USA Biology Olympiad

The USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) is a prestigious national competition sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Education. Each year, twenty finalists gather in Virginia for a two-week training camp. At the end of this camp, four people are selected as the American team to compete in the International Biology Olympiad.

Organization:  USABO finalists are selected in two rounds of tests. The open exam is a short, multiple choice exam open to any high school student. Competitors in the top ten percent move on to a semifinal exam. The second exam consists of another short multiple-choice section followed by a short answer/matching section. The twenty highest scorers move on to the USABO. After the two-week training camp, the finalists undergo a day of practical examinations and a day of theoretical testing similar, in some respects, to the semifinal examination but far more comprehensive.

In 2006, approximately 7000 students from schools nationwide plus the District of Columbia and Hong Kong took the open exam. Of that number, 629 students moved on to the semifinal exam.