I  A  O

The International Astronomy Olympiad

Frequently asked questions

information in Russian language
Russian page

General frequently asked questions about the IAO

1. Which countries can participate in the IAO?

Any country which ANRAO organized IAO during last ten years or from which an official team was sent to an IAO during last five years or an observer was sent to an IAO during last three years is eligible to participate in the future IAO's. The decision regarding acceptance of a new participating country is made by the Olympic Coordinating Council. The host organization of an IAO will send information to the National Representative Persons of the previously participating and observing countries. After that the National Representative Persons may request invitations from the host organization.

Invited countries should confirm their participation.

Note. There are exceptions for the initial period of the IAO.
For years 1996-2005 it was possible for countries to participate with a small team without previous participation or visit of an observer to one of the previous IAOs. Now this rule is valid only for the IAOs that organized at the "historical territory" (for example, in 2011 in Alma-Ata).
Now and for the next few years any country from which an official team was sent to a registered IAO-type event (for example, Asian-Pacific Astronomy Olympiad) during last two years is eligible to participate in the IAO.

2. How many students, team leaders and observers may send a country?

Every country with the registered ANRAO sends a national delegation of five contestants (three ones for the junior Alpha and two ones for the group Beta) and two team leaders to the IAO. Other countries may a delegation of three contestants (two ones for the group Alpha and one for the group Beta) and two team leaders to the IAO. Observers may be send additionally to these amount. Maximum number of observers from a country may be postulated by the common decision of LOC and OCC.

3. What is ANRAO?

According to the Statutes of the IAO there should be an Authorized National Representative (Astronomical) Organization (ANRAO) in every participating state: a national astronomical society, a department (section) of the EAAS in the state, a leading observatory, an astronomical department of a leading university, a ministry of education or another appropriate competent institution. Hereafter, the term of National Astronomical Society is used in the meaning stated above.

4. What is the role of the Authorized National Representative (Astronomical) Organization (ANRAO)?
What is the role of the Ministry of Education?

The role of ANRAO in IAO is analogous to the role of the Ministry of Education in the most other International Science Olympiads.

The Ministry of Education may be the Authorized National Representative (Astronomical) Organization (ANRAO) of the country or help ANRAO in preparing and sending the team.

The ANRAO of the country represents the official authority of a country. ANRAO gives the country's vote for any proposals that passed by voting of members of IAO.

The ANRAO of the country appoints the National coordinator for IAO (National Representative Person) and informs the Olympic Coordinating Council about the name and address of the coordinator, who will be contacted in all IAO matters.

The ANRAO will then manage to send a national delegation to the IAO.

It is advised to provide the participating delegation with a pocket money necessary to pay the participating fees, travel and other expenses.

5. What are the procedures to select an ANRAO in our country?

You should not "select" ANRAO. ANRAO appeared in usual way as the institution that is the most responsible for the National Astronomy Olympiads, forms the team of the country to participate in IAO and other AO under IAO jurisdiction, find financial support for the teams, etc.

6. How to register ANRAO?

An astronomical organization of a state which claims to be the Authorized National Representative (Astronomy) Organization has to send an official application to the Olympic Coordinating Council signed by the Chairman of the organization.

In the case the only organization of the state claims to be the Authorized National Representative Organization the juridical power of the organization to be ANRAO started since the date of receiving the official application by the Olympic Coordinating Council and till not more than for 4 years (shorter period may be mentioned in the decree of election/appointment) since the date of issuing the application. Prolongation should be done by a confirmation or a new application.

In the case several astronomical organizations (two or more astronomical societies, two universities, etc.) of the state claim to be the Authorized National Representative Organization the preference should be given to the organization which organizes national astronomy olympiads or competitions. Points at issue should be determined by a Decree of the EAAS Board.

7. How are the students selected?

It is highly desirable that the selected five (or three) students participating in the IAO are participants and winners of the final round of the National Astronomy Olympiad (NAO), organized in each country in the current year and in which only students from secondary schools (in the current school year) for general education can participate. For this reason each country has a duty to send a short report about their National Astronomy Olympiad to the Olympic Coordinating Council.

It is highly desirable that selection is not the main purpose of the Olympiad and its rounds should be mostly educating and popularizating astronomy and science in their style.

8. Who pays for the expenses?

During the IAO the Local Organizing Committee has to cover expenses and take care of the board, lodging, meals, transportation, excursions, sport, ceremonial, general organization expenses, and all related expenses of the official number of persons for every delegation for all period of the Olympiad.

