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Malaysian Biology Olympiad (MBO)

2015   (in English)

·         Secretariat works with Ministry of Education of Malaysia to promote to secondary schools in Malaysia by sending them invitation letter to take part in first screening test of 2016 from February to March 2016. Promotion of the screening test was also via MBO website. 

·         Pusat PERMATApintar Negara (The Malaysian National Gifted Center), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia is the main organizer of the MBO. This center function as MBO secretariat and the MBO committee members are professors, senior lecturers and teachers teaching the different Biology fields.

·         We had conducted four rounds of selection to determine the national champions. Details of the selection are as follows:

                               I.            First screening test was conducted in school and handled by the school respectively from February to March 2016. A total of 1033 students took part in the first screening test.

                            II.            Second screening test was conducted at 16 April 2016 in the center involving the best 50 % of students from the first screening test which were 526 students.

                         III.            Third screening test was conducted in the first workshop involving 105 students from the second screening test. The workshop was held from 3 – 6 May 2016.

                         IV.            Fourth screening test was conducted in the second workshop involving 41 students selected based on the third screening from the date of 24 – 28 May 2016. The best six students were identified with 2 of them as reserves.



The descriptions for tests were conducted as follow:

       I.            First round:  Secretariat had prepared 10 sets of screening tests comprising of 70 multiple choice questions using past years questions from IBO. Question can be downloaded from the website of MBO. Teacher in charge in school was requested to send in a short report with pictures of test as proof before secretariat release the answer scheme. Then, school sent secretariat the results of screening to secretariat for analysis.

    II.            Second round: The second screening test was conducted in two sessions in this center and each session only took 2 hours. The test comprises of 70 multiple questions from all the committee members.

 III.            Third round: The third round of screening was conducted in the first workshop in the center. The questions comprise of 70 multiple choice questions from past IBO questions from IBO website.

 IV.            Fourth round: Theoretical and practical tests’ questions were prepared by the committees based on IBO syllabus. Pusat PERMATApintar Negara (The Malaysian National Gifted Center) and one of the research laboratories in the university were chosen as the venue to run the screening tests. The practical parts were topics related to methods to study animal anatomy and physiology, plant anatomy and physiology, taxonomic methods and physical and chemical methods.



Students training were conducted during the workshops; participants were given training on theoretical understanding and practical skills based on the IBO syllabus. Since the IBO syllabus is beyond the national biology syllabus for secondary schools, the trainers conducted the class based on IBO past years’ questions. Trainers prepared their own lecture notes based on the syllabus and also IBO questions. At the end of the workshops, students were given screening tests on the theoretical questions. For the practical sessions, trainers provided students with one and half hour discussion on the basic skills and knowledge of the content. Students then were provided with instruments, materials and protocols to conduct their own practical tests and answers questions based on their findings and analyse it within 2 hours. Intensive training was conducted for the best 6 students who are the winners of MBO for 5 days in the center on theoretical and practical parts. 

Materials for training were provided by the trainers based on IBO syllabus. Campbell was used as students’ textbook throughout the workshops. Students used past IBO questions for exercise and revision.

Certificate of participation was awarded to every participant in all screening tests and workshops. A total of 18 medals (6 gold medals, 6 medals of silver and 6 medals of bronze) were presented to the 18 best participants in the second workshop based on their achievement in all tasks. Gold medallists were invited to join the intensive training held before IBO in July. Top 4 candidates with gold medals will represent the country in IBO 2016. 

Organiser uses only emails and MBO website to promote MBO. 

Secretariat is responsible for all the support and resources for MBO. The center is using own funding from the university to conduct all the screening tests and worskhops. 

The Malaysian Ministry of Education provides the students for the MBO competition by sending official invitation letter to schools. 

Participants are secondary schools students and pre- university students aged from 16 - 19 years old. 

2015 – 64 participants


2016 – 1033 participants

from January to November .
minimum 2, maximum 5.

Ong Sy Ing

Pusat PERMATApintarTM Negara, (The Malaysian National Gifted Center) Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43 650, Bandar Baru Bangi, Malaysia.
PERMATApintarTM National Gifted Center, National University of Malaysia

Images and files:


Image for the logo PNG image — 12 KB

Image for the leaflet PNG image — 39 KB
by Nurul Yuziana Mohd Yusof last modified Jul 14, 2016 10:08 AM