Organised by Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF) each year, Olympiads are international high-school-level competitions that aim to provide students an opportunity to judge their knowledge in various subjects. SOF organises several Olympiads such as International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO), National Science Olympiad (NSO), National Cyber Olympiad (NCO), International General Knowledge Olympiad (IGKO), etc. International English Olympiad (IEO) is one such competition that it organises for students of grades 1-12. It focuses on testing students’ usage of the English language and grammar. Every year, students from more than a hundred countries take part in IEO. Thus, making this Olympiad very competitive and dynamic. By taking part in IEO, students can get exposure to competition at school, city, zonal and even international level. They contend with their peers at these levels and top performers are awarded attractive cash prizes, trophies and certificates.
English is a global language spoken by people across the world and thus, inculcating students with thorough knowledge of usage of this language and its grammar is very important for their overall growth. Encouraging students from a younger age to take part in IEO can be a positive step in this direction. The Student’s Performance Report (SPR) provided at the end of the IEO exam documents their performance in the competition in a very detailed manner. Based on it, students can improve their weaknesses and achieve great fluency in the English language.
This article entails all the necessary information about the International English Olympiad for students of Class 6 and how they can effectively prepare for this challenging exam.
When and how to apply
As already said, this exam is held once a year and schools registered with SOF are provided with the official brochure and registration forms which students can fill in order to enroll themselves for this exam. There is also a small amount of registration fee that students are required to pay for the same.
The exam is held in two levels. Level 1 is held around October-November each year and the Level 2 exam is conducted around February-March. However, the dates are subject to changes as per the discretion of SOF. Final results are declared around March-April. Students can contact their respective schools for confirmation on the dates of the exam or they can refer to the SOF official website.
Eligibility for Level 1 and Level 2
There are no fixed eligibility criteria for the Level 1 exam and all the students enrolled in grades 1-12 are allowed to appear for Level 1 of the IEO. However, for Level 2, there are certain eligibility standards based on a minimum performance benchmark in Level 1. The shortlisted students for Level 2 are-
- Top 5% of students of each class that sat for the Level 1
- Top 25 rank holders in school and zonal category
- Class toppers of each school that participated in IEO and has at least 10 students from a class score 50% marks in Level 1
- Top rank holders in case of section-wise registration from a class
The aforementioned registered students are eligible to appear for the exam.
Paper pattern of the IEO
The paper is conducted in two levels- Level 1 and Level 2. For Level 1, there will be a total of 50 questions that are to be answered within one hour. The paper is divided into four sections- word and knowledge structure, reading, spoken and written expression, achievers section. All the questions will be objective type with four options given for each question. Students need not go anywhere for the IEO as the exam will be held in their respective school premises during school hours.
The paper for IEO is set in collaboration with the British Council and the focus is on assessing the usage of the English language, both verbally and written. Students also need to keep abreast with correct international usage instead of mugging up grammatical rules. For each level, the curriculum prescribed by national and state boards for each grade is taken into consideration but the questions are not directly related to it. They are advanced and complex in nature and thus students need to prepare a special strategy for this exam.
Important topics that are to be covered are as follows-
Section 1- Usage of grammatical topics like Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, Adverbs, Adjectives, Articles, Conjunctions, Prepositions, Punctuation and Jumbled Words, Tenses, Voices, Narration, Spellings, Collocations, Phrasal verbs, Idioms, Synonyms, Antonyms, etc.
Section 2- Understanding various text types such as news pieces, diary entries, brochures, letters, etc. and learning how to comprehend these writing styles. Questions are based on reading and deciphering such pieces.
Section 3- Understanding various expressions, both written and spoken and comprehending situation-based variations in expressions like refusal, agreement, apologies, etc. and also distinguishing differences in the use of conjunctions.
Section 4- Advanced questions based on the syllabus of sections 1,2 and 3.
In a nutshell, a holistic understanding of the language is required for the exam, both in terms of verbal usage of English for communication and grammar-related knowledge.
The reference material for the preparation
Students can begin by referring to their school’s textbooks for a basic understanding of the syllabus. NCERT books that are prescribed by CBSE for Class 6 are such easy to access and useful materials. Furthermore, since the questions are not as direct as they are in the school level examinations, students need to refer to certain other books designed especially for the IEO such as IEO workbooks published by the MTG for Class 6. In addition, solving past years’ papers is the best way to have an understanding of the paper pattern and the syllabus. IEO Class 6 Previous Year Paper for 2013 and so on are easily available on the internet.
Making use of online resources such as videos explaining various topics, sample questions and writing pieces, online test series, etc. posted by various websites is also recommended.
Students who wish to sharpen their skills in the English language are advised to sit for this exam. Many universities in India and abroad give special importance to IEO scores during the admission process. The syllabus for the exam is undoubtedly vast but with the help of the right preparation material, it can be covered easily and students can fetch good marks in it.