The competition is divided into three tasks, prepared by the SC and conducted over three days with an interval of at least one day between each task. The time allotted to each task should normally be three to four hours. The OC decides the sequence of the competition days.
The problems consist of three tests.
Test One and Two are individual competitions. However Test Three is a team competition, where one team consists of three students of each delegation (each country may have two teams for task three).
Test One is a multi-choice-questionnaire (MCQ). The number of questions should be 30 (thirty). Questions for Test One should include Physics (10 problems), Biology (10 Problems) and Chemistry (10 problems). Each question shall have four possible answers with only one is correct.
Test Two is a theoretical test. The number of tests should be 2 (two) or 3 (three). Test Two should be more complex involving a combination of Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
Test Three is a experimental task. The number of tasks should not exceed 2 (two). Questions for Test Three should be the combination of Physics, Chemistry and Biology and should be in equal proportion.
The problems must
-be related to the syllabus of IJSO, and cover all content of the syllabus as much as possible.
-be reviewed by the IJSO Scientific Experts (not the local SC, but an ad-hoc Scientific Committee formed by the EC) prior to the problem discussion.
-be created innovatively and the answers must be language independent.
The problem discussion
-can only be attended by leaders, EC members, observers and appointed OC members.
-must be lead by a member of the Scientific Committee (SC) of the host country
-should provide a presentation of the problems by the SC to be discussed by all leaders.
-may be mediated by the president if there is a dispute among the leaders
-can reject problems which are determined by a 75% majority vote of the Country Coordinators (CC). One country has one vote only.
-The rejected problem/s must not be reconsidered to be one of the problem/s.
The maximum points allocated to the tasks are:
Test One: 30 points
Test Two: 30 points
Test Three: 40 points
Test One and Test Two are marked individually. In Test One the correct answer will be marked 1 (one), the wrong answer will get penalty 0.25 (zero point twenty five), and zero marks for not answering.
Each member of the team for Test Three will be awarded the same points.
Moderation is the discussion of the students’ marks between Team Leaders and SC members .
On the night prior to moderation the SC must provide to the team leader the marks for each students including the marking scheme.
Each country will be called according to their schedules, and will only be present for discussion for the allocated time determined by SC (all countries will get the same time allocation).
At the end of the moderation, the head of the team leaders of each country must sign the final agreed mark for their students.
No more changes can be made for the students’ marks after moderation, unless there is a proven mistake by the SC on their final marks.
Furthermore, the moderation
-can be lead by the chairman of SC members.
-can only be attended by leaders, EC members (if necessary), and appointed OC members.