The International Chemistry Olympiad

The International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) is a competition in which schoolchildren measure their performance in working on theoretical and experimental tasks in the field of chemistry. These competitions promote international relations in the field of school chemistry. In addition, a comparison of certain aspects of school knowledge in the individual countries is made possible. The International Chemistry Olympiad also serves to establish personal relationships between budding scientists from different countries. Each participating state sends a team consisting of a maximum of four students. Germany has regularly participated in this competition since 1974.

How does the competition work in Germany?

In Germany, all general and secondary school pupils who have not yet reached the age of 20 in the year of the international competition are eligible to participate. The selection process extends over a total of four rounds and serves to find the best four students nationwide who will take part in the international competition as a team.
The first round consists of theoretical tasks that must be completed at home. Of the participants in the first round, all those who have achieved a solution success of at least 50% are admitted to the second round. This consists of an exam that is written in school.
The best 60 participants in the second round move on to the third round. Here you meet for a week for a selection seminar. The participants in this round are trained in chemistry lectures and exercises. The speakers are mostly former participants of the Olympics and range from students and doctoral candidates to university lecturers. The third round also includes two four-hour exams.
The best 15 students then come to Kiel for the fourth round for a week. Here, specific practical tasks are practiced and various experiments are carried out in the laboratory. In addition to a theoretical test, a practical test is now carried out as proof of performance (both five hours each). The best four students then provide the German team for the International Chemistry Olympiad and drive to the international competition.

How do I take part?

All information about the German selection process and registration is available on the IChO website ( www.icho.de ). All tasks from the previous German selection process can also be found here. There is also information on other competitions on the homepage of the Chemistry Olympiad Association (FChO; www.fcho.de).

What is there to win?

In all rounds there are certificates for successful participation. In the second round, the best 285 students receive a book voucher in addition to the certificate. Those who make it into the team for the International Chemistry Olympiad drive to the respective country of the final round and are automatically accepted into the German National Academic Foundation.
In addition, the Friends of the Chemistry Olympiad organizes and coordinates trial internships in industry, research institutions and universities for the participants in the third round. In every federal state there is already the opportunity from the first round to participate in seminars and to win other prizes if the results are good. The fifth to eighth place in the fourth round can complete a research stay abroad.
In addition, during the selection rounds and in the final round you have the opportunity to get to know numerous like-minded people, to exchange ideas and to make valuable contacts.


Education, Career and Science Department Tel: +49 69 7917-326
Email: ab@gdch.de

division of Chemical Education

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last modified: 10.05.2021 15:09 H from