Australian Science Olympiad Exams Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Australian Science Olympiad Exams?
The Australian Science Olympiad Exams are the first step in being selected to represent Australia at the International Science Olympiads.
Year 10 and 11 students are invited to challenge themselves by sitting one or more of the four Australian Science Olympiad Exams now on offer.
Testing students’ knowledge, critical thinking and problem solving skills, the exams are held in the disciplines of Biology, Earth and environmental science, Chemistry and Physics.
The exams last two hours and are carried out under strict examination conditions at your school.
Year 12 students are welcome to sit the exam however they are not eligible to attend the next stage of the program, the Australian Science Olympiads Summer School.
What is involved in the Australian Science Olympiad Exams?
Separate exams are held in biology, chemistry, Earth and environmental science and physics, each discipline on a different day. See Key Dates.
The exams test knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and their application in contemporary contexts; critical thinking and problem-solving abilities; and skill of scientific inquiry.
The demanding exams last two hours and must be carried out under strict supervision and examination conditions.
What do students qualify for?
All students sitting Australian Science Olympiad Exams receive a certificate indicating their level of achievement.
Approximately 100 students who do exceptionally well are invited to attend the Australian Science Olympiads Summer School. This is a 15-day residential course held in January at the Australian National University in Canberra. The summer school is organised and delivered by Australian Science Innovations’ program directors and staff.
How do I register for the exams?
Teachers must register students online. Registrations cost $10 (plus GST) per student. Registrations can only by made by teachers. If your school does not know their school profile login details, please ask them to contact us.
Find out the key dates for registrations
How difficult are the exams?
The Australian Science Olympiads Exam is designed to select the top students in each discipline to attend the Australian Science Olympiads Summer School.
As each exam is used as a selection tool, the questions need to be demanding. A mark of 50% is considered a good achievement.
When and where do students sit the Australian Science Olympiad Exams?
Students sit the exam at their school on the allocated dates under strict examination conditions. Find out the exam sitting dates
Home schooled students are encouraged to participate and can make arrangements to register with us by emailing email@example.com or by calling 02 6125 6228.
Please Note: Home schoolers must engage a registered invigilator to supervise the Olympiad exams and provide evidence or if possible, sit the exam with a local school.
Students who sit the exam receive a certificate indicating their performance. Certificates are mailed directly to schools in October.
The top 10% of students receive a high distinction. The top 24 eligible students in each discipline will be invited to summer school and will be awarded a gold medal.
Individual student marks and rankings will not be made available.
We will contact the students who have been invited to attend the Australian Science Olympiads Summer School. Arrangements are made directly with the student and their parents. Schools will also be informed of the outcome.
There are no restrictions on students sitting the exams. However, to be eligible to attend the Australian Science Olympiads Summer School:
- students either have or are eligible to have an Australian passport by 1 March of the year following their participation in the Australian Science Olympiad Exams;
- students must be 15 years or above at 1 January in the same year of the Australian Science Olympiads Summer School; and
- students must not yet have completed year 12 at the time of attendance at the Australian Science Olympiads Summer School.
Selection of the Australian Science Olympiad Team
The teams to represent Australia at the International Science Olympiads are selected from the students attending the Australian Science Olympiads Summer School.
Exam papers from earlier years
Access past papers