Biology Competitions

Society of Biology

Aims and format


1. To involve as many 13 to 15 year old pupils as possible in a challenging and interesting biology competition.

2. To act as a junior version of the British Biology Olympiad (BBO), raising its profile and encouraging participation.

3. To encourage and interest pupils in a science subject before they make their crucial choice of subjects to study post-GCSE.


The 2017 Biology Challenge is open to pupils aged 13 to 15 years (those born between 6th March 2002 and 24th March 2004). The Challenge is on online competition which takes place in schools. It consists of two 25 minute papers to maximise participation and provide flexibility. The two papers can be taken together or separately, whichever is more convenient to a school. Pupils do not even have to take both papers, a school may want to use the more demanding second paper for the pupils who achieved the highest scores from the first.

Questions will be set on the topics covered in most general biology courses for pupils of this age but the Biology Challenge will also reward those students whose knowledge of the subject has been increased by reading books and magazines, watching natural history programmes and taking notice of the news media for items of biological interest, students who are generally aware of our natural flora and fauna.

Schools will be able to conduct the Challenge in whatever way best suits their pupils, ensuring that they enjoy participating and have a reasonable expectation of recognition for their achievements. As well as being able to submit their pupils' scores to the national competition schools will be encouraged to award their own prizes and to make use of certificates provided for them.

Teachers will be able to register their school for Biology Challenge from October via the Royal Society of Biology website. Registration costs £30 per school.