International Science Olympiad

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The International Science Olympiads are a group of worldwide annual competitions in various areas of science. The competitions are designed for the 4-6 best high school students from each participating country selected through internal National Science Olympiads, with the exception of the IOL, which allows two teams per country, the IOI, which allows two teams from the hosting country, and the IJSO, which is designed for junior secondary students. Early editions of the Olympiads were limited to the Eastern Bloc, but later they gradually spread to other countries.[1]


The Olympiads themselves are separate competitions each with its own organising body, even though they are loosely grouped together as "ISOs". The aims of each ISO are to promote a career in science; to challenge the brightest students from around the world; and to compare the various teaching systems of each country. Although the competitions are aimed for secondary school pupils, the standards of the exams are extremely high. In fact, in several countries, achieving a high ranking in any ISO guarantees access to a university of choice and a fellowship.

International Science Olympiads[edit]

  • Science Olympiads are international student competitions. There are 13 commonly recognized International Science Olympiads:
Number Science Symbol Year
1 International Mathematical Olympiad IMO since 1959
2 International Physics Olympiad IPhO since 1967
3 International Chemistry Olympiad IChO since 1968
4 International Olympiad in Informatics IOI since 1989
5 International Biology Olympiad IBO since 1990
6 International Philosophy Olympiad IPO since 1993
7 International Astronomy Olympiad IAO since 1996
8 International Geography Olympiad iGeo since 1996
9 International Linguistics Olympiad IOL since 2003
10 International Junior Science Olympiad IJSO since 2004
11 International Earth Science Olympiad IESO since 2007
12 International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics IOAA since 2007
13 International Economics Olympiad IEO since 2018

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