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OlyExams: a Swiss Invention Gone Global

Aktualisiert: 20. Juni 2023

The scientific committee oversees the various aspects of exam management for the IChO 2023. This includes the preparation, revision, printing, and grading of all exams. To ensure that language barriers do not hinder students' performance, delegations have the option to translate their exams using a valuable open-source tool called OlyExams, which facilitates the coordination of exam logistics efficiently.

Typically, exam questions are initially drafted by the exam authors in word-documents and then incorporated into the OlyExams framework by dedicated typesetting volunteers. Within the tool, each paragraph, picture, formula or table is assigned its own box, allowing the International Scientific Committee (ISC) and delegations to provide feedback and engage in discussions on the wording, logic or other aspects of the exam questions. This happens during IChO, directly before the exams take place. Once the discussions are finalized, exams can be translated by mentors using the same OlyExams framework, to then be sent directly to our printing partner.

To provide a short overview over the exam structure: Question sheets consist of paragraphs and figures containing essential information, accompanied by task boxes outlining the required steps to earn points. Students submit their answers on corresponding answer sheets, which feature empty boxes and additional sheets with writing space for reasoning and calculations. All sheets intended for student responses are equipped with QR codes for identification purposes, which allows for efficient scanning of the entire submitted exam, ensuring that only pages containing a student's answers are presented in the correct order to the markers who correct and grade the exams.

In conclusion, OlyExams proves invaluable in successfully managing the logistical complexities associated with conducting exams for 350 individuals, encompassing around 50 languages and all kind of scripts from our 90 delegations.


A Swiss Invention

Did you know: OlyExams was developed by a handful of dedicated and skilled volunteers during the International Physics Olympiad IPhO 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. Since then, OlyExams has helped facilitate exam logistics also at the International Biology Olympiad, the International Junior Science Olympiad, and, yes, the International Chemistry Olympiad, in places all around the globe, from Lithuania to Vietnam, Armenia to Colombia, from the UAE to Australia.

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