„National Biology Competition“


Contact data

Country coordinator

Ph.D. Andreja Lucić

Hosting institution

Education and Teacher Training Agency
Donje Svetice 38
10000, Zagreb
Croatia, Croatia


Appointing institution

Education and Teacher Training Agency

Donje Svetice 38, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Organization & structure

Education and Teacher Training Agency is a public institution responsible for the provision of professional and advisory support in the area of general education in Croatia and, among others, is responsible for the organization of all national competitions in Croatia, including National Biology Competition. There are 3 rounds of the competition, 1st round is school competition and it usually is organized throughout all primary and secondary schools in Croatia in February, 2nd round is organized in regional county centers (primary or secondary schools) during March and the final 3rd round is organized at the beginning of May in one school which apply for hosting of the National Biology Competiton. Tests for all three rounds are prepared by the National Committee for National Biology Competition which is appointed by Education and Teacher Training Agency.

Number of students in first round

Number of students in first round varies between years but all students in all primary (7th and 8th grades) and secondary schools (from 1st to 4th grade) in Croatia who are interested in biology are invited to participate in the 1st round, usually number vary between 4000-5000 students.


The 1st round test is made of different types of tasks (multiple and alternative choice, pairing, sorting etc.) and the recommendation is that 40 % of tasks is of 1st cognitive level, 50 % of 2nd and 10 % of 3rd cognitive level. The 2nd round test is made of the similar types of task as the 1st level but the ratio of 1st, 2nd and the 3rd cognitive level of the tasks is 20 % : 60 % : 20 %, respectively. Test of first two rounds are made only of closed questions to ensure objective scoring of school and regional committees. The 3rd round is based on practical tasks and connected theoretical questions which can also be open questions as scoring is done by National Committee. Recommended ratio of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd cognitive level questions is 10 % : 60 % : 30 %, respectively.


Preparing of students for NBO is done by their teachers and mentors in schools through regular and additional teaching. Preparation of students for IBO is organized at the Department of Biology Faculty of Science in Zagreb and is done by the national coordinator, mentors and teachers, assistants and students of the Department of Biology and, if necessary, other departments (Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics). Usually it lasts around 10 to 12 days.

Study materials

For NBO preparations students use regular and approved textbooks and tests from previous national competitions which are yearly on-line published by the Education and Teacher Training Agency within open access domain. For the IBO preparations we use university textbooks, specially prepared materials, Power Point presentations and former IBO tests.

Awards & prizes

NBO winners receive certificates, medals, free entrance to some universities and some additional prizes (books, tablets and similar smaller IT gadgets) depending on the donators.


Type of students

All students at secondary level school education (from 13-14 to 18-19 years old) who are interested in subject Biology can participate in the 1st round of NBO, after 1st round Regional Committee decide how many students they invite in the 2nd round and the National Committee invite between 10-15 best students from each grade of secondary school (four grades) to National Biology Competition.

School year

School year usually starts first Monday in September and ends at mid June.

Biology hours/week

Students usually attend from 1,5 to 2 school hours (1 school hour = 45 mins) of Biology class per week.

Hours of Classes/week

Depends on the mentor and the particular school, Science Gymnasiums usually prepare their students for NBO more then "regular" secondary schools (3-4 hours per week), but it is usually most dependent on the particular teacher and his/her motivation. There are some teachers whose students regularly participate in 3rd round of NBO for years.

Public Relations


All schools in Croatia are informed about NBO through official websites of Agency for Teacher and Education