The Indian National Astronomy Olympiad which is organised by HBCSE begins with a national test held in almost 1400 schools across the country and concludes with international Olympiads held in various locations around the world. Conceptual knowledge, logical thinking, laboratory abilities, and, most importantly, the capacity to apply problem-solving skills to fresh circumstances, both theoretical and experimental, are all assessed at the national level. The third stage of the curriculum includes training, while the previous two levels do not often require specialised instruction outside of the regular educational system.
In Stage One
The Indian Association of Physics Teachers is in charge of organising the first stage test, the National Standard Examination (NSE) (IAPT). The Association of Chemistry Teachers (ACT) and the Association of Teachers in Biological Sciences (ATBS) are responsible for academics in Chemistry and Biology, respectively, while IAPT is responsible for Physics, Astronomy, and Junior Science. The NSEs are objective-type assessments that are available in English and Hindi, with other languages in Physics available. The syllabus is roughly equal to the Central Board of Secondary Education's Class XII (for Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics) and Class X (for Junior Science) syllabuses (CBSE). However, questions in all levels of Olympiads (including NSEs) are likely to be more challenging than those found in board exams. Every year, at the end of November, almost 1400 centres around the country hold these exams. This preparatory level can be registered for by students at their schools. To participate in the International Olympiads, the student will only have to pay a registration fee of Rs 100.
In Stage Two
The top-performing students from the NSEs advance to the Indian National Olympiads (INOs), the second level. From this point forward, HBCSE is solely responsible for the programme. The INOs take place in late January at 18 different locations around the country. The curriculum is identical to that of the NSEs. The examinations include both objective and lengthy questions.
In Stage Three
The best students from the INOs (about 35 per topic) are invited to the Orientation-cum-Selection Camps (OCSCs), which are held at HBCSE from April to June. Students are given orientation for the Olympiad level of theoretical, experimental, and observational (for astronomy) challenges during these camps. The development of intellectual underpinnings and problem-solving abilities is prioritised. Students are exposed to new experiments in experimental science with a focus on conceptual and procedural comprehension. Students in astronomy are taught the fundamentals of astrophysics, astronomical data analysis, and night sky observations. During the camp, there will be several theoretical and experimental/observational tests. Few students (numbers mentioned below) are chosen to represent India at international Olympiads based on their achievement in these assessments.
In Stage Four
Before leaving for the international Olympiads, the selected Indian teams attend a rigorous preparation programme at HBCSE in theory and experiment, as well as observational astronomy in the case of astronomy. For this aim, HBCSE has created special laboratories. The training sessions are attended by resource individuals from various institutions around the nation.
In Stage Five
The Olympiad curriculum culminates with the participation of Indian students (4-6 per topic) in international competitions. A group of 2-4 professors or mentors accompany the pupils. Nearly every Indian student who competed in the Science and Astronomy Olympiads received a medal.
Eligibility for INAO
Candidates who pass the National Standard Examination in Astronomy (NSEA) will be eligible to sit for the Indian National Astronomy Olympiad (INAO), which is administered by the HBCSE (Homi Bhabha Centre For Science Education). In most cases, this exam is held around the end of November. It is the second stage, and only those applicants who passed the Astronomy Stage 1 test will be allowed to take the exam. Here is the eligibility criteria:
You must be able to obtain an Indian passport.
Date of birth Between the 1st of July 2001 and the 30th of June 2006, both days inclusive.
You must have lived and studied in India from November 30, 2018, or before. OR Since 30 November 2018 or earlier, you must have been enrolled in an Indian educational system.
Class 12 board examination must not have been completed (or expected to be completed) before November 30, 2020.
By June 1, 2021, you must not have started (or plan to start) studies at a university or comparable institution.
NSEJS 2020 must not be on the horizon.
Important Dates for INAO 2023
Due to the situation of the Covid-19 virus still being prevalent in some states of the country, HBCSE has not yet announced the INAO 2023 exam dates. It was earlier announced in 2021 that the three-stage selection process for the International Astronomy Olympiad will now be conducted only in two stages.
NSEA and INAO examinations will be held on the same day as a single paper as was done in 2023. This stage will be called the Indian Olympiad Qualifier. The second stage will be called the Orientation Cum Selection Camp in Astronomy.
Here below are the tentative dates for the INAO 2023 exam as per the dates for INAO 2022-23 exam. Students must keep in mind that these dates are only for reference and they must follow the official website to know about any latest updates.