Every participating delegation has to pay accommodating fees to the Local Organizing Committee which are going mostly to support the local organization of the IAO; some part of the fees are going to the Olympic Coordinating Council expenses.

In addition, it is responsible for the travel expenses of its delegation team to and from the IAO location, obtaining visa, medical insurance for travelling abroad, etc.

The expenses of additional accompanying persons have to be specified in advance by the organizers.

9. Who writes and composes the problems for the rounds?

The scientific and methodical part of the Olympiad must be within the competence of the Olympic Coordinating Council under the control of professional international astronomy organizations.

The Methodical Commission of the Coordinating Council jointly with the Commission of the Astronomical Centre, where the Olympiad is held, prepares and selects problems for the Olympiad:

  • Theoretical round - the Methodical Commission of the Olympic Coordinating Council, the number of theoretical problems should be from four to six. The theoretical problems should involve at least four areas of astronomy. Secondary-school students should be able to solve the Olympic problems with standard high school mathematics and without extensive numerical calculations.
  • Practical round - The Common Commission of the host Astronomical Centre and the Olympic Coordinating Council, the number of practical problems should be one or two. It is desirable to prepare the practical rounds based on real research of the host Astronomical Centre.
  • Observational round - The Common Commission of the Olympic Coordinating Council and host Astronomical Centre, the number of observational problems should be from one to three (each problem may consist of a set of questions).

The complexity of the problems depends on the various levels of competence of the participants. It is advisable to select problems where the solutions require a certain creative capability and a considerable level of knowledge.

The Commission of the host observatory (scientific centre) has to prepare spare problems for the practical round and one spare problem for the observational round which will be presented to the Methodical Commission of the Olympic Coordinating Council if some of the initially proposed problems is rejected. The rejected problem cannot be considered again.

The commissions mentioned above formulate the problems (including spare ones) in both oficial languages of IAO: Russian and English. However, they may prepare the texts in other languages as well.

10. What are the functions of the team leaders?

During the IAO they one of the team leaders from every country (knowledge of English and base of Russian is necessary) will function as a member of the International Jury, which involves the following tasks:

  • translation of the text of the problems from Russian or English into the native language(s) of their students (as usual the translation starts 3 hours and finishes 45 minutes before the rounds);
  • evaluation of the theoretical problems (the job lasts through a few days);
  • deciding about the ranking and awarding of medals to the winners.
Note: the only team leader from every team is responsible to work in the International Jury.

11. Other responsibilities of the participating country.

The participating country is expected to:

  • strictly obey the IAO Organization Rules;
  • indicate within 3 years of participation when it will host a future IAO;
  • organize within 5 years of participation an international IAO-type event;
  • promote mutual understanding and academic cooperation through IAO.
Political activities and propaganda of invited IAO teams frustrating the aims of the Olympiad are strongly disapproved, judged as a violation of the rules and may lead to exclusion of the delegation concerned.

12. How to set up a national astronomy olympiad?

One can see recommendations in the Supplement Instructions N 11.

13. Why a country has to send an official ANRAO observer before joining IAO?

It is one of the rules that came into operation at all the International Science Olympiads before founding of IAO.
Nevertheless, our rules are quite softer. A right to participate in IAO (to join the IAO movement) gives not only observation IAO, but also participation in any affiliated Olympiad, APAO, for example.

14. What does it mean "individual participation"?

Special possibility is returned to the IAO rules since 2006. A team with the only team leader from a country is possible if the only contestant from the country participates ("individual participant"). This team have to be joined with other team (from nearest country - language should be the same or quite understandable) with the obligation of the scientific team leader of the other team to take obligations to fulfil all the jobs connected with this "individual participant". Participation of such a small team maybe allowed after Organizing Committee received a written agreement between two team leaders: the team leader of the team with an "individual participant" and the scientific team leader of the other above mentioned team.

The only "individual participant" from a country is possible. Two or more participants from a country have to be organized in a full team (with two team leaders).

15. What is IAO-type event?

The IAO-type events are olympiads with a scientific-educating style, duration and main points of programme like at IAO.

The IAO-type events are to be held for stimulation various astronomy olympiads, preparation for the future International Astronomy Olympiads. These might be open national astronomy olympiads, regional (in national or international scale) olympiads or other kind of olympiads.

Actual forms of the IAO-type events are written in the Supplementary Instructions N 4 "IAO-type events and Schools for Young Astrophysicists".

