Biology olympiads: Myths and Reality

admin Tips and Tricks

Many young students face difficulty when preparing for the International Biology Olympiad (IBO). So I will try to dispel some myths about the IBO and also provide some useful pieces of advice how to succeed.

So let‘s get started:
If you cram all Campbell Biology, you will win a gold medal.

Definitely not true. I heard something about few guys who read only Campbell and won gold medal, however, nobody has ever seen them. Biology by Campbell and Reece is a good book and covers all topics, however, it does not provide a deeper insight into some fields such as genetics or biochemistry. Take a look at my list of books and read constantly each and every book so you have not only basic knowledge of biological concepts but also a deeper understanding of some complex and intricate problems.

You have to know English very well if you want to qualify for IBO.
So not true. Each country sends small group of mentors along with four or less students to the IBO who not only accompany, protect and support students, but also translate all exam papers. That is, all tasks are in your native language. From what I heard, when tasks are translated they are later reviewed by independent people who check if mentors cheat writing more than translation in exam papers. So there is no chance that your mentor will write you how to solve the problem on exam paper.  
Nevertheless, English is very useful because you can read various good biological textbooks in English as well as communicate with peers during IBO’s week.  

You can take part in IBO as many times as you want. 
Sadly, there are restrictions as to how many times you can take part in the IBO. You are allowed to participate only TWO times so it would be reasonable for you to wait until 11th grade and then put all your efforts to qualify for the IBO. Otherwise, you will have too little knowledge and will waste one of two chances to participate in IBO.For now, these are the main issues. Feel free to leave your question in the comment section and I will and your quest in this article and reply to it.