...Which, as you all know, is a cut-throat program for
secondary students around the world where they are tested on their ability to
memorize a single textbook. No, really - the way I'm studying is to litterally
transcribe the entire textbook onto other paper. It's grueling.

I'm really passionate about biology, and I'd really like to get into IOB, but
it's kinda got me thinking about whether or not they're going about it right
way. I think it'd be better for them to test us with problems that we actually
have to solve through reason and conscientiousness.

However, I also realize that there's no reason I can't do it
on my own, so I was wondering if any of you knew of any good books or references
I could use to get started?



I've never actually been exposed to the IBO until now (I did my secondary schooling in a different country) but I've just had a look at the syllabus and some sample questions on the IBO website.

The theory you have to study is actually pretty standard across the world. We go over it all again in greater detail as part of our undergrad degrees. A good knowledge and understanding of those kinds of things is absolutely vital for you to get anywhere in biology. 

The sample questions are actually problem based and require you to apply your knowledge and understanding. 

So maybe you want to alter the way you are studying for this test and look at more sample questions so that you can tailor your approach and thinking to the way the IBO wants these questions answered. There are 100 sample questions on their website so I'd use those to test yourself on what you've learnt.

Last edited by ReetikaSuri (3rd Nov 2011 07:57:07)

Also, as I'm sure you know, you must qualify in your national Biology Olympiad before getting to the International competition. Whatever organization administers the national exam in your country may have some resources also. The Center for Excellence in Education (http://www.usabo-trc.org/) administers the US Biology Olympiad qualifying exams and they have some useful links on their website for registered teams. Meanwhile, the University of Toronto administers the Canadian exam (http://biocomp.utoronto.ca/) and they have an extensive list of past exams to look at.