16. What is APAO or ATAO?

APAO - The Asian-Pacific Astronomy Olympiad (in Russian - ATAO - Aзиатско-Tихоокеанская Aстрономическая Oлимпиада) - is a "daughter" ("affiliated") olympiad in system of the International Astronomy Olympiad for the countries of Asia and Oceania. APAO invites teams equivalent of second best teams from these countries. It was founded in 2005.
The 1st APAO took place in Irkutsk (Siberia) in December 2005. The next APAO will be held in Tomohon (Indonesia) in November-December 2013.

17. What is IOAA?

IOAA - International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics. This olympiad is not in system of the International Astronomy Olympiad. It has different purposes and basic principles. IOAA rounds examine students in their skills of the fast solutions of long set of standard problems and rapid calculations. Creativity and composing of multistep models are not required from students for solving IOAA problems (opposite to principles of IAO). IOAA often uses Answer-Sheet System (A-S-S) for writing solutions. A-S-S simplifies the jury jobs of checking and evaluating but determines the ways in student's solutions and restricts their creativity.
The 1st IOAA took place in ChiangMai (Thailand) in December 2007. The next IOAA will be held in Romania in July-August 2014.

Frequently asked questions about actual features of IAO organization
(in comparison with other International Olympiads)

Why students and team leaders live together at IAO?
At IPhO the team leaders and students live in different hotels.

It is one of the most important features of the IAO. It is not appropriate to separate team leaders and students at the educational events like IAO: the contacts between scientists (as usual, the team leaders at IAO are scientists) are ones of the most significant points of IAO. It should be repeated that IAO is an educating and scientific event at first and a competition for solving problems only secondly.

Why IAO age limit for participants is only 18 years old?
For example, the IMO and IPhO age limits are 20 years old.

At first, a remark. It is not correct to compare 18 and 20. The age limit at IAO is the age for the beginning of the calendar year, so at the moment of the Olympiad (in autumn) the real age limit is 18 years and 9-10 months, so at the moment of the Olympiad the real age limit for them is about 18.8 years.

Otherwise, 20 years old in IMO is the age for the end of the current Olympiad (the 20th birthday must be later the last round), the real age limit less then 20.0 years. 20 years old in IPhO is the age for June 30th, at the moment of the Olympiad (early July as usual) the real age limit is about 20.0 years as well. So one has to compare 18.8 and 20.0.

The reasons for the ~17.8-18.8 years old limit are the following:

  • IAO is founded and organized as an educating and scientific event at first and as a competition only secondly. IAO is an event for the students continuing their school education, not for those who graduated from the school.
  • It is also the age for which the spirit of the Olympiad as an entertaining competition is most appropriate.
  • The total amount of knowledge necessary for IAO is comparatively not too large and acquiring it is completely within the reach of the students of the above-mentioned age. Involving students of the senior classes would lead to enlarging and complicating the necessary material, which would be senseless. For such students it already turns into a kind of sport and is significantly less useful from an educational point of view. Psychologists have straightened out (found out), that for the students below 17 years old the desire to understand the contents and essence of problems, correctly to solve them is dominated. Otherwise, the schoolstudents of age above 17 years old, at first, desire to guess what wanted the composers of the problems and to produce more good impression for jury during writing the solutions (presentation is more important rather them the solution itself) to get more points, and, thus, to be nominated to higher Diploma.
  • One has to understand that all Olympiads for students (more accurate term - "Olympic Games") are only games and they are very far from the real scientific activities. For students 17-20 years old more serious events are preferable like conferences and competitions for research works.

    Why the organization structure of IAO does not follow one of IPhO?
    The governing body of the IPhO consists of the delegation leaders from each country attending the IPhO; and the governing body of the IAO is EAAS.

    Every International Science Olympiad has its own history, style, traditions, scale, organization structure and administrative system. They may be different. Many International Olympiads were organized initially by a country that invited teams from other countries to participate, and the host country was responsible for all organization. During the first years they had no Statutes, they had no a coordinating body and the total responsibility went from the host country of the past Olympiad to the host country of the next Olympiad. Later, due to absence of the governing body, the delegation leaders (arrived to the Olympiads with the contestants) were forced to declare themselves to be such a governing body for coordination the efforts, formulation rules, forming working bodies, choose the hosts of the next Olympiads and (in some Olympiads) to select the Olympic problems.

