IAO Exam Pattern

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IAO Exam Pattern 2021

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The International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO), founded in 1996 by the Eurasian Astronomical Society, is an intellectual competition among high school students between 14–18 years. It is one of the International Science Olympiads, recognized internationally. It is also an annual educational event of astronomy with worldwide acclaim. The International Astronomy Olympiad is carried out in the true spirit based on friendship and tolerance. The IAO Exam Pattern primarily focuses on how contacts are made and ideas are exchanged between organizers and participants from various countries. The IAO Exam Pattern 2021 is discussed below.

Important Guidelines for IAO

The IAO exam’s competing part generally consists of three rounds: a theoretical, observational and practical round.

  • The problems include classical tribulations in branches of space and planetary physics, astronomy, astrophysics and hypothetical situations in the theoretical round. 

  • Recognition of stars and constellations, estimation of stars' magnitude, measuring their angular distance, etc. are included in the observational round. Students need to know how to work with observational equipment such as telescopes. 

  • Analysis of data and problems based on results procured from observations are part of the practice round.

What Does the IAO Aim?

It is important to remember that scoring is not the main idea of any exam in the Olympiad program. Likewise, the IAO aims at stimulating the students to think and recognize problems and develop imagination and creativity.

  • Students are encouraged to choose over a model, to make suppositions as necessary and conduct multiple ways related to calculations or operations on logic. 

  • The rounds are focused on observing the processes in which students work or make estimations, not just tests of speed or memory or knowledge. 

The Olympiad has gained exceeding popularity across countries. The graph depicted below represents a statistical representation of the highest team score winner frequency. This also helps you to understand the general spirit shared among students in a subject closer to astronomy and mathematics.

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What You Need to Remember About The Outcomes

Remember the following key objectives that the IAO emphasizes on

  • The ways of estimation and solutions are of the priority in evaluations. How you make your estimations or how you solve your problems are in the focus of the IAO rather than final solutions.

  • The final formal answer (formula or numerical value) does not play the determining role in the evaluation. 

  • As a participant, you must have the analytical capacities not just the procedures by hard rules. 

  • The board of jury members does not expect you to follow the way of the solution in the exact way written by the composer of the problem or its author.

How Should You Realize The True Spirit of The IAO?

You must remember that the competition at the IAO is not the prime essence of the program.

The International Astronomy Olympiad values the spirit of friendship and tolerance. The competition is merely a stimulus. The primary focus is on the contacts made, ideas exchanged and collaboration between students, teachers and scientists from various countries. 

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What Are The Eligibility Criteria?

In case you are aspiring to participate in the international Olympiads in 2021, you must do the following:

  • Enrol for the NSEs in the subjects of your choice by the year 2020.

  • You should be the holder of an Indian passport.

  • You must check the limitations on your date of birth for the year 2021.

  • Must be residing and studying in India at least since 30 November 2017 or earlier. 

  • You must not appear in your Class XII final exams earlier than 30 November 2019.

  • You did not appear for NSEJS 2019.

Here’s What to Expect As An IAO Exam Pattern 2021

You’ll get a set of questions in the following IAO exam pattern prepared by the National Standard Examination in Astronomy or NSEA. There might be slight variations in specific cases. However, you'll see that your question paper is divided into two parts:

Part A comprises 180 marks with 50 multiple choice questions, which are further divided into sections (A1) and (A2). Under this, section (A1) has 40 problems with one correct option to choose from. Section (A2) has 10 questions, out of which both correct options have to be marked as accurate, and no incorrect options, too, have to be marked.

Part B has 60 marks with 5 or 6 problems or short answers. You generally have English as the question paper's common language, but Hindi and selected vernaculars are also used.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How Can I Make A Systematic Preparation For My IAO?

Solve past papers for developing an understanding of the question patterns.  Begin working at least 4 months before the exam for the vast syllabus. The more you solve, the more you save time and can evaluate yourself. Emphasis is given on your estimations, analysis and problem-solving capabilities. Focus on the major constellations with the main stars in each of them, which is among the constantly featuring topic in the INAO. It is advisable to use constellation apps, look for online resources from Wikipedia or other websites to study Astronomy related things a few days before the exam.

2. How Can You Participate in The IAO From India?

The International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO) and International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) are different examinations. Two separate bodies conduct these. However, in India, the selection procedure for both is standard until the first two rounds. The first national round i.e. the National Standard Examination in Astronomy (NSEA) for the IAO and IOAA selection is conducted by the Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT). It is held to select around 200 students for the Indian National Astronomy Olympiad (INAO). The Homi Bhabha Centre for Scientific Education (HBCSE) then conducts INAO. In case you’re going for the IAO or IOAA following the IAO Exam Pattern 2021, you must through these two stages of examination (NSEA and INAO).