Preparing for Exams

Entrance Exam

Fifth week of Term 3 – this is a two hour multiple choice, true / false, short answer, and simple calculations exam sat at your school under formal exam supervision. The questions are based around a wide variety of biology topics but are resourced based so that they are suitable for students from any of the three curricula commonly used in New Zealand: NCEA, Cambridge International Examinations, and the International Baccalaureate. The exam assumes only basic biological knowledge and tests thinking skills not curriculum specific knowledge. It is similar to the ICAS Science exam but highlights current biological research in New Zealand and is designed as an active exam with high interest and a strong learning component. This is a national exam and heavily promoted to encourage participation by all suitable students from throughout NZ.

The entrance exams from 2012 and 2014 are attached here to help you prepare. The model answers are also available here.

Entrance Exam 2012-13 Final

Resource Pack Final 1

Answer Key 2012-13

Entrance Exam 2014-15

Resource Pack Final 2014

Answer Key 2014-15

Selection Exam

Fifth week of Term 1 – this is a two-hour multi-choice selection exam delivered in a secure online format. It must be sat under supervision at your school. It is based on 2/3 of the IBO curriculum, covering Cell structure and function, Ecology, Plant anatomy & physiology, Animal anatomy & physiology and Genetics & evolution.

A sample selection exam and set of model answers is provided here.

Final March Selection Exam 2011

Selection Exam Model Answers 2011

Team Selection Exam

Completion of all compulsory question sets and assignments in the tutorial programme and training at the Practical training Camp should ensure that you are fully prepared to sit the theoretical and practical exams held during the training camp. Their completion will be used as part of the criteria for the selection of students to attend the training camp. Sample IBO questions can be found at “here” and are excellent practice for the Team Selection Exam.

NZ Team Training

Students representing NZ are supported to continue their study until the IBO competition itself and are able to email NZIBO committee members for help. They are also provided with previous IBO exam questions to direct their study and supported to practice the practical skills they learnt during the Training Camp. As these students are spread throughout NZ no further group training occurs.

Study materials

Campbell & Reece, Biology, Twelfth Edition. Pearson Education Inc. Both previous and more recent editions are perfectly acceptable. Your tutorial login provides you with an e-text.

Awarding of prizes

All students receive a Participation Certificate. Students who complete the tutorial programme receive a Bronze Certificate. Students who attend the Practical Training and Selection Camp receive a Silver Certificate and those representing NZ at the IBO receive a Gold Certificate. The student with the highest ranking at the IBO receives a Platinum Certificate.

Financial support/resources

Significant sponsorship is provided by various tertiary institutions and commercial sponsors. Student participation fees including a $40 registration fee to sit the National Entrance Exam, $125 fee to participate in the online Tutorial Programme and an $900 fee (tbc) to attend the Practical Training and Selection Camp. Many schools and community groups have in the past supported students so that they may participate at various stages in the NZIBO.

The International Biology Olympiad
All the information you will need about the IBO programme including the rules, syllabus, and past exam papers for practice.