Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of IAAC?
Astronomy is an outstanding scientific subject that has inspired us humans for thousands of years: The International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition gives students the opportunity to challenge their astronomy knowledge in a friendly competition and - by participating - to learn more about this interesting subject. IAAC has the aim to be accessible to all students from all countries regardless of their background. Furthermore, the IAAC uses today's technologies and the global connection through the internet to make this competition possible. Astronomy is a great motivation for students to get in touch with science and to start a professional career as a researcher or engineer.
I have already participated. Should I participate again?
Yes, of course!
Are teams allowed?
Everyone has to submit his own solution. However, for the qualification round, you are allowed to work on the problems with your friends together.
Where do I find problems of last year's competition?
This is the first year that this astronomy competition takes places in this format on an international level.
How can I prepare for the problems of the IAAC?
Astronomy and astrophysics require knowledge from multiple fields: This includes in particular physics and math. Participants can use normal astronomy books to prepare for the problems - general scientific knowledge and math skills will be helpful.
How is the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition organized?
The International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition are proud to be one of the biggest independent global competition that promotes the learning of astronomy and is not affiliated to an organization or institution. We thank all coordinators that do their best to make this competition possible for students from all around the world as well as our partners and sponsors for financial support. We are especially strong partners with the International Youth Math Challenge.
Will there be verification codes on the certificates?
Yes, all of your IAAC certificates have verification IDs. This enables others to verify the authenticity of the certificates and documents: Verification page
Who can participate?
All students (high school or university) that are at least 10 years old are allowed to participate. Students from all grades and all countries are invited to participate! However, there are two age categories: Junior (under 18 years by 14. April 2019) and Youth (over 18 years by 14. April 2019).
Are high school students and/or university students allowed to participate?
Yes, as long as you are at least 10 years old and currently studying in a high school or university.
I will turn 18 after the submission deadline. To which age category do I belong?
The age criterion is determined by your age on the submission deadline of the qualification round (14. April 2019): Junior (under 18 years by 14. April 2019) and Youth (over 18 years by 14. April 2019).
What is the difference between the age categories
Students from both categories will receive the same problems in all rounds, however, students that are in the Youth category will have to reach more points (e.g. to qualify for the pre-final round, students that are under 18 years have to solve three problems correctly and students that are over 18 years have to solve four problems correctly).
Do I have to be a student to participate?
Yes, you have to be a student in a high school or a university to participate. If you are currently between high school and university (e.g. gap year) and plan to start university any time soon, you are also eligible to participate.
Prizes and Awards
Do all participants receive participation certificates?
Yes, all participants receive participation certificates (soft copy) regardless of the results.
Hoch much is the total prize?
The prizes and awards worth a total of 700 USD which includes cash prizes of 450 USD. There are over 35 awards and prizes in total. You find more information about the awards and prizes here: All Awards and Prizes
Hoch many prizes and awards are there?
All participants receive participation certificates. The best students receive the 1. prize, 2. prize, and 3. prize with a cash award of 200 USD, 150 USD, and 100 USD. Furthermore, the most outstanding participants from each global region (Africa, America, Europe, Greater Middle East, South Asia, (South) East Asia) receive the 1., 2. and 3. regional award to honor their excellence. There are also special school awards and awards for ambassadors. You find more information about the awards and prizes here: All Awards and Prizes
What is the "Special Honour for digital Submission"?
All participants that use professional computer programs (e.g. TeX) to write down their solutions receive a special honorary note on their certificates since this skill is important for the future career.
What are the special regional awards?
Because IAAC is an international competition, we honor the best participants from each region of the world with a special certificate: More Information
Why is my country not listed for the special regional awards?
The list in the information document (here) only includes examples. Every country of the world is regognized in one of the regions listed.
How can I receive my results and certificates?
We will send all results and certificates via email; you can also check your results and your certificates online: Check Status
Do I need to win to receive a certificate?
No, all participants (regardless of the results) receive participation certificates.
Do I receive a hard copy of my certificate?
All winners will receive hard copies of their certificates. All participation and finalists certificates will be sent as soft copy via email (to lower the expenses and to protect the environment).
Are there awards for teachers and schools?
Yes, we understand the crucial role of teachers and schools for science education. Because of that, we award several school awards to honor the efforts of the teachers and the school (the awards are not connected to cash prize): Teacher Information Flyer
How does a school win one of the school awards?
Schools participate automatically if a student registers with the school name. (Please make sure that all of your students write the school name correctly and the same!) Also, we recommend that a teacher of the school registers: Teacher Registration
Submission and Qualification Round
What should the submission file include?
The submission file should include the solution to as many problems of the qualification round as possible.
Do I need to register somewhere before I can submit my solution?
No, you participate in IAAC 2019 by submitting your solution.
Do I have to solve all problems of the qualification round?
No, you need to solve three problems if you are a junior (under 18 years old) and four problems if you are a youth (over 18 years old) to qualify for the pre-final round. Try to solve as many problems as possible.
Can I edit or change my submission?
No, you can not edit or change your solution after the submission.
When is the deadline for the qualification round?
The submission deadline is Sunday 14. April 2019 23:59 UTC+0.
Do I receive an email after submitting my file?
Yes, please make sure to check your spam and to enable emails from '*@iaac.space'.
I have problems uploading my file. What should I do?
