NSO in Biology go to the International Biology Olympiad. The IBO exam allows 4-5 students from each country. Hence the top 4-5 students from national olympiads participate in the IBO.

IBO Participation Fee

The IBO Participation fee for four students and two jury members is 2500 USD.

IBO Eligibility Criteria

To participate in the IBO 2024, students must meet the eligibility criteria mentioned below.

Students must be pursuing Class 12.

  • Must have been selected from the National Olympiad Examination in Biology.
  • Must be a citizen of the participating country.
  • Must have a valid passport.

IBO Exam Pattern

The IBO exam pattern consists of both experimental and theoretical questions. The International Group Project is also a part of the exam, where students form a team with students from different countries. In the International Group Project, students will be asked to prepare a research proposal on a selected topic and make a poster.

IBO Awards

The IBO awards are presented to the top-performing students at IBO. The winners are decided by carefully considering marks obtained in both practical and theoretical exams using the t-score method.

The IBO awards are offered as follows:

  • Gold Medal
  • Silver Medal
  • Bronze Medal
  • Certificate of Merit.

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