IBO Exam (International Biology Olympiad)

The International Biology Olympiad is the world’s most prestigious biology competition, held every year in July for secondary school students. The 32nd International Biology Olympiad in Lisbon, Portugal, has been cancelled due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. The competition is designed to find, promote, empower, and assist the next generation of biological science leaders, as well as to expand their worldwide network.

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Biology is a topic that requires a lot of memory recall. Students may also be asked many questions about diagrams, so they should be ready for them in advance. Biology might come up in many multiple-choice questions, thus, candidates’ main goal should be to fully understand the chapter’s contents. In 1990, Czechoslovakia hosted the inaugural International Biology Olympiad, which has been conducted every year since. The virtual IBO 2022 Challenge will be held from July 10-18.

Day Wise Program

The day-wise program from July 10-18, 2022 are tabulated below

Days Event
Day 1 During the day: Arrival of the candidates

Evening: Welcome ceremony for the candidates

Day 2 Social program, excursions, laboratory safety instructions
Day 3 Practical exams
Day 4 Social program, excursions
Day 5 Theoretical exams

Evening: Cultural night, together with jury members Excursion day

Day 6 Social program, excursions
Day 7 Morning: Social program, excursions

Afternoon: Awards ceremony, gala dinner, closing party

Day 8 Departures


IBO Registration

The following are the requirements for taking part in the IBO in 2022:

  • To take part in the IBO 2022, you must be a member of the IBO Association.
  • You should have a National Biology Olympiad (NBO) that selects your participants on a regular basis.
  • You must register your nation on the official website of the IBO 2022.

A one-time cost of $150 will be required to register for the IBO 2022 (one hundred and fifty Euros). Each delegation can contain up to four students and no less than two jurors (there is no maximum number of jurors). There will be no further costs.

A country or region’s delegation comprises one to four contestants (students selected by the National Biology Olympiad and a minimum of 2 members of the Jury).

Read more: IBO Registration

IBO Examination Pattern

The IBO test consists of both a theoretical and practical component. Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Plant Anatomy and Physiology, Animal Anatomy and Physiology, Ethology, Genetics and Evolution, Ecology, and Biosystematics are among the topics covered in the theoretical exams. The marks are weighted so that each theory and practical component receives around 50% of the total.

On the basis of their individual scores, all contestants are ranked. Gold medals are given to the top ten per cent of students, silver medals are given to the next twenty per cent, and bronze medals are given to the next thirty per cent.

Read more: IBO Exam Pattern

IBO Syllabus

Details of IBO Syllabus is given below.

Part 1: IBO Theoretical Exam Syllabus

Chapter Name Weightage
Cell Biology

  • Structure and Function of Cells And Their Components
  • Microbiology Technology
Plant Anatomy And Physiology

(With an emphasis on seed plants)

Animal Anatomy And Physiology

(With an emphasis on vertebrates and seed plants)

Ethology 5%
Genetic And Evolution 20%
Ecology 10%
Biosystematics 5%

Part 2: IBO 2022 Practical Exam Syllabus

The IBO 2022 examinations will take place on July 19, 2022, and will consist of a single practical test.

Types of Skills Topics
Science Process Skills
  • Observation
  • Measurement
  • Grouping or Classification
  • Relationship Finding
  • Calculation
  • Data organization and presentation include:

Graphs, Tables, Charts, Diagrams, and Photographs

  • Prediction / Projection
  • Hypothesis Formulation
  • Operational definition: Scope, Condition, Assumption
  • Variable identification and control
  • Experimentation Includes:
  • Experimental design
  • Experimenting
  • Result / Data recording
  • Result Interpretation
  • Drawing Conclusions
  • Representing numerical results with appropriate accuracy (correct number of d
Basic Biological Skills
  • Observation of biological objects using magnifying glasses
  • Work with a microscope (objective max. 45×)
  • Work with a stereomicroscope
  • Drawing of preparations (from a microscope, etc.)
  • Precise explanation of biological drawing with the help of the tables of biological terms marked with a numerical code
Biological Methods The candidates should know the following biological methods and be able to use them.

  • Cytological Method
  • Method to study plant anatomy and Physiology
  • Method to study animal anatomy and Physiology
  • Ethological Methods
  • Ecological And Environmental Methods
  • Taxonomic Method
Physical And Chemical Methods
  • Separation techniques: chromatography, filtration, centrifugation
  • Standard tests for different methods such as monosaccharides, polysaccharides, lipids, protein (Fehling, I2 in KI (aq), biuret);
  • Titration
  • Measuring quantities by drip and strip methods
  • Dilution methods
  • Pipetting, including use of micropipettes
  • Microscopy, together with the proper use of counting chambers
  • Determination of absorption of light
  • Gel electrophoresis
Microbiological Methods
  • Preparing Nutrient Media
  • Aseptic techniques (flaming and heating glass material)
Statistical Methods
  • Probability and probability distributions
  • Application of different statistical methods such as mean, median, percentage, variance, standard deviation, standard error, t-test, chi-square test.

IBO Exam Eligibility Criteria

Here are the details of the IBO Eligibility Criteria for 2022

Age Education NBO Experience IBO Experience
  • The candidate should have been born on July 1 or later of the competition year minus 20
  • The candidate must be a graduate of a member country’s or region’s “regular” secondary school (Unesco ISCED: 11).
  • Before January 1st of the competition year, you must have a diploma to study at a university or a comparable institution.
  • Must not study full-time at University (or equivalent)
  • Must be a winner of member NBO in the competition year.
  • Must not be trained in the group(s) of < 51 for more than 2 weeks.
  • Furthermore, the NBO design criteria must be met (eg: be accessible to students from all national public schools).
  • Must have competed in the exam less than twice.
  • Must not have been an observer or Jury Member

IBO Exam Result

The IBO 2022 test will take place from July 10 to July 18. The results are released a few weeks after the tests are completed. Students may see the IBO 2022 results by going to the official website of the IBO. The IBO result comprises codes, the candidate’s name, rank, practical and theoretical marks, and other information. Both practical and theoretical tests are included in the IBO exam. The host country sends the students’ raw results to the international judges.

The host nation calculates the final result based on the T- score for both practical and theoretical marks (50 percent + 50 percent) when our country’s coordinator approves the student’s raw results. The gold, silver, and bronze medals, as well as the certificates of merit, are awarded based on the students’ final rankings.

Frequently Asked Questions on IBO Exam – International Biology Olympiad (IBO)


What is the procedure for taking the International Olympiad Exam?

Students who wish to take the IBO test must place in the top four students in the final round of the National Biology Olympiad, which is held each year during the current school year and is open to only secondary school students in general education. All schools in each nation are welcome to participate in NBO.

What is the IBO Exam and how does it work?

The “International Biology Olympiad” is a high school biology test. The first IBO test was held in Czechoslovakia in 1990, and it has been held annually since then. This exam assesses the students’ ability to cope with biological problems and biology experiments. The IBO test pushes and encourages secondary school pupils to develop their skills and pursue professions as scientists in the future.

What is the IBO Exam’s Objective?

The goal of IBO is to bring together exceptional students and to challenge and inspire them to pursue careers as scientists so that their biological abilities do not go unnoticed. The goal of IBO is to find, promote, empower, and assist the next generation of biologists, while also expanding their network.

What are the options for students to view the IBO results?

Students may see the IBO results by going to the IBO official website.

What methods can students use to pass the practical exam?

No lab room or materials/chemicals are required for the virtual IBO practical test. The interpretation is based on videos and/or graphics/images. Students must, however, have access to computers with internet connections in order to take the test.


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