(1) Check whether your submission was already successful on this page: Check Status. (2) If your submission was not found, try to submit your solution again: try a different browser, try a different computer or laptop, or try to compress your file (only 10 MB allowed). Make sure that you have a good and working internet connection. (3) If nothing works, please contact us.
When will the results of the qualification round be announced?
The results of the qualification round will be announced on Monday 22. April 2019. You will receive an information email and you can view your results online via the submission status tool: Check Status
What is the timezone for the deadline?
The timezone is UTC+0 for all deadlines.
Pre-Final and Final Round
Do I need to solve all five problems to qualify for the pre-final round?
No. You need to solve at least three (if you are a junior, under 18 years old) to four (if you are a youth, over 18 years old) of the qualification round correctly.
How does the pre-final round take place?
All participants that are qualified and that are registered for the pre-final round will receive the problems via email on Monday 6. May 2019. From that day on you have one week until Sunday 12. May 2019 to solve as many problems as possible!
How does the final round take place?
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. The exam will take place in the school of each finalist supervised by a teacher. All finalists have to select a supervisor (e.g. a teacher) who agrees to supervise the final exam. We will send all the required information and the final exam to the selected teacher. The teacher has to upload your result until Friday 7. June 2019.
How to qualify for the final-round?
The pre-final round consists of 10 different problems that vary in difficulty: 4x basic problems (four points), 4x advanced problems (six points), 2x research problems (eight points). It is possible to reach up to 60 points in total. Students have to reach at least 30 points (junior) or 45 points (youth) to qualify for the final round.
What are the 'research problems' of the pre-final round?
The research problems require you to read a short scientific paper that will help you to answer the questions. You find more information here: Information Flyer
What are the deadlines of the pre-final and final round?
You find all relevant deadlines here: Timetable and Deadlines
Do I need to pay something to partcipate?
The IAAC qualification round is free to enter for all students around the world. However, all students that have qualified and want to register for the pre-final round have to cover the pre-final registration costs of 8 USD to make this global competition possible: More Information
There are no other costs throughout the competition or in the final round!
Why are there the 'Pre-Final Registration Costs'?
We cover most of the expanses through sponsors, however, the pre-final registration costs of 8 USD are necessary to make this global competition possible. The pre-final round requires a high amount of evaluation work and you can learn more about it here: More Information
Do I have to pay if I was successful in the first round?
No, if you are successful in the qualification round, you are free to decide whether you want to continue and register for the pre-final round or not. You will always receive a certificate of your results in the qualification round!
Can I only participate in the qualification round and not in the pre-final round?
Of course, 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 this opportunity.
How to pay the registration costs?
We will inform all successful participants of the qualification round about the registration process for the pre-final round. The registration costs have to be covered before the pre-final round starts if you want to participate in the pre-final round. The costs can be covered with any common payment method such as PayPal, credit card, etc.
Teachers and Schools
I am a teacher. Can I use the IAAC competition in class?
Yes, teachers and schools are invited to share this opportunity with their students and to make talented students in particular benefit from IAAC. You can use all problems, posters, and materials.
How can I check the submissions and results of my students?
We have implemented an special tool for teachers to check the submissions and results of their student: Teacher Login or Registration
Are there awards for teachers and schools?
Yes, we understand the crucial role of teachers and schools for mathematical education. Because of that, we award three school awards to honor the efforts of the teachers and the school (the awards are not connected to cash prize): Teacher Information Flyer
What are IAAC Ambassadors?
Since IAAC is an international competition with participants distributed all around the world, it is crucial to have official IAAC ambassadors in several schools, cities, and countries. IAAC ambassadors are being honored with an official certificate: You officially represent IAAC, you can coordinate an IAAC student group, promote IAAC in your country, and ensure that your country has vital IAAC activity! Being an IAAC ambassador is not only good for your CV and career experiences, but it gives you the unique opportunity to prove your skills as a coordinator and to encourage students to get engaged with astronomy.
Do I need to be a IAAC winner to become ambassador?
Are IAAC ambassador allowed to participate in the competition?
What are the requirements to become IAAC Ambassador?
You have to be at least 14 years old, be interested in science and astronomy, and be willing to spend the time to encourage students to get engaged with astronomy and to participate in IAAC.
What are the reponsibilities, benefits, and activities of IAAC ambassadors?
You have a variety of responsibilities such as to encourage students and youths to participate in IAAC and to inform schools, local institutes, etc. about IAAC. You also have the power to operate in the name of IAAC, to establish a strong and vital IAAC group in your region, and to inspire other youths for astronomy and science! All official IAAC ambassadors additionally receive a personal ambassador page to manage their activities. However, the unique opportunities are just a few of many reasons to become official IAAC ambassador: There are more benefits such as high-class career experiences and the official IAAC ambassador certificate. You find a list of possible IAAC ambassador activities here: Ambassador Activity Flyer
Are there awards for ambassadors?
Special awards are given each year to the most active ambassadors to honor their excellent and responsible performance. This includes awards for encouraging many participants as well as for coordinating many activities. However, your main purpose of becoming an ambassador should always be to inspire youths! You find more information here: Awards and Prizes
How to apply to become IAAC Ambassador?
In order to verify your eligibility as official IAAC ambassador, please fill out the ambassador application form: this includes your CV and a short motivation statement that explains your reasons and plans for becoming IAAC ambassador. After you applied, the IAAC Ambassador Coordinator for 2019, Mr. Stefan Bergmann, and the International Coordinator, Mr. Fabian Schneider, will review your application and contact you: Ambassador Application Form