Mar 21, 2019

Auswahlwettbewerb zur Int. PhysikOlympiade (Selection Competition for the International Physics Olympiad)

  • Crimson Education
  • Germany
Competition Other


At the International Physics Olympiad - IPhO for short - students from all over the world measure their achievements in physical tasks against each other.

Each participating country sends a team of up to five students to compete individually. The actual competition, which always takes place in July in one of the participating countries, consists of an experimental and a theoretical exam, each lasting five hours. In addition, there is an extensive supporting programme and, of course, many opportunities for exchange with young people from all over the world.

The minimal scores required for Olympiad medals and honorable mentions are chosen by the organizers according to the following rules: A gold medal should be awarded to the top 8% of the participants. A silver medal or better should be awarded to the top 25%. A bronze medal or better should be awarded to the top 50%. Honorable mention or better should be awarded to the top 67%. All other participants receive certificates of participation. The participant with the highest score (absolute winner) receives a special prize, in addition to a gold medal. The aim of the competition is to promote the skills of particularly interested and talented students in physics and to open up international scientific contacts for them at an early stage.

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Type of Opportunity

Extracurricular Activity

Age Range

High school students, ages 15-20 years old



As per the requirements of the selection competition for the International Physics Olympiad (IPhO), students must pass several rounds of testing, with tasks that are not only all above the level of school material and curricula but increase in difficulty with each round. Only 50 of the best (nationwide) from the second round will be invited to participate in exams in the third round.

The final step is the fourth round, in which once again only a select number of students compete in tests against each other to determine the five best for the German team. After another training seminar, the German team will then go to the international competition in summer. Therefore, the process as a whole is highly competitive. That being said, initial participation in the first round is open to all students enrolled at a German high school who have a strong background and interest in physics.

Participation Cost


There are no fees involved for participating in the selection competition for the International Physics Olympiad.

Minimum Technical Skill Needed


In order to succeed in the selection process for the IChO, participants must not only possess an excellent level of knowledge in the field of physics but also they must have experience and skill in approaching theoretical and experimental tasks. This requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as strong mathematical and numerical ability.

Time Commitment

The amount of time dedicated to this selection competition is at the own discretion of the participant and is subject to variability depending on the amount of preparation work completed, and the number of rounds they partake in.

Application Deadline

Applications open in the year before the IPhO. The final round/exam usually takes place in December. 2019 selection competition dates for the 2020 IPhO are TBA.

Application Process Includes

Students must apply online within the year prior to the International Physics Olympiad (IPhO). Students may find their tasks online - some of which can be marked by a physics teacher at the school that they have enrolled in. For subsequent rounds, the results are passed on to one of the deputies of the federal state. In the case of your admission to the final exam, you will be informed by the state representative responsible for your state.