    The IAO was founded by an international body, the Euro-Asian Astronomical Society since the very beginning; its realization and holding is done every year under this organization of professional astronomers; National Astronomical Societies (or other representative astronomy organizations) of the participating states are the registered members of IAO. IAO was born in the era of electronic communication when the physical presence of representatives of countries' organizations at the common meeting has become not actual to elaborate the common decisions; and the direct voting of the members-organizations of the countries is used. Specifically, it allows adopting more thought-out issues that are not affected by the particular situations and impressions at the current Olympiad. The points of view discussed at the team leaders conferences are very important as well; since the oral way of discussions appears not possible for a part of team leaders who do not well understand the oral language (or pronunciation) of communication, the IAO rules recommend the written form for the discussions and requires it for any voting about changing of the rules (including at least three weeks to think and give the vote).

    The above matters allowed using the advantages of the older International Science Olympiads and avoid their shortcomings. The advantages of relatively small scale of IAO (about 20 participating states) in comparison with the scale of other Olympiads (about 90 countries in IMO, 70 in IPhO, 60 in IChO, etc.) are used as well, particularly that allow to hold IAO events not so formal as it appear inevitable for larger scale events. The leading of EAAS in holding of IAO also allows to prevent transformation IAO into event where the tourist-recreation constituent for the people coming to the Olympiad with the students became dominant.

    So the experience in preparing and holding of other International Olympiads is used in IAO. Nevertheless the direct refer to every point of rules and traditions of other Olympiads is not reasonable.

    Why the problems for the IAO may be proposed for every person?
    The host country is totally responsible for the matter of rounds at other International Olympiads.

    Yes, the roles of Coordinating Council and Commissions are more important at IAO in comparison with other Olympiads.

    At some other International Olympiads the host country appears to be responsible either for customs organization of the Olympiad or rounds' matter. This fact makes the work of local organizers more hard and difficult for Olympiad realization. More over, the role of astronomy in education is very specific, so the distribution of duties between the local organizers and the international commissions is more actual at IAO rather than at other subject olympiads.

    Why special additional tourist program for observers does not exist at IAO?
    Such programs are helpful to get financial support for some teams since in this case the officials become personally interesting for tourist trips to the place of the Olympiad.

    May be, you are right, talking about help to get financial support.
    But the policy of IAO is to keep the educating style of the Olympiad.
    Organization of tourist-recreation constituents for the delegation leaders and observers sidetracks the local organizers from the solutions of main constituents. It is necessary to mention that the trip to IAO should not be esteemed (conscientiously or subconsciously) by anybody as the tourist trip under "all included" scheme.

    What are the requirements for an observer from a new country?
    May one participate in IAO as observer-tourist?

    An observer should be not private person but should represent related to astronomy (or astronomy education) organization interesting in IAO. Any member of National Astronomical Society or National Association for Astronomy Education or similar organization may participate as an observer (with an official agreement of the organization).
    And IAO is not a tourist event.

    Why a team leader of every country has to check other teams' students' papers?
    The host country is totally responsible to form a jury that checks the students' papers at other International Olympiads.

    It is also important. The jury at IAO includes representatives of every country participated at the actual IAO. The representatives' work is not formal. The representatives check all students' papers and so the jury is really international (i.e. functions of jury members not only to vote and to discuss about the formal questions). Also it is the second feature that makes the organization of the IAO more appropriate for the host country - not every country can find the enough number of astronomy specialists possible to solve and check the (very unusual) problems of IAO.

    Does it mean that the local organizers are excluded from the process of preparing the matter for the rounds at IAO?

    No. The local organizers are responsible for the matter of practical round and (mostly) for the matter of observational round - i.e. the bases of the Practical and Observational Methodical Commissions are local. One scientist of the host observatory has to be a member and work at the Theoretical round Methodical Commission as well. They check the practical round papers. Also they organize the observational round and should find the necessary number of qualified examiners for the observational round.

    Why there is no preliminary (before translation) meeting for all team leaders where everybody can discuss and vote about the matter of problems?

    There were such discussions a few years (during the V-VIII IAOs). The experience of such a procedure shows a necessity for serious enlarging of the time before rounds, during which the team leaders have to be separated. Also this experience shows very low efficiency of such meetings and even production some tensions between team leaders (since every voting divide them into the groups "pro" and "contra" but the point of view of only one of these groups may be chosen).

    But the main shortcoming of such procedure is the tension to simplify the problems, to make them more formal and less creative. As usual the community reject the most unusual (from the common point of view) problems. Finally such procedure deforms style of problems. It is experimental fact. One may compare the style of problems IAO and IPhO to check on it.

