Different Stages of Olympiad Exam

by Sagar Mankar, May 14, 2020

Vedantu is the best provider of free olympiad preparation material and free olympiad mock test. The Olympiad Exams are conducted at school-level for Science and Maths subjects for grades 1 to 12. The Olympiads are one of the most prestigious and competitive exams to crack at the school level. Although clearing this exam doesn’t directly accord anything towards the career, it acts as a stimulus for students to choose their higher education and career in the field of Science and Mathematics. 

It also helps students prepare for various other competitive exams at national and international levels. Crazing the Olympiads is actually a matter of great honour and prestige, and it adds value to the resume of the students. Candidates who clear Olympiads also get an edge over others when it comes to admission to schools and colleges as well as jobs. Students can start the free olympiad practice from our Vedantu’s website.

The Olympiads exams are conducted both at national and international levels. The national level Olympiads in India, which is associated with International Olympiads, is administered by the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE). We, at Vedantu, provide you with an NSO free mock test for class 3 and free IMO mock test for class 4.

Before getting into the details, let’s have an overview of online olympiad test in India. 

Olympiad Exams In India

Name of the Program


Nodal Centre in India

Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE)

Exams Conducted

Science Olympiad & Mathematics Olympiad


Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Junior Science, Physics, & Mathematics

Participating Students

Students of Class 1 to 12

Type of Exam

National Level


Once a Year

Number of Stages

Five stages for Science Olympiads and Six stages for Maths Olympiad

Official Website



The National Olympiad Program in India has two types of exams conducted for students at school level:

  1. National Science Olympiad

  2. National Mathematical Olympiad


Below are the details of the two exams.

National Science Olympiad

The National Science Olympiad which peaks with the International Olympiads has over five stages. Students from around 1400 schools from all over the country take part in the exam. The exam will be conducted for five subjects, which are, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Astronomy, and Junior Science. The syllabus of the National Science Olympiad is completely based on the syllabus of Class XII (for Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and Class X (for Junior Science) of CBSE. Although, the difficulty level of the questions is far higher than that of regular school and even board exams. The questions test the students of their conceptual knowledge, application and analytical skills, critical thinking ability, experimental and observational abilities, and problem-solving skills.

The five stages of the exam are as under:

This is the Preliminary exam of the Science Olympiads. The details are tabulated below:

National Science Olympiad Stage 1: National Standard Examination

Name of the Exam/Stage

National Standard Examination (NSE)

Organizing Body

Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT)

Exam Conducting Body

Association of Chemistry Teachers (ACT) - Chemistry

Association of Teachers in Biological Science (ATBS) - Biology

Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT) - Physics, Astronomy, Junior Science

Approximate Number of Participants

Anywhere Between 20,000 to 60,000

Type of Questions

Objective Type Questions


English/Hindi (For Physics, Addition Languages Available)

Exam Conducted in the Month



Candidates who are shortlisted from NSE, around 300 in each subject, will be appearing for the Indian National Olympiad. The details of this stage are as under:

National Science Olympiads Stage 2: Indian National Olympiad

Name of the Exam/Stage

Indian National Olympiad (INO)

Conducting Body

Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE)

Approximate Number of Participants

Around 300 per Subject

Type of Questions

Objective Type Questions and Long Answer Type Questions


Same as NSE

Exam Conducted in the Month



National Science Olympiads Stage 3: Orientation-cum-Selection Camps (OCSCs)

Throughout there would be 30-50 students who get shortlisted from each subject are invited for this stage which is held at HBCSE. At this phase, orientation is provided to the students with special emphasis on conceptual knowledge and problem-solving abilities. Candidates are also unveiled to various experiments as well as observational tasks provided. Theoretical and experimental tests are conducted and based on their performance, 4 to 6 students are shortlisted for the next round. This stage is conducted in April/May/June.

National Science Olympiads Stage 4: Pre-Departure Camp

Here, the selected students from the previous stage undergo rigorous training at HBCSE. The training involves both theory and practical/experiments (observational astronomy for students participating in Olympiads for Astronomy). The training sessions are conducted by teachers and scholars invited from various top institutions in the country. Science labs are also developed at HBCSE for the sole purpose of training the selected candidates.

National Science Olympiads Stage 5: International Olympiad

The International Olympiad is the final stage of the Olympiads whereas only 4 to 6 students (per subject) accompanied by 2 to 4 teachers/mentors participate in the International Olympiads.

National Mathematical Olympiad

The National Mathematical Olympiad Program in India is organized by HBCSE on behalf of National Board for Higher Mathematics (NBHM) of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India. This eventually leads to the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). It involves six stages as under:

Stage 1 of National Mathematical Olympiad: Pre-Regional Mathematical Olympiad (PRMO)

This is the Preliminary exam conducted to shortlist students for the next stage. The exam comprises 30 questions and is conducted for two and a half hours. The answers are single or double-digit numbers to be marked on an OMR sheet. The exam will be held in both the languages i.e., English and Hindi.

Stage 2 of National Mathematical Olympiads: Regional Mathematical Olympiad (RMO)

Candidates who are shortlisted from PRMO will appear for this round. This exam comprises six descriptive problems to be solved in three hours. The exam is conducted in English, Hindi, and any regional language as required.

Stage 3 National Mathematical Olympiad: Indian National Mathematical Olympiad (INMO)

Around 900 shortlisted students from RMO appear for the third stage of the exam. This exam is conducted on the third Sunday of January.

Stage 4 of National Mathematical Olympiad: International Mathematical Olympiad Training Camp (IMOTC)

Around 35 of the top students based on their performance in INMO are called for this training and orientation program where special emphasis is given on conceptual knowledge and problem-solving skills. This stage is conducted at HBCSE. At the time of training, tests are held and the top six students are selected to represent India at International Mathematical Olympiads.

Stage 5 of National Mathematical Olympiad: Pre-Departure Camp

In this stage, the six selected students undergo rigorous training at HBCSE. The training is conducted for eight to ten days.

Stage 6 of National Mathematical Olympiad: International Olympiads

Eventually, the students who are selected, accompanied by four teachers/mentors to participate in the International Mathematical Olympiads.


Vedantu provides you with IMO maths olympiad class 2 sample papers along with easy study techniques and engaging in activities to make learning more interesting, interacting and fun. The study guide provided by us is the one-stop guide for all the students who take stress before the exam. Our innovative learning methodology along with the easy and smart study techniques will make learning methods more fun, interesting, interactive and in a well-planned way. 

Different Stages of Olympiad Exam