An invitation to NBO in form of a email is sent out to all upper secondary schools in Sweden. An email is also sent directly to the teacher that entered students the previous year. There is a also info in the Biology teacher journal. The students are informed by their teachers. This info is also available on the Biology teacher association web site.
A group within the Biology Teacher association are the main organizer of the NBO in Sweden. This group is composed of 4 - 7 biology teachers from upper secondary schools, former participants at the IBO together with one retired teacher from the Uppsala University, and they prepare the national test and student training.
The first test takes place in February and the second test in April.
We have first an easier test, covering the theory in the national curriculum. Then we have a second test that is more difficult and more similar to IBO questions. Both are theoretical tests composed of questions in the same way as the IBO. Students that score more than 50% on the first test are welcome to take the second test.
No descriptive questions, only mcq and the question with the format used in IBO. Students from year 11 and 12 participate. The tests are performed at the schools that sign up to take part. The tests are corrected by the individual teacher who sends in the results to the Biology olympiad group. The papers of the 10-15 best results are then requested to be sent in, for us to reassess them. Both tests are evaluated with a bit larger emphasis on the second more difficult test, if needed. From this we choose the four best students.
The organizing committee send out some written material, for the students to study at home. We also encourage them to study Campbell Biology.
We have a training camp for 2,5 days, at the University of Uppsala. It is the organizing committee that is involved in planning and performing this camp also. Sometimes there has also been some external lectures etc. During the training camp we use most of the time to perform practical work. At this time we also show them old test papers to prepare them for the actual test situation.
Starting in 2017 a group of former IBO participants will organize a weekend camp for students before the second test to encourage students to improve the results of the NBO.
The organizing committee send out some written material, for the students to study at home to prepare for IBO. This material include some classification, material about plant families etc. We also encourage them to study Campbell Biology.
During the training camp we also give them some material about laboratory techniques, statistical analysis etc.
One former NBO test is available at the website for the biology teacher association.
Diploma from the organizing committee. Prizes given by schools vary depending on the school. Some students don’t get anything but most students get a small prize, such as a book, some money, subscription to a science magazine etc.
Starting from 2016 the organizing committee give the three schools with best results a small prize. This is dependent on the funding for NBO.
Sometimes local newspapers. An article in the Biology teacher association magazine.
The Swedish National Agency for Education. They support us with funding for the major part of the costs.
Biology teacher association. This is the organizing institution. Also pays part of the fees.
Uppsala university, we use the laboratories and classrooms from UU at the training camp.
The Swedish National Agency for Education supports us with money. Every year we need to apply for the amount of money that we need to perform the NBO and send a team to the IBO. The money granted depends on where the IBO takes place but also what other similar applications that are received at the The Swedish National Agency for Education that year.
The same rules as for the IBO.