The International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO) is a global science olympiad for school students under the age of fifteen. This Olympiad is an annual event conducted in December to assess students’ understanding of natural science topics. Students from around 50 nations compete in this widely recognised competition. The IJSO for this year will take place from December 1 to 10 in Thailand. Intense tests in science-related disciplines, comprising both theoretical and practical exercises, are an integral part of the IJSO academic competitions. IJSO’s goal is to evaluate students’ knowledge on the various scientific concepts and their ability to apply them to real-world situations.

Objectives of IJSO

  • To stimulate the active interest of students in the Natural Sciences.
  • To promote their careers as scientists.
  • To enhance and develop international contacts in the Natural Sciences.
  • To promote future scientific collaboration.
  • To encourage the formation of friendships within the scientific community.
  • To offer the opportunity to compare the syllabi and educational trends in science education within the participating countries.

IJSO Syllabus

The International Junior Science Olympiad programme covers elements of science (physics, chemistry, and biology). The purpose of the Olympiad is to evaluate students’ abilities and general scientific knowledge in a variety of fundamental areas. The exam attempts to evaluate a student’s conceptual grasp, analytical abilities, and awareness of the consequences of the principles in practical situations. The syllabus is further based on

-IJSO’s prior curriculum
-The curriculum of the participating nations for kids under 15 years old
-IJSO questions from the fifth IJSO in 2008

Focus areas for IJSO

  1. General Science
  • Employ and Explain Scientific Methods
  • Use Scientific Terminology
  • Present Hypotheses
  • Devise and Accurately Describe Methods/Experiments to Test Hypotheses
  • Assess the Validity of Different Sources of Information
  • Adequately Represent Data in Tables, Diagrams and Graphs
  • Interpret Data

2. Content Knowledge in Science and Mathematics

  • Particles, Waves and Matter
  • Energy
  • Interactions
  • Structure, Properties and Functions
  • Systems
  • Development and Evolution
  • Mathematical Skills

3. Laboratory Skills

  • Work in the laboratory following safety regulations
  • Employ basic techniques for measuring the quantities
  • Make observations using the five senses
  • Identify and use basic laboratory equipment
  • Use more sophisticated equipment if proper instructions are given
  • Collect data from an experiment being aware that instruments affect measurements
  • Identify error sources and estimate their effects

IJSO Pattern

The IJSO is conducted in English and comprises of three different examinations that are held on different days. The maximum score is 100, which is broken down into the following three categories.

  1. The Test

    There are 30 multiple-choice questions on the three-hour test, 10 of which are from physics, 10 from chemistry, and 10 from biology. Each question will have four possible answers, and students will receive 1 point for each one that is accurate, 0 points for questions that elicit no response, and -0.25 points for incorrect ones.

2. Theory-based Test

A total of 3 hours are allotted for the theoretical test, with one hour allotted for each subject. Each part has several questions that address one or more components of the relevant science area. The maximum score on the exam is 30 points.

3. Experimental Examination

The three-hour experiment, participants are divided into groups of up to three from the same nation. Each country is allowed to send a maximum of two teams, and each team receives the same grade. The experimentation examination has a maximum possible score of 40 points.

Books for IJSO

IJSO preparation can get quite comfortable if one refers to these specific materials that are recommended based on the syllabus.

  • Science IQ Challenge
  • 1000 Biology Quiz
  • Biology Olympiad Book and Physics Olympiad Problems Book
  • Solved Olympiad Problems of National & International Exam
  • Math IQ Challenge
  • Math Olympiad Problems