    Now the IAO rules propose that the special international methodical commissions are responsible for the matter of the rounds. By the way, we have to remind that every team leader or every other person may send to the commissions his/her proposals for the problems.

    In continuing... So why such the preliminary board meeting cannot be organized at the previous day (like at IPhO)?

    Also for such a procedure it is necessary to keep secrecy. At IPhO it was (*) possible since team leaders and students live in different hotels that separated in space (for many kilometres) during all the Olympiad. But we consider it is not appropriate (see above).

    (*) It is written above "was" but not "is" because of extremely quick introducing of new connecting technologies. A few years ago it was really enough to separate team leaders and students with organizing impossibility for students to use stationary telephones (and there were no mobile phones). Now technologies of mobile connections, GPRS, compact computers make the problem of secrecy unsolvable in the current frames of Olympic organization.

    Why there is no moderation of the marking of the student's solutions at the IAO?
    (Like there is at IPhO, for example.)

    There is no only formal moderation at IAO (no word "moderation" in the documents), however, it is exists de facto as one of procedures of activity of jury, and it is organized more seriously. And we do not use the term "moderation", as it guesses some opposition between persons.

    The difference is connected, first of all, with the generally different conception of organization of jury board.

    IAO jury board (persons who check and evaluate students' papers) consists of the representatives of all countries-participants without any exception. The papers are checked and evaluated jointly by international collective of the specialists. The representative from each country sees activity of all members of jury. During the jury work he/she articulates nuances of the solutions of his/her team students to other jury members. The mark that is actually matched with the team leader put down to the minutes (the mark after de facto moderation). That is, all participating countries are representing in IAO jury board actually, but not only formally.

    Unfortunately, the principle of jury work used on IAO is possible only at olympiads with a rather small number of commands (up to 30). The number of commands at IPhO is already more than a half of hundred.

    IPhO jury board (persons who check and evaluate students' papers) consists only of the members from the country-organizer. Their marks, first of all, put down to the minutes. However, not always the local members of jury can disassemble thoroughly solutions in other languages. The moderation (conversation of the team leaders with the members of jury who checked and evaluated the students' solutions) is organized to avoid misunderstandings.

    Evidently, the system of activity of jury on IAO is much more progressive rather than system of checking and evaluating the students' papers by the local members of jury with the following moderation. The last system has evident shortcomings:

  • Despite of existence of the moderation, the time for this procedure as usual is not enough (25-30 minutes for conversations about solutions of all 5-6 participants of the team for all problems of one round). As a result the team leaders are compelled to struggle first of all for points of those participants, for whom the changing of the points may lead to increasing the rank of Diploma. That is, again sports dominate, instead of looking for the true in students' papers.
  • The team leaders become attorneys-advocates of the students. Actually it means, that at the stage of the moderation the competing of the students is transforming to competing the team leaders-advocates. So the result of a student is seriously depend on the possibility of his/her attorney to inform thought up to the member of jury, on the "speed of thinking" of his/her attorney, on the knowledge and experience in speaking the official or native language of jury. All this parameters are especially important at the hardly limited time for the moderation. Thus, the students from different countries appear in rather unequal conditions.

    Here it is important to point out, that the organizers of olympiads (IPhO particularly) are fine perceive all these problems, but for olympiads with such large number of countries it is impossible to organize more fair system of jury work. So the above-mentioned system is the most optimal for olympiads with more than 50 teams.

    Note. The moderations that exist on some National (and other monolingual) olympiads are quite different. On these olympiads the students talk to the member of jury themselves, without the attorneys-advocates. But such type of moderation is impossible at the international olympiads because of language problems.

    Who decided how many students to be awarded with the Diploma of every rank?
    We see that either the number of them or percent are varying from year to year.

    The diapasons of possible numbers of students to be awarded with the Diploma of every rank are defined by convention as percents of the total number of the participants. At the conclusion of all the rounds, and once all the results are available, the jury members will meet and look at the overall performance of all the students without knowing their names or nationality (the so called "blind minutes", here is an example of such minutes for XI IAO). They will then decide on the cut off level for the I Diploma, II Diploma, III Diploma (corresponding to the Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal Certificates) and Diploma of Participation. As usual jury members vote for that cut off level where the gap between the total scores is largest. Here is an example of the decision at XI IAO.

    The decision of the Jury Board is final. Nobody can change the decision: neither Local Organizing Committee nor Olympic Coordinating Council nor Chairman of the Olympiad.

