IOAA Exam Eligibility

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What is the Eligibility Criteria for IOAA Exam

To nurture the interest in astronomy and astrophysics, the International Science Olympiads has panned out a branch in the name of International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics. It is an international level competition concerning the areas of Astronomy and Astrophysics. High-school students under the age of 20 can take part in this competition. The students take part in the event to solve theoretical, data analysis, observational problems individually and in teams under a time limit over 10 days. Read along to get a brief idea about the IOAA eligibility criteria. 

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A Brief Compilation of the IOAA Eligibility Criteria

As soon as you think of taking part in the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics, your mind automatically starts thinking about the eligibility criteria for IOAA exam? So, we have compiled all the required information you will need to know about the eligibility criteria for the IOAA. Several stages lead up to the final International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics. All the eligibility criteria of the subsequent stages compile up to form the IOAA eligibility. 

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Know the Stages Before IOAA Eligibility Information

  • Stage I: National Standard Examination in Astronomy (NSEA)

  • Stage II: Indian National Astronomy Olympiad (INAO)

  • Stage III: Orientation cum Selection Camp (OCSC)

  • Stage IV: Pre-departure Training Camp (PDT)

  • Stage V: International Olympiad in Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA)

A Road Map to The Stage Eligibility Criteria

Before you gather any information about the IOAA eligibility criteria, here is a stage-wise breakdown of the eligibility criteria.

Stage I: National Standard Examination in Astronomy (NSEA)

The eligibility criteria for the 1st stage are the basic need that the participants must fulfil for the IOAA eligibility.

  • The students must not be born before 1st July 1999.

  • Students in class 12 or below are only allowed to take part.

  • A student can appear for more than one subject if the schedule permits.

Stage II: Indian National Astronomy Olympiad (INAO)

  • The students are required to score equal or more than the Minimum Admissible Score i.e., 40% of the maximum marks of the given subject

  • The applicant must be a citizen of the participating country. 

  • Applicants must possess a valid passport.

  • Successful participants from stage I and the exempted students from NSEA are eligible for the 2nd stage. 

The only criterion set for the remaining stages, the 3rd to 5th stage, is that the participant must successfully qualify the second stage to fulfil the IOAA eligibility. There are no specific eligibility criteria that a participant needs to follow to climb up the stairs to the final competition of the International Olympiad of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The Marking Scheme of the International Olympiad of Astronomy and Astrophysics

The practical solutions you write in then IOAA must consist of theoretical analysis and pragmatic execution, along with complete justification for your response 


Marks Allotted


50% of the total mark


Makes the remaining 50% of the full marks

  • 25% of victims are kept for data analysis

  • 25% is for observation

Know How the Rewards are Calculated

Through popular votes, the international board reserves the right to adjust the position of cut-off up to two positions in each of the categories mentioned. This means they can include or exclude two students at the boundary of any category.

  • The final number of points scored by the three best contestants is considered 100%.

  • The first prize is awarded to the contestants who score at least 90% of points. They are awarded diplomas and gold medals.

  • Contestants with 78% or more, but less than 90%, will be awarded the second prize- diplomas and silver medals.

  • The contestants with 50% or more but less than 65% of marks will receive an honourable mention and diplomas.

  • The contestants who will score less than 50% of marks will receive certificates of participation. 

  • The participant with the highest score will be awarded a special prize and diploma.

The Format of the Question Paper 

Part A (180 marks)

50 MCQs


40 questions MCQ. You have to choose the correct answer from four given options.


10 questions with multiple options. You have to choose the correct answer from the given options.

Part B (60 marks)

5-6 short problems are carrying equal marks each.



Future Events of the IOAA

Olympiad Event



14th IOAA

Bogota, Columbia


15th IOAA



16th IOAA



17th IOAA

Minsk, Belarus


18th IOAA



FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How Do I Prepare for IOAA?

Here are some tips you can follow to prepare for the IOAA

  • Keep calm and do not panic.

  • Test and improve your knowledge of Astronomy constantly.

  • Have a clear idea of the concepts of Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry.

  • Follow practice papers and previous years' papers.

  • Multiple revisions of a topic will help you a lot.

  • Keep your basics clear and brush up your knowledge about new theories and inventions.

  • Learning without understanding the subject will help you reach nowhere. So, make sure to understand your concepts well.

  • Try to participate in mock tests.

2. Is it Necessary to Appear for Mock Tests Before IOAA?

There is no doubt that every one of you is talented.  However, to make your skills sharper, you need to try out mock tests. Mock tests are incredibly crucial as they help you get an idea about the actual exam. The mock tests are set to follow the actual exam pattern. The question paper follows the Final Olympiad Question pattern and students are required to answer the problems within the given time, exactly like the final competition. Likewise, when you follow the sample papers, you get an idea about the exam pattern. This way, you adapt better to the ambience and components of the actual exam.