The International Biology Bowl is open to all high school students around the world. The competition has two parts: an Open Round and a Semifinal Round. All students are invited to form teams of 2-4 members and participate in the 120 minute, 100 question written test (Open Round). Out of all teams, a select number of teams that performed the best on the first exam proceed to the buzzer-style Semifinal Round. Before the main IBB competition, however, we host several regional competitions where people can compete with other biology students in their area.

Rules and Logistics

The blue countries are where IBB participants from all over the world have come from!

International Competition

The IBB International Competition will consist of two rounds: the IBB Open (Exam) and IBB Semifinals (Bowl). The Top 4 from each regional competition will receive direct qualification to IBB Semifinals. For everyone else, IBB Opens will be your ticket to qualification. The Top 24 teams, excluding direct qualifiers, from IBB Opens will qualify for Semifinals. Our International competition invites the most number of participants, from all around the world, competing for $500 USD in prizes. The IBB Opens will be a timed and proctored exam, administered and available during a 24-hour window. IBB Semifinals will commence two weeks after Opens and will start and finish on the same day.

Current Date: TBD

International Biology Bowl

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Regional Competitions

IBB regional competitions are open to people within a certain region or located closely to it. All regional competitions occur on the same day and are held before the international competition. The top-performing teams at each regional competition will automatically qualify for the International Biology Bowl's Semifinal Round! If you do not strictly fall under any of these regions, please register for the competition closest to your location (ex. if you live in Africa, sign up for Asian Biology Bowl).

Current Date: TBD

Eastern Biology Bowl

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Western Biology Bowl

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Asian Biology Bowl

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Areas Covered: All countries outside of the U.S., particularly United Arab Emirates, Turkey, India, and any other countries close to them.

Open Round

The Eastern Biology Bowl and Western Biology Bowl will have a 100-question multiple-choice exam while the Asian Biology Bowl will have a 40-question multiple-choice exam followed by an open-ended section. Both of these open rounds have time limits of 120 minutes, made to be completed by teams of 2-4; people could still do excellent on this test alone, however. There will be a specific time period in which your team can start doing the exam at any time, but you must submit the exam by the deadline. Difficulty of the Open Round questions range from high school biology up to USA Biolympiad Open Exam material.

The question breakdown for this test is as follows:

  • 25% - Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • 25% - Cell Biology & Biochemistry
  • 20% - Genetics
  • 15% - Botany
  • 10% - Ecology & Ethology
  • 5% - Biosystematics and Bioinformatics

This test is split into 6 sections (one for each of the above topics). As you progress in a section, the problems will also increase in difficulty. The amount of points each problem is worth will also increase as you near the end of a section. For example, the first few questions of each section may be worth 1 point, but the questions close to the end of the test may be worth up to 4 points. Each question will have five choices, some needing multiple answers.

The top 32 teams of the USABB will move onto the USABB finals, while the top 32 teams of the ABB will move onto the ABB semifinals.

Semifinal Round

The top 32 teams from the Open Round are able to attend the Semifinal Round (if any of the top 32 teams cannot attend, the teams with the next-highest scores will be asked to replace them). This is a science bowl-style tournament, with a 25-question tossup packet used for each level of the bracket. There will also be 25 bonus questions (1 per tossup) in the packet for the final round. The teams will follow a classic 32-competitor tournament bracket. Prizes will be issued to the winners after the competition ends.

Official Information/Rules

The Official IBB Information and Rules Document below should serve to provide you with a detailed overview of the organization, competition structure, and rules for all current and future IBB tournaments. If you have any questions not answered in the document, please reach out to [email protected].

Rules and Logistics

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