Feb 23, 2019

International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA)

  • Crimson Education
  • 2019 TBA
Competition Skill Building Other


The International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) is an annual event held for high performing high school students from all corners of the globe. Established in Thailand 2006, it was initiated by five countries including Thailand, Indonesia, Iran, China and Poland with the aim to proliferate Astronomy among high school students, to foster friendship among young astronomers at international level so as to build cooperation in the field of Astronomy in the future among the young scholars.

The competition consists of 2 parts: the theoretical competition (including short and long questions) and practical competition (including observations and data analysis). There should normally be 15 short and 2 or 3 long questions for the theoretical part. For the practical part, the organiser may give a set task on 1) observation, 2) paper-based practical problem, 3) computer-based problem, 4) planetarium simulation or combination of the four, which is expected to be solvable in 5 hours.

Some of the countries which have hosted the IOAA in the past include Thailand in 2007, Indonesia in 2008, Iran in 2009, China in 2010, Poland in 2011, Brazil in 2012, Greece in 2013, Romania in 2014, Indonesia in 2015, India in 2016, and Thailand in 2017. Beijing China will be hosting IOAA in 2018. The IOAA comprises of three rounds: a theoretical test, observation test and data analysis test, whose total counts towards medals of participating students. In addition, there is also be a team competition to determine the best team.

For more information visit the official website here

Type of Opportunity

Extracurricular Activity

Age Range




The registration process is relatively straightforward, however the level of competition will depend on how many students participate in the competition itself. For example, in the 2018 event, top students from over 41 countries participated.

Participation Cost


Registration fee: Students and Leaders(Main Team):460 USD/person

Students and Leaders(Guest Team):1210 USD/person

One Team (which is Main team, up to 5 students and 2 leaders) from the following countries can be exempt from registration fees:Thailand;Indonesia;Iran;China;Poland;Brazil;Greece;Romania;India;Hungary

Students will need to pay for travels, accomodation costs, this will vary depending on where the Olympiad is hosted and where they are travelling from.

Minimum Technical Skill Needed


It is highly desirable that the selected students participating in the IOAA are participants and winners of national Olympiads organised 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, only a select few students are able to participate in the International Olympiad from each country.

Individuals should have a comprehensive understanding of astronomy, science, astrophysics and should be familiar with the IOAA syllabus.

Basic concepts in physics and mathematics at high school level are
required in solving the problems.

Time Commitment


The selection process usually entails participation in a national astronomy/astrophysics olympiad and intensive study leading up to the event.

The International Olympiad event itself takes place over an average of ten days

Application Deadline

Typically August - 2019 date TBA.

Application Process Includes

All students, leaders and observers attending the IOAA are required to complete registration and payment by filling out forms online. The deadline for receiving the email and payment is in August. Once the registration files and corresponding registration fee is received, participants will receive an official invitation to the event.