Long tradition makes Biology Olympiad well known among students and teachers. The invitation and some materials are distributed to directors of high/secondary schools in the Czech Republic. Many schools take part in the competition. The Website of the National Biology Olympiad (NBO) is widely used as an information hub.
The NBO is organized by Czech University of Life Sciences together with National Committee and supported by many volunteers and former participants of the NBO. Czech University of Life Sciences is authorized by Ministry of Education to organize NBO.
Competition is divided into four categories: A, B, C, and D. Students can start with the category D at the age of 13 and finish in category A as 19-20 years old. For categories B, C and D, there are 2 rounds: school and regional one. Category A has 3 rounds: school round in winter, regional round in March/April and national round (hosted by one of the Czech universities or top high schools). Each year is the NBO focused on a particular topic.
In all competition rounds there are practical laboratory parts, theoretical test and identification of animal and plant species. National competition in category A also includes fieldwork.
Theoretical tests are multiple-choice exams with 1 or 2 possible correct answers and 30-50 questions. All subjects of biology are proportionally covered, including biosystematics, ecology, evolution and ethology.
There are summer camps for the best students from the regional competition of all categories in July. For the IBO final selection as well as training, there are two courses with extensive testing at the end of May at the Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague and at the University of South Bohemia (usually 8 days in total).
Each year is the NBO focused on a particular topic. This topic is covered by approx. 100 pages booklet, often written by the senior university students (for cat. A&B). For category C&D, shorter text is prepared by a group of secondary school teachers. Printed version of the booklet is distributed to all relevant secondary schools and electronic version is accessible on-line at www.biologickaolymopiada.cz
The regional winners receive certificates. Best competitors in the national level are awarded with books and prizes from sponsors. The main sponsor is for many years the company Olympus, other sponsors are universities and local companies. Successful participants of the national round are accepted to several universities without entrance exam.
All Czech student representatives from different international knowledge competitions are honored in and official meeting organized by the Ministry of Education at the end of the year.
Local newspaper or radio usually report about successful students from their region. Articles about NBO are regularly published in the Czech educational or science magazines.
Major financial support comes from Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, covering main part of NBO budget.
We are also receiving regular support from Czech University of Life Sciences, Charles University in Prague and University of South Bohemia. Further support comes from other institutions and private companies.
Ministry of Education is the main source of funding. On the other hand, they don’t participate in the NBO organization.
In general, NBO rules follow IBO rules. Younger students could compete in a category for older students (but they have to choose always just one category). To minimize cheating, regional rounds of category A resp. B are organized in a fixed date in all regions.
Number of participants in school rounds (2016):
Category A: almost 2000
Category B: 2500
Category C: 9600
Category D: 10600