International Biology Olympiad

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The International Biology Olympiad (IBO) is a science olympiad for highschool students under the age of 20. The first academic international Olympiads after the (originally Eastern European-based) International Mathematical Olympiad were launched under the auspices of the United Nations in the 1960s. The programs have gradually expanded to include more than 70 participating countries across five continents. The IBO is one of these olympiads. All participating countries send the four winners of their National Biology Olympiad to the IBO, usually accompanied by two adults who are members of the international jury for the duration of the competition.


The aims of the IBO are to promote a career in science for talented students and to stress the importance of biology in our current society. It also provides a great opportunity to compare educational methods and exchange experiences. This is useful information to improve biology education on a national level. Since the organization of every National Olympiad requires the cooperation of many institutions, such as ministries of education, industry, teachers' associations, universities and schools, communication and cooperation between those institutions is promoted and intensified. Lastly, the IBO stimulates contact between students and teachers from many countries in a friendly environment. To demonstrate this, both students and jurors swear an oath of behaving according to the principles of fair play.


The competition itself is composed of a theoretical and practical element. The theory exams cover a wide range of Biology: Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Plant Anatomy and Physiology, Animal Anatomy and Physiology, Ethology, Genetics and Evolution, Ecology, and Biosystematics. The marks are scaled so that the theory and practical components each have a weighting of about fifty percent.

All participants are ranked based on their individual scores. These are based on the results of a theoretical and a practical test, each making up approximately fifty percent of the final score. Gold medals are awarded to the top ten percent of students, silver medals are awarded to the next twenty percent of students and bronze medals are awarded to the next thirty percent of students.


The official language of the IBO is English. To provide equal opportunities for all participants, the tests are translated prior to the testing days. This is done by each country's jurors. This means they hold specific information on the tests before the participants should know. Therefore, jurors and students are lodged in separate accommodation.

Objectives of Participants[edit]

The goals that each participant hopes to achieve in the IBO contest may vary widely from winning medals to socializing and exploring interactions between different cultures.

Past and future IBOs[edit]

Each year, the IBO is organised by a different country.

Participant countries
1st Olomouc  Czechoslovakia July 1-7, 1990 6
2nd Makhachkala  Soviet Union July 1-7, 1991 9
3rd Poprad  Czechoslovakia July 6-12, 1992 12
4th Utrecht  Netherlands July 4-11, 1993 15
5th Varna  Bulgaria July 3-10, 1994 18
6th Bangkok ThailandThailand July 2-9, 1995 22
7th Artek  Ukraine June 30 - July 7, 1996 23
8th Ashgabad  Turkmenistan July 13–20, 1997 28
9th Kiel  Germany July 19–26, 1998 33
10th Uppsala  Sweden July 4–11, 1999 36
11th Antalya  Turkey July 9–16, 2000 38
12th Brussels  Belgium July 8–15, 2001 38
13th Jurmala and Riga  Latvia July 7–14, 2002 40
14th Minsk  Belarus July 8–16, 2003 41
15th Brisbane AustraliaAustralia July 11-18, 2004 40
16th Beijing  China July 10-17, 2005 50
17th Rio Cuarto  Argentina July 9-16, 2006 48
18th Saskatoon  Canada July 15-22, 2007 49
19th Mumbai  India July 13-20, 2008 55
20th Tsukuba  Japan July 12-19, 2009 56
21st Changwon  South Korea July 11-18, 2010 58
22nd Taipei  Taiwan July 10-17, 2011 59
23rd Singapore  Singapore July 8-15, 2012 63
24th Bern   Switzerland July 14-21, 2013 62
25th Bali  Indonesia July 6-13, 2014 61
26th Aarhus  Denmark July 12-19, 2015 61
27th Hanoi  Vietnam July 17-24, 2016 68
28th Coventry  United Kingdom July 23-30, 2017
29th Shiraz  Iran 2018
30th Szeged  Hungary 2019
31st Nagasaki  Japan 2020

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Websites of individual IBOs