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List of Olympiads in India: Everything You Need to Know

List of Olympiads in India: Everything You Need to Know

benefits of olympiad exam


What is the first thing that comes to our mind when we think about Olympiads? We immediately go in retrospect to our school-going years when there were a lot of different Olympiads, which some of us either neglected or did not comprehend. But if we were to revisit any of these competitive exams today, we would realize that they would have been of paramount importance during the growing years. Luckily, it is not too late to learn everything there is to know about various Olympiads held in India. This would not help in educating the parents and hence the children about their structure but also help in deciding the ideal Olympiad exams for the student

List of different Olympiad exams:-

Here is a list of various Olympiad exams along with respective descriptions, so that the next time someone talks about Olympiads, you have the relevant information at your fingertips-

1. National Science Olympiad– The NSO is conducted at two levels every year. It has been going on since the year 1996, and students from all over the country can participate in it. The best part about this Olympiad is the fact that all the school going students can be eligible to take this examination. That is school students from class I to class XII. This exam aims at cultivating scientific reasoning and logical ability in young minds, with the medium of rigorous tests. It is advisable to enroll in Olympiads at an early age as this would strengthen their thought process in the most innovative ways. Another advantage of this would be that they would be trained for an array of competitive exams which could come their way in whichever field they opt for. 

Class 1-4Class 5-10Class 11-12
SubjectsScience and logical reasoning + achiever’s sectionScience and logical reasoning + achiever’s sectionPhysics, chemistry, maths, bio+ achiever’s section
Duration1 hour1 hour1 hour
Medium of answeringEnglishEnglishEnglish
Number of questions355050
Question TypeObjectiveObjectiveObjective
Marking Scheme5  Qs-LR (1m) ; 25 Qs- science(1m);5 Qs-achiever’s(2m)10  Qs-LR (1m) ; 35 Qs- science(1m); 5 Qs-achiever’s(3m) 25- Qs PC(1m); 20 Qs- MB(1m); 5 Qs-achiever’s(3m) 

2. Unified Cyber Olympiad– With continuous technological advancements, it becomes essential that growing minds stay in touch with software developments and cyber technologies. Unified Cyber Olympiad, abbreviated as UCO, is aimed at streamlining computer education while strengthening the aptitude of young minds in the field of computer science. It also targets essential skills like general English, mental ability, cyber management crisis, and logical reasoning. Unified Olympiad conducts the cyber examination biannually. The computer-based test consists of multiple-choice questions based on CBSE, ICSE/ISC, and State board. Students studying grade 1 to 10 can appear for the examination given the fact they have a computer included in their curriculum. To conclude, UCO exposes students with the latest developments in the field of IT and Cyber Management, thus igniting curiosity for a bright future in the area. 

3. International Maths Olympiad– IMO, a mathematical Olympiad for school-going students, is the oldest of the International Science Olympiads. The examination is held annually across the world according to the regulations of the IMO board. The difficulty level is highly challenging with questions ranging from extremely complex algebra and pre-calculus to unconventional branches of mathematics like complex geometry, functional equations, number theory, etc. To be eligible for the test, you need to clear selection procedures of similar difficulty as IMO, which is different for different countries.

4. International Olympiad of English Language– TOEFL is an examination that is designed to test the knowledge and competence of students in the English language. It is held at national and international levels based on the syllabus provided by CBSE/ICSE and state boards. 

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Class 1-2Class 3-6Class 7-12
SectionsGeneral English, comprehension & composition, scholar’s zoneGrammar & vocabulary, comprehension & composition, scholar’s zoneGrammar & vocabulary, comprehension & composition, scholar’s zone
Duration1 hour1 hour1 hour
Medium of answeringEnglishEnglishEnglish
Number of questions405050

5. National Level Science Talent Search Examination– NSTSE is a diagnostic test that helps students improve their overall learning ability and academic performance. They do so by engineering the kind of questions that, instead of testing a student’s memorizing power, test their fundamental understanding of concepts. By including general knowledge in the examination, they ensure that students get a holistic understanding of those subjects, which would eventually hone their personalities.

Class 2Class 3Class 4-10
SubjectsMaths and scienceMaths and science + general knowledgeMaths, physics, chemistry, biology, and GK
Duration90 minutes90 minutes90 minutes
Medium of
Number of

Who conducts these exams:-

The following organizations conduct these examinations

  • Science Olympiad Foundation
  • Unicus Olympiads
  • Crest Olympiads
  • Unified Council
  • Hummingbird Education
  • Silverline Foundation
  • Eduheal Foundation

Who would benefit most from different categories of Olympiads:-

With a detailed understanding of what each Olympiad examination has to offer, parents and hence students would now know what is in the store for them. Now, the next logical step would be to determine which of these would be suitable for the student and curate a plan accordingly. There is always an option of opting for all the competitive exams that the school or institution offers. Another option is to prepare for those subjects which the exam taker is interested in. One of the most significant advantages of Olympiads is the fact that they do not require any separate preparation. The syllabus adheres to the school’s curriculum, but it tests the depth up to which a student can apply these concepts. With the availability of online study materials on the respective websites and preparation kits from the school faculties, students can be more than prepared to face Olympiads. “Experience is the best teacher,” and rightly so, the more a student invests in attempting these Olympiads, the higher are the chances of her/him to flourish both academically and personality-wise. There is no particular mapping of who would benefit from which exam, but there are some pointers that could help in making an informed decision.

  1. Thoroughly research about the organizations conducting Olympiads, the list of various exams they offer and the timeline so that you don’t miss any
  2. Olympiads generally come way before the school syllabus gets over and hence gives ample preparation time
  3. Consult teachers or counselors to determine the student’s interest area, so that you do not impose any examination on her/him.
  4. Also, do not restrict them from producing excellent results and let it be on an experimental basis so that they could figure out what they want.
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