INAO Events/ Processes (Tentative)
INAO Exam Dates (Tentative)
Last date for INO Registration
January 2nd week
February 1st Week
INO Question Papers Answer Keys
One to two days after the INAO exam
Last date to receive comments on the solutions
February 2nd Week
Frozen solutions and INO scores
February 3rd Week
Last date to receive the requests for re-evaluation
FAQs on Indian National Astronomy Olympiad: INAO 2023-24 Exam Dates
1. Why should students refer to INAO question papers from previous years?
Using the previous year's question papers can help you earn the highest grades. It can be used as a road map to help students prepare for their exams. Solving the previous year's question paper not only reveals the test pattern but also focuses the student's attention on various areas. The Indian National Astronomy Olympiad (INAO) is a difficult test in which students from all across India compete, with just a handful of them progressing to the next level. Students are chosen for all five levels of the Olympiad depending on their performance, with the best students representing India at the International Astronomy Olympiad. As a result, no student wants to be caught off guard or leave any stone untouched. The questions from the previous year provide them with a solid basis on which to build their preparation. It helps pupils gain the confidence they need to interact with other classmates. They can obtain Vedantu's previous year's question for a better understanding and convenience.
2. What is the astronomy stage II selection procedure?
The students' batch will be divided into two groups, Group A and Group B. From November 30, 2022, pupils in Group A will be in class XII. As of November 30, 2021, Group B consists of pupils in class XI or lower. Both groups will have identical question papers for NSEA 2021 and INAO 2022. A total of 250 students will be chosen from each group for stage II of INAO, bringing the total number of students to 500. For each category, the Merit Index (MI) and Minimum Admissible Score (MAS) are determined separately.
3. What is the main aim of INAO?
The National Astronomy Olympiad Program's major goal is to encourage applicants with strong mathematical and physical backgrounds and an interest in astronomy to continue their studies in this discipline. It is a five-stage procedure that culminates in the Indian team's participation in the International Olympiad in Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA). The Seniors Level of the Indian National Astronomy Olympiad is one of the most popular tests in India. In general, students from IITs are thought to do well on this exam. Scores are limited to 150 points, and you have two hours to complete the paper. The paper is separated into two pieces. Each candidate must complete both parts. The first segment consists of thirty questions of various categories. The second component consists of 10 questions for which several alternative responses should be marked. Students should keep in mind that each incorrect response results in a one-point penalty.
4. What is the INAO physics syllabus?
The INAO physics syllabus is:
Capacitance, energy stored in a capacitor, parallel plate capacitors
Circular motion and kinematics of circular motion
Current electricity and its temperature dependence
Kirchoff's current law and voltage law
Electromagnetic waves, electrostatic field, electric field and electric potential
Measurement errors and maximum permissible error
Geometrical optics, Plane and Spherical Mirrors, Optical Instruments and Eye defects
Kinematics, Thermodynamics and Kinetic Theory of Gases
Fluid Mechanics and Archimedes Principle
Heat Transfer, Steffen's and Wien's Law
Force and Newton's Laws of Motion
Heating, Magnetic and Chemical effects of electric current
Projectile Motion, Relative Motion in one and two dimension
Surface Energy and Surface Tension
Units and Dimensions of Physical Quantities
5. How can I get a copy of the INAO Exam admit card?
Candidates can obtain the INAO test admit car by going to the HBCSE website, which posts the students' admit cards each year before the exam. On the day of the exam, candidates should bring a printout of their admit card with them to the exam centre. On the admission cards, basic information such as the candidate's name, roll number, exam centre, date, and time will be given. Candidates must keep their admission cards safe until all of the team’s phases have been completed and results have been announced.
6. How to check INAO results online?
Candidates can easily check the results for the INAO exams by visiting the official website of HBCSE. They need to open the link for the INAO exam and log in using their respective mail id and password. After logging in, select the result tab and enter the INAO exam roll number to view the results.
7. What are the subjects included in the INAO syllabus?
The syllabus for the INAO exam is similar to that of the National Standard Examination In Astronomy (NSEA) but the questions asked are slightly on a higher level. It covers topics from the subjects of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy that are included in the CBSE textbooks. INAO questions are asked based on Class 10+2 level and mostly tests the higher-order thinking skills of the candidate. It is compulsory to clear the NSEA exam to be eligible for INAO.
8. How can i prepare for the INAO exam 2023?
INAO is a national level competition and thus, has a high rate of competition. Candidates who clear all the stages of INAO are selected for the International Astronomy Olympiad. They can follow the below-given steps for INAO preparation:
Get a thorough understanding and concept of the INAO Syllabus and marking pattern.
Emphasize your weaker areas and try to improve them by regular practices.
Make a time table and try following it daily.
Give equal time and importance to all the topics.
Practice several INAO Previous Year Question Papers and take up mock tests daily
9. Why must students refer to INAO previous year question papers?
Referring to INAO Previous Year Papers will help the students to know about the marking pattern and the level of difficulty in the INAO exam. These INAO Past Papers thus will also help the students to make a note on the important topics that are being asked every year. Solving the previous year papers regularly boost the confidence and accuracy level of the students. It makes the students aware of their weaknesses before the final exam.