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Principality of Liechtenstein

Liechtensteinische Biologie Olympiade



In August of each year, promotion material is distributed by post mail to the biology teachers of the only secondary school in Liechtenstein. It consists of a letter informing the teachers about the IBO, a poster of the current National Biology Olympiad, the annual report of the association ibo|suisse as well as a copy of the exam of the first selection round.

As a small country with only one secondary school (Lichtensteinisches Gymnasium, Vaduz), there is no sufficient capacity for Liechtenstein to organize a National Biology Olympiad on its own. Therefore the ministry of education ("Schulamt Liechtenstein", director: Mr. Daniel Miescher) mandated the association ibo|suisse (Swiss Biology Olympiad) to organize the selection for the Biology Olympiad of Liechtenstein. Thus, students from Liechtenstein participate at the Swiss selection, but with a separate ranking and specific selection criteria.

A same kind of collaboration with Switzerland is realized for other scientific Olympiads too.

The selection consists of the following steps:


first round: August-September

The secondary school teachers receive a copy of the first round by post mail. All students specialised in natural sciences take the exam. The first round is a multiple-choice exam with about 70 tasks. The answer sheets are sent back and evaluated by members of the association ibo|suisse. Students are informed by a letter about their results. Furthermore, they receive a login to the NBO-website where they can check their own results, the answer key and the ranking.


Preparation camp: October or November

The students within the best 80 - 100 ranks of the first round of the Swiss Biology Olympiad are invited to a preparation camp of a duration of one week. The training consists of lectures about the main topics of biology. The students are provided detailed documents and scripts about each topic, which allows them to prepare themselves individually after the camp. Students from the principality of Liechtenstein which attain a rank of 80 or better are equally invited to participated in the preparation camp.


second round: January.

All students who have been qualified for the preparation camp round are invited to the second round. It is held simultaneously at three to four different places in Switzerland. The second round is a multiple-choice exam of about 120 tasks. It is supervised by members of the association ibo|suisse. After the exams have been corrected, students can check all details about their exam by logging on the IBO website.


Third round: April.

Students within the best 20 ranks of the second round of the Swiss Biology Olympiad are invited to a camp of practical preparation. During four days, they pass about 15 practical exams. The results of all practical exams contribute to the final ranking using t-scores. The results of students from Liechtenstein are reported to the ministry of education. Based on this, the ministry decides whether a team will be sent to the IBO or not. This is usually the case when there is at least one student are among the best 12 - 15 students of the Swiss selection.


Final training: May and June

The students from Liechtenstein selected to participate at the IBO benefit of some additional training, together with the Swiss team. This training is usually organized during two distinct weekends. The aim of this training is to complete knowledge or techniques necessary for successfully competing at the IBO.

First round:

The first round consists of a multiple-choice exam with about 60 questions. Neither books nor other additional material are allowed. The portion of the different topics of biology is in harmony with the IBO syllabus. It is supervised by the secondary school teachers and lasts 90 minutes.


second round:

The second round is a multiple-choice exam of about 120 tasks. It takes about four hours. Neither books nor other additional material are allowed. The portion of the different topics of biology is in harmony with the IBO syllabus. The level of the exam is supposed to correspond to a theoretical IBO exam.


third round:

The third round consists of about 15 practical exams. Each of them is organised similar to a practical IBO exam. This means that students do not know what they will have to do when entering the lab. They just find all material and protocols and must be able to make the best of it. Students have not been specifically trained for the corresponding lab techniques before.

The students’ training consists of 6 days of lectures during the preparation camp. During the third round, students are practising techniques during the practical exams. Finally, the four winners of the national selection are specifically trained for the IBO during another 3 to 5 days.

All participants of the preparation camp are provided detailed scripts. Furthermore, all exams of previous years are published on the website of the Swiss Biology Olympiad, accessible for all students. Students who qualified for the IBO are provided with a digital copy of Campbell Biology for self-study. During the training weekends they furthermore solve and discuss former IBO exams in order to get a feeling of what they can expect.

There is no award of students passing the first and the second round. Students who participate at the third round receive a certificate attesting their successful participation and mentioning their final rank. Students who qualify for the international biology olympiads are eligible for a scholarship providing they study at the university of Bern.

Public Relation (Media) is organized by the office of the Association of Swiss Scientific Olympiads. National print media regularly report about the results of Liechtenstein at the IBO.

see Role of Ministry of education

The ministry of education of Liechtenstein (Schulamt Liechtenstein) is paying a regular contribution to the Association of Swiss Scientific Olympiads. By this way, a refund is done to the Swiss Biology Olympiad charged to organize the selection of Students from Liechtenstein. The ministry is financing all costs of participation at the IBO (fees and travel costs for the students and two coordinators).

The rules of the national competition follow as much as possible the rules of the IBO (IBO rules). In particular, admission of students and the duration of their training strictly follow the IBO rules. The content of the training and the exams is organized as much as possible according to the syllabus of the IBO.

Jacqueline Mock

Sonnengasse 4, CH-5313 Klingnau, Switzerland;

Verein ibo|suisse co Verband Schweizer Wissenschafts-Olympiaden Hochschulstrasse 6 3012 Bern Switzerland

Since 2007, up to 40 Students from Liechtenstein participate at the first round of the selection. A mean of about 3-4 students is qualified each year for the second round. Participation at the IBO depends on the performance of the Students within the Swiss selection. Therefore not every year a team can be sent to the IBO:

2007: one participant (Philip Oertle)

2008: no participation

2009: one participant, winning a bronze medal      (Sebastian Hälg)

2010: no participation

2011: one participant (Donat Appert)

2012: only observers

2013: one participant (David Hälg)

2014: no participation

2015: no participation

2016: one participant (Eliane Züger)




by LI_jutzim last modified May 08, 2017 11:55 AM