    Why once every three years IAO has to be organized by an astronomical research centre of the historical territory of the Astronomy Olympiads?
    We think it makes IAO "less-international".

    This rule is out of operation now.

    Initially it was proposal of Brazilian Astronomical Society that every second year the IAO has to be organized in the Special Astrophysical Observatory (to keep traditions and scientific educating style) and every other second year - anywhere other (to extend the geography of the Olympiad). But it is too difficult for one observatory to organize IAO every second year, so the solution for keeping traditions was to organize IAO in SAO (or other astronomical research centre of the "historical territory") every three years. Countries of historical territory of the Astronomy Olympiads (Russian Federation, Crimea and Moscow land) agreed to take such duties. Other years during the period of three years are to extend the geography of the Olympiad.

    Periodical repeating of the place of organization - is not a criterion that makes an event "less-international". By the way, the main World's International event - UN General Assembly has meetings in New-York only.

    We prefer such criteria of internationality of the Olympiad as the really international Jury Board and international distribution of duties in every IAO organization.

    Since 01.01.2006 the period of three years was changed to period of four years, and since 01.01.2011 the rule is out of operation.

    Why the "multiple-choice questions" are forbidden at the National Astronomy Olympiads?
    It is quite easier to check such questions.
    And the result of checking (mark) does not depend on the actual member of jury.

    The question is not correct.
    The "multiple-choice questions" are not forbidden, but they are not recommended as the problems (tasks) for the olympic rounds.

    We shall answer for more general question: what types of problems are desirable for the olympiads.

    The "multiple-choice questions" is a fast and simple way to check students' knowledge of formal facts. It can be really good to select the best (by these formal criteria) students. In particular it happens actual while an olympiad organizes in a town or a province, where there is no enough qualified jury, where qualified jury members cannot arrive from other places due to various reasons or where there are thousands of participants at some correspondence stage of an olympiad. The experience of usage of the "multiple-choice questions" in astronomy demonstrates their efficiency at classes to repeat the subjects, to check their knowledge in different areas of an astronomy before the beginning of the lessons, etc.

    However, it is not the main purpose of olympiads. The "multiple-choice questions" do not stimulate the students to recognize the problem independently, to choose a model, to make necessary suppositions, estimations, to conduct multiway calculations or logic operations. To stimulate these qualities is one of the basic principles of the International Science Olympiads, especially - the Astronomy Olympiad. And these ways of solutions (instead of formal answers) should be of the first priority in evaluations of the participants' solutions.

    It is important also, that the olympic problem should enable different approaches to the solution, different ways and methods in the solution. Participants should have a possibility to exhibit the analytical capacities, and not just to do all procedures by hard rules. The correct formal final answer (formula or numerical value) should not play the determining role in the evaluation. Also the jury must not demand from participants the same way of solution as written by the author (composer of the problem).

    The "multiple-choice questions" frequently stimulate the students "to guess" the right answer, orienting not on knowledge of a subject; the opposite procedure is used: to except from the consideration incorrect answers.

    Also it is important also, that the organizers of national olympiads on which the rounds are carried out in style of the "multiple-choice questions" appears quite worse qualified at the International Astronomy Olympiad. They are not good experiences in the rules, their job as jury members being more stressed and many difficulties appear while they check the conventional multi-stage problems and the problems that have correct alternative ways of solution.

    The above explanations show that it is not reasonable to use the "multiple-choice questions" on high level olympiads.

    In this connection the olympiads which used the "multiple-choice questions" for grading winners and prizewinners can not be recognized as IAO-type events.

    Of course, the "multiple-choice questions" never can be used on the International Astronomy Olympiad. Possible types of the IAO-problems are written in the "Aims of the IAO".

    Why a student who participated in IAO cannot take part in APAO?
    For example, participation in Asian PhO is a good training for participation in IPhO.
    From 8 members for APhO we select team of 5 students for IPhO.

    It is not correct to say that "a student who participated in IAO cannot take part in APAO". This student cannot participate only in APAO of the same year - i.e. at the Olympiad that takes place only a month later (or even a couple of weeks as in 2006) than IAO. But a student who participated in IAO in the current year may take part in the next year APAO.

    The general policy of IAO is to stimulate participation in Astronomy Olympiads more students rather than participation of the same students in many Olympiads. Our Astronomy Olympiads are educating and scientific events at first and competitions for solving problems (for which the "training" is necessary) only secondly.

  • Update 12.12.2012.