„Kansallinen biologiakilpailu“


Contact data

Country coordinator

Niko Johansson

Hosting institution

Biologian ja maantieteen opettajien liitto BMOL ry
Ratamestarinkatu 11, A, 7. krs
00520, Helsinki


Appointing institution

Biologian ja maantieteen opettajien liitto BMOL ry (the association of biology and geography teachers), per request of the Ministry of Education in Finland.

Ratamestarinkatu 11 A, 7. krs

00520 Helsinki

Organization & structure

Main organizer is BMOL ry. First round: a national competition in April. Second: a week of training in following August, a week of training in April next year - followed by final exam to determine the Olympic team.

Number of students in first round



Round 1: multiple choice/true false test based on school courses and background material provided in the exam (research data etc.), produced by an NBO team (biology teachers, post-doctoral researchers, doctoral researchers), taken in schools on a digital platform.

Round 2: a mock-IBO exam (theoretical and practical), produced by the training coordinator based on previous IBOs, taken in the final day of the second training week at University facilities (University of Helsinki).


5 days at Aalto University, 5 days at University of Helsinki, X days independent study at home (Campbell) with the help of review question sets from the training coordinator.

Study materials

Campbell Biology textbook and former IBO questions.

Awards & prizes

A NBO diploma for the top twelve. Travel and accommodation for training weeks. Top ten are granted a free position in the biotechnology & biomedicine (Bsc + Msc) degree at the University of Tampere if they choose to apply.


Type of students

All upper secondary school students (even if they are too old to qualify for IBO - they can take part for fun).

School year


Biology hours/week

app. 2 hrs/week (5 courses + review course, each course consists of three 75-minute lessons/week and lasts for one school period i.e. one-fifth of the school year)

Hours of Classes/week

30-40, depending on the student's choices, the time of year and chosen subjects.

Public Relations


In spring in BMOL ry magazine Natura, BMOL/NBO social media accounts, on the NBO website.

Promotion contact

Office of BMOL ry in co operation with the NBO team (a subgroup in BMOL).

Statistics over the years
  • 2023: 650 students from 66 schools (18% of eligible schools)
  • 2022: 550 students from 85 schools (23% of eligible schools)
  • 2021: 425 students from 70 schools (19% of eligible schools)
  • 2020: 550 students from 95 schools (25% of eligible schools)
  • 2019: 570 students from 100 schools (27% of eligible schools)

We are actively working on making more schools to take part in the NBO. The decrease in participating numbers in the years 2020-22 are due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Media coverage

Most media attention comes from local newspapers reporting on local students who have made it to the IBO team.


Logo of Kansallinen biologiakilpailu [JPG, 45.5 KB] Download Poster of Kansallinen biologiakilpailu [JPG, 225.1 KB] Download
Description of attached files:

Poster as it appeared in Natura magazine for biology teachers.