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International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO)

About International Chemistry Olympiad IChO

IChO is an International level olympiad exam in Chemistry. The exam is conducted in two parts: practical and theoretical competitions. For each part, students need to follow the rules specified by the organising authority. The organising country’s Scientific Board of IChO prepares the competition tasks. The 55th edition of the IChO will be held in Switzerland from 16 - 25 July 2023.
Participation in the olympiad is decided on the national level through the national olympiads of the participating country. Therefore, the top 4 students get to participate in the IChO.

IChO Syllabus

IChO syllabus is divided into two parts:
  • Experimental part
  • Theoretical part
The questions are set according to the three levels mentioned below:
  • Level 1: Covers the basic experimental activities that are taken to be understood easily by the participants.
  • Level 2: Consists of the experimental tests taught at the school level and are part of the school curriculum.
  • Level 3: Contain the experimental questions, not in the participating country’s chemistry syllabus.
Note: These levels apply to both parts of the exam. Experimental Part
The experimental part syllabus of the IChO is broadly divided into five parts. Each part covers a different aspect of Chemistry.
Syllabus of IChO Experimental Part
  • Synthesis of inorganic and organic compounds.
  • Identification of inorganic and organic compounds: general principles.
  • Determination of some inorganic and organic compounds: general principles.
  • Special measurements and procedures.
  • Evaluation of results
Theoretical Part
The theoretical part of the exam is divided into 12 topics.
  • The atom
  • Chemical bonding
  • Chemical calculations
  • Periodic trends
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Chemical Kinetics
  • Spectroscopy
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers
  • Biochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry

Stages of The Chemistry Olympiad program

The IChO is organised in July every year. The primary tasks are shared with the participating countries in January. So students can start training for IChO.
Preparatory Stage
  • These problems are meant for the students. A minimum of 25 theoretical and 5 practical questions are shared as preparatory problems.
  • Preparatory problems also include all the questions based on the three levels discussed above.
Competition Stages
The exam contains two stages:
  • Practical competition
  • Theoretical Competition
Each competition is allotted five hours. The information available to the students is in the language of their choice to avoid any language barrier.

IChO 2023 Important Dates

Following are the key dates for the 55th edition of ICHO 2023 in Switzerland.
IChO 2023 Dates
Parameters Dates
Arrival & Registration 16 July 2023
Opening Ceremony Discover ETH & Zurich 17 July 2023
Discover ETH & Zurich & Finding Solutions Fair Lab Security & Orientation 18 July 2023
Practical Exam Career Evening & Panel Discussion 19 July 2023
Discover Science & Innovation 20 July 2023
Theoretical Exam Reunion Event 21 July 2023
Discover Switzerland & Industry 22 July 2023
Discover Switzerland 23 July 2023
Departure Day 25 July 2023

IChO Selection Process

The IChO exam begins nationally through the National Science Olympiad in Chemistry. Then, the top students from the national olympiad go to the international level and participate in the IChO. The participating countries must give the names of 5 students from the national olympiads.

IChO Participation Fee

Here are the full details of the IChO 2023 participation fee and mode of payment.
  • The IChO 2023 participation fee is USD 3000 for a team.
  • The International Chemistry Olympiad 2023 fees can be paid online only. There is no mode for physical payment.
  • The payments can be made through Net Banking, Credit/Debit Card, UPI, and Wallets.

IChO Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the IChO, students must have fulfilled the criteria mentioned below.
  • Students must have strong knowledge of Chemistry.
  • Students must belong to one of the participating countries of IChO.
  • Participants must be below the age of 20 years on July 1 of the year the IChO is held.
  • The student must be studying at the school level or a recent graduate who is yet to start their university-level education.
  • Participants must possess the passport of the country they are representing.
  • The student must have performed and scored among top students in national-level Olympiads.

IChO 2023 Exam Pattern

The exam pattern of IChO is a well-structured one. The exam covers both the practical and the experimental application of the subject. Here are a few key points of the IChO exam pattern.
  • The experimental part of the exam will contain at least two independent tasks. Organisers provide the substances for quantitative analytical chemistry tasks. Most marking is awarded to the mean values. Still, there are also step markings for other aspects, such as equations, calculations and explanations.
  • The exam has an overall mark of 100 points. The ratio of theoretical to practical tasks is 60-40.
  • The exam also follows consequential marking. If a student makes the same mistake twice, the marks will be deducted only once.
  • The units used in the exam tasks are SI units.

IChO 2023 Awards

The IChO 2023 awards are given to top-performing students. The gold, silver and bronze medals are provided based on the competitors’ performance.
IChO 2023 Award Top performing percentage
Gold 10-12%
Silver 20-22%
Bronze 30-32%
All the participating students get a certificate of participation. In addition, a special mention is given to students who are in the top 70 to 71%.

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