Science Olympiads in Natural, Life and Physical Sciences

Science Olympiads in Natural, Life and Physical Sciences


The South African Science Olympiads in Natural, Life and Physical Sciences were initiated in 1997 at the Springfield College of Education. The competitions were started in partnership with and under the guidance of the South African Science and Technology Educators (SAASTE-KZN). There are 10 grade-specific Olympiads exams and they cater for:  Natural Sciences – Grades 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9  Life Sciences – Grades 10 and 11  Physical Sciences – Grades 10 and 11

Entry requirements

Entry forms are posted to many schools and/or sent via email to schools. Entry forms are sent via email to all MST coordinators in Provinces. Entry forms and other information are available on our website.


Every learner can gain access to hundreds of revision questions free. The final round Olympiad exams will give talented and gifted leaners an opportunity to compete with other learners nationally. All the top three groups of learners and schools per grade are given awards at the National Awards function.


Learners attain conceptual knowledge, the application of knowledge in new situations, problem solving skills, reasoning, communication and general mathematical thinking.


All learners from Grades 4 to 11. Grade 3 could also write the grade 4 papers. All Teachers, Schools and MST in Southern Africa.

How it works

Oranisers set papers and post to schools via registered mail in July. Exams are written in schools in August and the answer sheets are returned to us. Results together with the certificates and Awards invitations are sent to the schools. Awards function held in November. Some students are short-listed for the IJSO, IBO, IPHO and ICHO – provided with guidance and advanced study material in December. Training are also provided. Selection tests are written in January/February – teams selected for the international. Selected students are provided with some training by specialists (teachers/lecturers). Learners represent SA in December or July in the International Olympiads.


Olympiads are open to all learners from any School or Province in Grades 4 to 11 in Natural, Life and Physical Sciences with an entry fee of R20 per learner.


The best Grades 9, 10 and 11 learners are short-listed for selection – write a selection test and may then be selected to represent South Africa at the International Olympiads. Platinum Certificates (90%+), Gold Certificates (80% -89%), Silver (60% -79%) and participation certificates (rest) are awarded to all learners. The Top three schools per grade and the top three Educators per grade are also given awards.

Competition timelines

Schools complete entry forms per grade in duplicate and post to us together with proof of payment by June. Closing Date for Entries: 31 May; Late Entries up to 30 June.

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