„Latvian State Biology Olympiad“


Contact data

Country coordinator

Dr. biol. Janis Liepins

Hosting institution

University of Latvia
Jelgavas 1, Faculty of Biology
LV-1004, Riga
Latvia, Latvia


Appointing institution

Ministry of Education and Science of Republic of Latvia

Organization & structure

Ministry of Education and Science of Republic of Latvia is the organiser of Latvian National Biology olympiad. The tasks for Regional and State rounds are prepared by Jury committee of National Biology Olympiad, which is formed by Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia and Association of Biology teachers of Latvia. Olympiad is organised for pupils of four forms - 9, 10, 11 and 12. Pupils of all schools/ gymnasiums can take part in the olympiad.

Latvian National Biology olympiad is organised into 3 rounds: School, Regional and State Olympiad. Additional two competition rounds are organised to select participants for the International Biology Olympiad of respective year.

Regional Biology Olympiad. Takes place in the end of November/ first week of December. It is organised online.

State Olympiad. Takes place in the end of January. It is organized in the Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia and lasts for 3 days.

Number of students in first round

School Biology Olympiad. It takes place in November in each school. We estimate more than 5000 of pupils to participate in this round. Teachers of biology are responsible for theoretical and/or practical tasks of school round.


Regional round of Biology Olympiad is held online. Pupils gather in certain schools (regional centres), log into the Olympiad’s homepage and solve the tasks; all answers are filled into online system, answers are evaluated automatically. 2500 - 3000 pupils from forms 9-12 participate in regional round of Biology Olympiad.

The Jury of National Biology Olympiad selects top 150 best pupils out of all forms of regional olimpiad and invites them to State Biology Olympiade (3rd round).

State Biology Olympiad is held in the Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia, it contains both theoretical and practical tasks. On the first day students fill tests- both multiple choice and theoretical tasks, where extended answers or calculations or drawings as answers might be asked. Second day is devoted to 4 laboratory tasks.Students are divided randomly into 5 laboratory work groups which visits and does all four practical tasks one by one. No meeting with students from other groups or teachers are allowed.

Even though students work in mixed groups - class 9 and 10 students do different tasks from pupils of class 11 and 12. 

Participant's works are evaluated by students of the Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia and students from other universities – previous participants of Biology Olympiads.


10 days in June there is IBO team training "camp. It is carried out in laboratories of University of Latvia, under the supervision of University lecturers and researchers or participants of previous IBO's.

Study materials

State approved school books for National Biology Olympiad and Cambpell’s Biology for IBO participants are the materials advised to pupils.

Awards & prizes

Books, medals and certificates are the awards of State Biology olympiad. The winners of class 11 and 12 get promotion for entrance to Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia.


Type of students

9., 10., 11., and 12. form from any school or gymnasium

School year

1st of september - 1st of June

Biology hours/week

2 classes/ week

Hours of Classes/week


Public Relations


The Ministry of Education and Science is the official organiser of all Olympiads of the Latvia. It disseminates information about current year's Olympiad’s rules and times.

Promotion contact

Statistics over the years
  • 2020: 2434 students from 0 schools (0% of eligible schools)
  • 2019: 2945 students from 0 schools (0% of eligible schools)
  • 2018: 2800 students from 0 schools (0% of eligible schools)

We dont have exact statistics of what proportion of schools participate in NBO. Most probably almost all.

Media coverage

All information about Olympiad is placed in Ministry of Education and Science webpage, as well as in webpage of Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia. Usually, press release is prepared about the State Olympiad and Latvian team in IBO. These press releases are disseminated through Ministry of Education and press centre of University of Latvia. Regional media are keen to expose achievements of their pupils in Regional, State and International Biology Olympiads.