IBO Syllabus 2020

IBO Olympiad Syllabus

What is IBO Olympiad Syllabus?

International Biology Olympiad is one of the most prestigious competitions that search for treasured talents in Science across the world. Students from the secondary education system are eligible to participate in this contest. However, before participating, they need to know the IBO syllabus well so that they can undertake the preparation accordingly. 

IBO Olympiad Syllabus – Brief Idea  

Since this exam is aimed at students of secondary education (Class 12), the syllabus they cover somewhat matches with the Class 12 CBSE curriculum and other Indian school boards as well. 

Following is The Chart That Indicates Topic-Wise Weightage



Physiology, Animal Anatomy, Functions of tissues and different organs, etc. 


Cell Biology, Biotechnology, Microbiology, etc. 


Physiology and anatomy of plants, Different activities of plants like respiration, Photosynthesis, etc. 


Ecosystem, Ecology, Biosphere, Population structure and others. 


Ethnology, Different behavioural aspects of humans like conflict behaviour, Learned behaviour and others. 


This is the overall weightage of IBO syllabus that students should follow to comprehend in which areas they have to put extra effort. However, for an examination like this, participants need to cover the entire syllabus with equal attention. 

In the next segment, the vital topics of the examinations are discussed in detail. Let’s take a look!

What Are The Important Topics Covered In The IBO Olympiad Syllabus? 

IBO aims to bring together the best Biology students across the world and facilitate cross-culture and exchange of knowledge. It thus enables the participants to come across proficient academicians and teachers from all over the world and it helps them to grow up to be successful scientists in the near future.

Since this examination is held to evaluate the knowledge and flair of the participants, the syllabus ought to be vast and detailed. 

Following Are The Particulars of IBO Syllabus for Theory Section

  1. Syllabus for the Theoretical Part      

Physiology and Animal Anatomy constitute the maximum percentage of weightage, and it includes - 

  • Nutrition and digestion

  • Respiration

  • Circulation

  • Excretion

  • Reproduction

  • Regulation

  • Immunity 

The Major Topics from Cell Biology as Follows

  • Lipids

  • Proteins

  • Enzymes

  • Nucleic acids

  • DNA, RNA and other components

  • Organelles

  • Protein synthesis

  • Cell metabolism

  • Meiosis and mitosis

  • Chemo trophy and phototrophy 

  • The functions of membranes

  • Fermentations

  • Genetic manipulations

The IBO Syllabus for Plant Physiology And Anatomy is

  • Photosynthesis, gas exchange, transpiration

  • Transport of minerals and water in plants

  • Reproduction

  • Growth of plants and development 

Ecology Consists of the Following Topics

  • Population structure, regulations

  • Community dynamics

  • Energy flow

  • Biosphere 

  • Causes of pollutions and their measures 

A few questions were asked from Biosystematics as well, and it was a part of the IBO syllabus 2020. 

The relationships between different groups of organisms are also part of this contest for example, 

  • Kingdom Protista

  • Kingdom fungi

  • Eukaryote domain

  • Kingdom Plantae

More or less, these are the most vital theoretical topics of the IBO syllabus. The next part comprises the topics that are covered in the practical segment. 

  1. Syllabus for the Practical Part 

Besides the theoretical part, this portion is equally important to qualify in this examination. Following is the IBO syllabus for the same -

  • Science experiment skills and methods 

  • Different biological methods and experiment skills like cytological methods, ways to study plant anatomy, etc. 

  • Chemical and physical methods

  • Statistical methods

  • Microbiological method

  • Proper ways to handle equipment 

Apart from the IBO syllabus, the participants also should have a clear idea about the marks distributions, exam duration, and evaluation process. It will help them in getting a better understanding of the exam. 

Some Useful Tips to Cover The Syllabus 

It is quite apparent that to cover the entire IBO syllabus will not be easy. One needs to start early to finish it before the scheduled date of examination. 

Following are Some of The Tips That You Can Consider While Preparing The Lessons -

  • Try to divide the whole syllabus into small portions. 

  • Start with the topics that require special attention.

  • Try to solve topical questions as well as previous years’ questions to get a fair idea what kind of questions you have to face. 

  • Make note while studying a chapter and write down the essential points. It will help later during the revision.

  • Revise as much as you can. 

Following these tips, you can ascertain a better performance in the competition. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How Can I Participate in IBO 2020?

International Biology Olympiad comprises five stages, and each of them requires specific eligibility criteria. However, students need to first qualify the National Standard Examination in Biology. After qualifying this examination, you will be able to participate for the next step, i.e., Indian National Biology Olympiad (INBO). 

The third step is an Orientation cum Selection Camp (OCSC). After passing this stage, you can proceed with the next step, i.e. Pre-Departure Training Camp (PDT) for International Biology Olympiad. 

On the successful completion of these stages, you will be eligible to participate in IBO. However, it would help if you kept in mind that the candidates with an official invitation letter are only eligible for online registration for IBO. 

2. How Should I Prepare for the International Biology Olympiad?

With passing years the number of appearing candidates for International Biology Olympiad is increasing. Thus, it is of utmost importance for the participants to upgrade their preparation level accordingly to outdo other competitors. 

Nonetheless, before starting preparation, you must have a sound knowledge about the IBO syllabus entirely. As a matter of fact, IBO is divided into practical and theoretical parts and you need to adopt a strategic study plan that covers both these segments to qualify this examination. Studying smart is the key to achieve success in such an examination. 

Along with that, you should also develop a strong conceptual understanding of all the topics covered in this exam. Moreover, try to stress upon consistent practice and thorough revision to qualify IBO with excellent scores.