Biology Olympiad is well known among students and teachers due to long tradition in Slovakia. Many schools take part in the competition. The information materials are distributed to high and secondary schools in the Slovak Republic. BiO Newsletter „Spravodaj BiO“, a newsletter of the Slovak Commission of Biology Olympiad, have been published and distributed to schools by responsible government organization IUVENTA. In last years the Website of the National Biology Olympiad (NBO) is widely used as an information source by students and teachers.
is officially organized by Ministry
of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. Slovak Committee
of BiO is responsible for tasks, assembly of evaluation commission and selection
of the best students from regional level to national level. IUVENTA – Slovak
Youth Institute, a state organization directly managed by the Ministry
of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, operates in
the sphere of work with talented youth (school subjects‘ competitions called
„Olympiads“), is responsible for administration of the competition.
The Biology Olympiad is organized in four rounds: school, district, regional and national round. The Competition is divided into four categories in primary/elementary schools: C, D, E and F; two categories are running in grammar/secondary schools: A and B. School children can start with the category F at the age of 9 and finish as a students of secondary schools in the category A as 18-19 years old. For categories F and D, there are 2 rounds: school and district one, in the categories C and E there are 4 rounds: school, district, regional and national. The categories A and B have 3 rounds: school, regional and national round. National level is usually hosted by one of the Slovak universities or top high schools. All categories have specific methodological and organizational guidelines.
secondary school levels, in all competition rounds there are practical
laboratory tasks and a theoretical test. 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, following IBO Rules, Appendix 1. The preparation and
creation of tests and practical tasks is in responsibility of the Slovak
Commission of Biology olympiad. Members of the editorial board are mostly
university teachers and students.
Competition of projects based on field research or laboratory work is also part of the NBO. The winners with the best environmental projects or biology projects can participate in INEPO or IYIPO competitions.
There are some differences on regional level. 8-10
winners of the national round of the category A or B are invited for one
week of theoretical training and testing. Training is usually at the Faculty of
Natural Science, Comenius University in Bratislava. Students have lectures and
seminars from different part of Biology. Lecturers are from Faculty of Natural Science,
Comenius University in Bratislava and Slovak
Agricultural University in Nitra. The best 6 students are trained for another
one-week (practical tasks). The best 4 students are nominated for IBO. The IBO final selection as well as training,
there are two courses with extensive training at the end of May at (usually 10
days in total).
Tasks of previous NBO and IBO (translated into Slovak) were published every year in http://www.iuventa.sk/sk/Olympiady/Olympiady-a-sutaze/BiO.alej. Special publications with tasks were also printed and distributed and now they are available on web page http://www.iuventa.sk/sk/Olympiady/Olympiady-a-sutaze/BiO/Publikacie-1.alej. Biology from Campbell is recommended for students as basic study material.
Winners of all categories at all rounds receive diploma and/or certificates. Best competitors are awarded with science books and prizes, and sponsors gifts. In the national level the Dean the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava awards some students. Successful participants of the national round are accepted by several universities without entrance exam, generally the students are accepted also by universities in Slovak Republic, Czech Republic and foreign universities. All Slovak student representatives from different international knowledge competitions are honored in an official meeting organized by the Ministry of Education at the end of year.
Regional and local newspapers or radio usually report about successful students from their region. Articles about NBO are regularly published in the Slovak educational or science /environmental journals/magazines and in the News Agency of the Slovak Republic (TASR).
Major financial support comes from Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, covering main part of NBO budget.
Ministry of Education is the main source of funding. IUVENTA, is responsible for organization of NBO at all levels.
In general, NBO rules follows 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. All categories have specific methodological and organizational guidelines.
Number of participants in regional rounds (2013/2014):
Category A: 182
Category B: 160
Category C: 242
Category D: 784 (district)
Category E: 426 and 881 (district)
Category F: 478 (district)
Total number of participants (competitors) in 2013/2014“
National round: 106
Regional and district rounds: 4022