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New Zealand

New Zealand International Biology Olympiad

2004   (in English)

The NBO is promoted via our website Students are encouraged to use the website and register themselves. Teachers are informed of the NZIBO programme via email newsletters  sent out by the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Biology Educators Association of New Zealand (BEANZ). NZIBO makes presentations at relevant teacher workshops and teacher conferences. Science OlympiaNZ also has a website that promotes participation in all Olympiad programmes and this includes links to the NZIBO website and an outline of our programme.

Press releases are regularly sent out to the NZ media as NZIBO events occur.

NZIBO is a committee of volunteer secondary and tertiary educators and is responsible for organizing the NZIBO programme.

1. The Entrance exam is sat by students from throughout NZ in August of each year. This is aimed at students in Year 12 (second to last year of secondary schooling).

2. Online based tutorial programme for 150+ students using Education Perfect and MasteringBiology learning platforms.

3. Practical Training Camp Selection Exam in late February or early March.

4. Residential Practical Training Camp for the 20-24 students with the highest grades in the Camp Selection Exam.

5. Team selection based on theoretical and practical examinations held at teh practical Training Camp.

1. The Entrance exam - this is a 75 question multiple choice exam which tests thinking skills rather than curriculum knowledge. Sat by the student in their own school with invigilation by the school.

2. Online tutorial programme - based on past IBO exams and readings from Campbell and Reece "Biology". Students must complete a number of assignments, virtual labs and compulsory question sets from the IBO and submit for online marking.

3. Practical Training Camp Selection Exam - a 75 question multiple choice exam based on the tutorial programme, sat online in their own school with invigilation by the school.

4. Residential Practical Training Camp - during this the students sit a practical and theory exam.

5. Team selection - based a 3 hour practical exam which tests the practical skills taught at the camp and a 3 hour theoretical exam involving multiple choice and short answer questions based on the IBO curriculum.

All exams and tutorials are produced by the NZIBO committee.

The students participate in online tutorials from September - February including assignments and virtual labs within MasteringBiology and compulsory IBO question sets within Education Perfect. The compulsory question sets are from past IBO competitions, selected to ensure the students cover all aspects of the IBO curriculum. In April there is a 10 day residential training camp for the top 20-24 students that is hosted by a variety of tertiary institution. Our major host and supporting organisations are Massey University and the Institure of Natural and Mathematical Sciecne at Albany Campus, the University of Auckland, The University of Waikato, Massey University, Albany and the University of Otago. Students selected to represent NZ at the IBO then work independently at home with email support from the NZIBO committee until the IBO competition in July. If possible, a pre-departure practical session of 2 days is held for the team members.

Campbell & Reece "Biology" is the NZIBO recommended textbook. We also use selected questions from the past IBOs.

At each step NZIBO awards certificates:

All students recieve a Participation certificate.

Students selected to participate in the tutorial programme recieve a Bronze Certificate.

Students selected to attend the residential training camp recive a Silver Certificate.

The NZ team recieve a Gold Certificate.

The student with the highest ranking at the IBO recieves a Platinum Certificate.

Press releases are sent to all major media as appropriate but these are seldom acted upon. A variety of newsletters are sent to schools and teachers throughout New Zealand. Our own website highlights the achievements of students in the NZIBO programme.

We have a wide variety of support from Tertiary institutions throughout NZ, both direct financial contributions and in kind support to run the training camp. The students also receive funding from the Ministry of Science & Technology via the Talented Secondary School Students Travel Award to help pay for their travel to the IBO. This grant is administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand. NZIBO does not receive any support from the Ministry of Education.


Nil, we use the IBO rules.

Year           Number of students participating

2004-05     60

2005-06     156

2006-07     145

2007-08     137

2008-09     215

2009-10     242

2010 -11    276

2011-12     242

2012-13     389

2013-14     344

2014-15     374

2015-16     349

2016-17     347


from February to December.
minimum 4, maximum 5.

Dr Angela Sharples

896A State Highway 5 RD2 Rotorua 3072 NEW ZEALAND

Images and files:

A wide variety are used. The most important one being our website.

Image for the logo JPEG image — 1023 KB

File for the poster PDF document — 1704 KB
by Angela Sharples last modified Jan 17, 2017 02:20 PM