USA Biology Olympiad
The mission of the USABO is to encourage excellence in biology education throughout the United States and to challenge students and their teachers to reach the gold standard in biology.
-Demonstrate to the educational community that biology is important to students worldwide.
-Strive to promote communication, understanding, and improvement of biology education between high schools in the U.S. and countries participating in the IBO.
-Encourage students to pursue knowledge and understanding above and beyond that normally encountered in high school biology courses.
-Foster both a collaborative and personal commitment to science that is observed in the biological research world.
Since the Center for Excellence in Education began administering the USABO, every member of "Team USA" has medaled at the International Biology Olympiad.
After two rounds of exams, twenty Finalists are invited to a residential training program where they learn advanced biological concepts and lab skills at Purdue University. Ultimately, four students earn the right to represent the USA at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO), a worldwide competition involving student teams from roughly sixty countries. High Schools must be registered by a licensed teacher/test administrator in order to participate in the USABO. Teachers are encouraged to nominate all students who are interested in taking the Open Exam, particularly students who have taken advanced or AP biology courses or the equivalent. All interested students in grades 9 to 12 are eligible to participate in the USABO, if they have not been formally enrolled in a college or university program. Students must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States. Round 1: Open Exam 50-minute, nationwide multiple-choice exam available to any high school biology student (grades 9-12), administered at a registered school within the designated time period. Structured like the multiple-choice portion of the International Biology Olympiad Theoretical Exam. Has NO Penalty for guessing. Round 2: Semifinal Exam 120-minute exam containing three parts: -Part A is primarily multiple choice questions with one answer. -Part B has more complex, sequenced multiple choice questions that may have several correct answers and may require calculations or extensive interpretation of graphs. -Part C may be short answer or essay. Administered at a registered school within the designated time period. Taken by students who score in the top 10% of the Open Exam. Has NO Penalty for guessing. For multiple choice questions with more than one answer, the question value will be the number of wrong responses subtracted from the number of right responses with no question value below zero. Round 3: Finals Conducted at Purdue University over a 12-day period with 10 days of instruction and two days of testing. Team USA will stay two to three days for additional training and preparation with personal instruction for the IBO Competition. Room and board are provided. Attended by students with the top 20 scores on the Semifinal Exam. Practical and Theoretical Exams, each is approximately three hours in duration -Practical: laboratory-based skills, techniques, data interpretation, and real-time laboratory competency exam involving conceptual understanding and problem solving. -Theoretical: short answer/multiple choice involving interpretation of diagrams and graphs, integration of information, and data analysis. Practical and Theoretical Exams must be taken on the scheduled day. No exceptions can be made. Students are responsible for transportation to and from the USABO National Finals. Students with financial need should contact CEE should assistance be required. Instruction focuses on the laboratory and conceptual understanding for all 20 Finalists. Activities led by university professors and experts with experience in research and undergraduate and graduate teaching assisted by former USABO Finalists. Evenings will be free for study with tutorials from the Teaching Assistants (all former USABO medalists) and other activities.