The International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) is an annual academic competition for high school students; it is one of the International Science Olympiads. The first IChO was held in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1968. The event has been held every year after then (exception 1971).
Each national delegation is made up of at most five student contestants and two leaders who are selected on a national level. Mentors and teachers are a part of this delegation. The students participate individually through a set of high intensity difficult theoretical and practical questions.
The theoretical examination lasts 5 hours and consists of three questions. Usually these questions involve more than one part. The practical examination may consist of one laboratory examination of five hours, or two exams which spans for 5 hours.
Stages of International Chemistry Olympiad
The National Science Olympiad starts with the examination of nearly 1400 schools participating across the country. This culminates into the IChO., which is held at a global level. The main aim of these examinations is to assess the conceptual understanding, logical reasoning, laboratory skills, and above all, ability to apply problem-solving skills to novel situations, both theoretical and experimental. The training is included from the third stage of the programme and two stages do not necessarily require any specialised coaching outside the regular school system.
Stage 1: National Standard Examination
The first stage examination, the National Standard Examination (NSE) is the organisational responsibility of the Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT). The NSEs are tests with objective test pattern and are offered in English and Hindi, with additional languages by IAPT itself. The syllabus is equivalent to up to std. 12 of the CBSE. However, the questions can be of a higher difficulty level at different stages of the Olympiads. These exams are held close to the end of November every year at nearly 1400 centres across the nation. Students can register for this preliminary stage at their own schools. The registration fee of Rs.100 is the only fee which a student has to pay in the entire process up to the international Olympiads.
Stage 2: Indian National Olympiad (INO)
The best-performing students from the NSE (approximately 300) qualify for the second stage, which is the Indian National Olympiad (INO). The responsibility of the programme from this stage onwards lies with the HBCSE. The INO is held in late January at about 18 centres across the country. The syllabus is the same as that of the NSE. The test consists of objective as well as long questions.
Stage 3: Orientation cum Scholarship Camp
The top students from the INO (approximately 35) are invited for the third stage, the Orientation-cum-selection camps are held at the HBCSE during April to June. At these camps orientation is provided to students for the Olympiad level of theoretical, experiment tasks with the emphasis on developing conceptual foundations and problem-solving skills. Students are exposed to different innovative experiments with the aim on building the conceptual and procedural understanding. Various tests are conducted at the camps, on the basis of which a few students are selected to represent India at the International Olympiads.
Stage 4: Pre-Departure Camp
The selected team undergoes various rigorous workshops for 8-10 days prior to the departure for the IChO at the HBCSE. Special laboratories have been developed in HBCSE for this purpose. Resource persons from different institutions across the country are invited to the training camps.
Stage 5: International Olympiad
Finally, this culminates into the IMO, along with the team, 4 teachers or mentors are sent.
Important dates – International Chemistry Olympiad
|Registration of the Institute||August 17 to August 31, 2017|
|Enrolment of the students||September 01 to September 15, 2017|
|Downloading Admit card||First week of November 2017|
|NSE-Chemistry||November 26th, 2017 (11 am to 1 pm)|
Dates of INO and camps should be added. IChO dates also need to be added here.
Who is Eligible for IChO?
The candidates are required to appear for the NSE before they appear for the International Olympiad. The eligibility criterion for the IChO is given below:
- Must be an Indian citizen.
- Date of birth between 1 July 1998 and 30 June 2003, both days inclusive.
- Must not have completed (or scheduled to complete) class 12 board examination earlier than 30 November 2017.
- Must not have commenced (or planning to commence) studies in a university or equivalent institution by 1 June, 2018.
- Must not be appearing in NSEJS 2017.
It would be solely the candidate’s responsibility to see to it that he/she meets the eligibility norms if not he/she is liable to disqualification.
How to Enroll for IChO?
You can get in touch with your school Headmaster to check whether your school is a NSE centre. If, yes then you can directly pay the fees and your school would be given the required guidance pertaining to the NSE.
If your school/college is not a registered centre, then you could visit the website: www.iapt.org.in. The website would display the details of the registered centre for last year. This might help you to locate the nearest centre you and enrolling your name at the centre by paying the required fee.
- Fee: Rs.100 per student
- The fees are payable to the centre in-charge of the centre where you have enrolled your name. No direct remittance to IAPT is permissible.
- No TA/ DA is admissible for NSE (Stage I Examination).
Syllabus for International Chemistry Olympiad
The syllabus of the competition contains subjects from several areas of chemistry, including organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, and spectroscopy. Though some of these subjects are included in most secondary school chemistry programs, for the most part, they are evaluated at a much deeper level and many may require a level of knowledge and understanding comparable to that of post-secondary education. In addition, the host country of each IChO issues a set of preparatory problems well in advance of the competition every year. These preparatory problems cover specific topics in considerable more depth than typical post-secondary education. Preparation for the International Chemistry Olympiad demands a high level of understanding and interest in chemistry and an outstanding ability to relate chemical subjects with one another as well as with the practical world.
Download the official syllabus of International Chemistry Olympiad here:
Exam centres – International Chemistry Olympiad
International Chemistry Olympiad has been hosted by many countries over the course of 49 years, since 1968. The table gives all the countries where IChO had been hosted in past and will be hosted in the years to come.
|—||not held in 1971||—||—||—|
|4||1972||Moscow||Soviet Union||July 1–10|
|8||1976||Halle||East Germany||July 10–19|
|11||1979||Leningrad||Soviet Union||July 2–11|
|16||1984||Frankfurt||West Germany||July 1–10|
|21||1989||Halle||East Germany||July 2–10|
|24||1992||Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.||United States||July 11–22|
|38||2006||Gyeongsan||South Korea||July 1–11|
|41||2009||Cambridge||United Kingdom||July 18–27|
|44||2012||Washington, D.C.||United States||July 21–30|
|48||2016||Tbilisi||Georgia||23 July – 1 August|
|49||2017||Nakhon Pathom||Thailand||6-15 July|
|50||2018||Prague and Bratislava||Czech Republic, Slovakia||19-29 July|
Sample papers – International Chemistry Olympiad
IChO has 2 sets of papers, i.e. Theoretical and Practical. Download the question papers+solutions below.