The qualification round is the first stage and consists of five astronomy problems: A, B, C, D, and E. These astronomy problems vary in topic, difficulty, and subject. The problems range from knowledge skills to astrophysical calculations to make sure that everyone finds interesting problems to work out. The problems will sharpen your mind and also challenge your science, math, and astronomy skills!
Points and Submission
Each of the problems can give you up to 5 points and there are 25 points in total. All participants of the qualification round will receive participation certificates regardless of the results. You have to score at least 15 points (junior, under 18 years) or 20 points (youth, over 18 years) to qualify for the pre-final round.
The submission deadline is Friday 15. May 2020 23:59 UTC+0.
In order to avoid connection issues, upload errors, and other problems, we highly recommend to submit the solution several days before the official submission deadline! The solution file may be typed digitally or it may be a clear picture of your handwritten notes. You can also write your solution in the blank space on the problems sheet. Participants that type their solutions on a computer receive a special note on their certificates. Please make sure to upload only PDF files or image files at the submission form. Also make sure to write your name correctly as it will be used for all certificates and documents. There are no fees or registration costs to participate in the qualification round.
Announcement and Status
The results of the qualification round will be announced on Monday 25. May 2020. You will receive an email about results, however, you can also check your submission status, your results, your performance report, and your certificates online at the submission status page. We highly encourage you to check your submission online:
Participants that have solved the qualification round successfully are qualified to participate in the pre-final round. The problems will be more challenging, but even more interesting!
Problems and Points
The pre-final round consists of 10 different problems that vary in difficulty, points, and topic. There are three types of problems that give you four, six, and ten points:
- 4x Basic Problems: The pre-final round includes four basic problems (lowest difficulty). A correct solution to a basic problem adds four points to the total score.
- 4x Advanced Problems: The pre-final round includes four advanced problems that are more difficult. A correct solution to an advanced problem gives you six points.
- 2x Research Problems: The pre-final round includes two research problems: These problems require you to read two short scientific research papers and to learn about recent scientific results in order to solve the problems or questions. This will give you the chance to get in touch with scientific research while solving the problems.
It is possible to reach up to 60 points in total. Participants have to reach at least 30 points (junior, under 18 years) or 40 points (youth, over 18 years) to qualify for the final round.
Process and Submission
All participants that are qualified and that are registered for the pre-final round will receive the problems via email or at the online status page on Monday 15. June 2020. From that day on you have one week until Sunday 21. June 2020 to solve as many problems as possible! You can submit your solution online via a special submission form: You can choose if you would like to submit the solution as handwritten version or as computer typed document. We recommend to write the solution in the blank space on the problems sheet of the pre-final round. Computer typed versions do not receive a special note on their certificates.
Registration and Costs
If you succeed in the qualification round, you have the unique opportunity to participate in the pre-final round. You can register for the pre-final round via your online status page. This global competition is attached to many costs such as
- human resource,
- technical infrastructure,
- and much more.
Our sponsors cover some of the expenses, however, to make this international opportunity possible, we ask the participants to cover the registration costs of 8 USD
for the pre-final round. The registration costs are necessary to provide the resources for the evaluation of this year’s competition and in particular for the comprehensive pre-final round. The registration costs will exclusively be used to make this global opportunity possible and are the only costs attached to this competition. The registration costs can be covered with any common payment option available and we will inform all qualified participants about further details. You can learn more information about the registration costs here:
FAQ: Can I only participate in the qualification round and not in the pre-final round?
Sure, you can participate in the qualification round and receive your participation certificate and not register for the pre-final round. However, in this case, you would miss the opportunity to participate in any further rounds.
The registration deadline for the pre-final round is Friday 12. June 2020.
Participants that have solved the pre-final round successfully are qualified to participate in the final round: a multiple-choice exam for which students have 60 minutes time.
Exam and Points
The final round consists of a single exam with 40 multiple-choice questions. The questions require knowledge about astronomy and astrophysics as well as calculation skills and creativity. Finalists have 60 minutes for the exam! To every question there are four possible answers given (only one is correct). A correct answer equals one point. The awards and prizes are given to the finalists with the most points in the final round.
The exam will usually take place in the school of each finalist supervised by a teacher. All finalists have to select a teacher who agrees to supervise the final exam. We will send all required information and the final exam to the selected teacher who has time to conduct the 60 minutes exam until Friday 17. July 2020. We will provide a special online form for all teachers to upload the results without much effort! The teacher has to make sure that the finalist does not cheat and the teacher has to end the exam as soon as the 60 minutes are over regardless of the number of questions answered. The results of the final round and IAAC 2020 will be announced on Monday 20. July 2020.
The teacher has to conduct the exam until Friday 17. July 2020.
Further information on all rounds and the competition can be found here: Official IAAC Flyer 2020