The challenge of writing exams
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The International Chemistry Olympiad aims at promoting science education globally. The host - this year Switzerland - is asked to limit the scope of the many and varied fields of chemistry that the participants have to prepare for. The “Preparatory Problems” or “Preps” give an idea of the IChO 2023 exams and help guide the national trainings of the delegations.
A month after the Preparatory Problems were published on our website at the end of January, the Authors’ Team keeps receiving and implementing the changes proposed by the International Jury: next round of editing of the Preps is due to be accomplished by mid-April.
The authors have another special commitment to make IChO 2023 a success: the theoretical and practical tasks that the students will face in July currently undergo rigorous testing that allows further quality upgrades. The problems are to remain a secret for the students and are not to be seen by them before the exam day. The Scientific Committee of IChO 2023 implements several layers of testing by experts and non-experts to make sure that the competitors face intellectually stimulating and challenging tasks. As a result of this testing, ordering of any outstanding equipment, glassware, and reagents for the practical exams will be finished soon to avoid supply chains issues that detain the overall procurement.
By the way: The biggest load of marking the students’ answer sheets after the exams in July will also be borne by the Authors, making it almost their full-time activity during the IChO 2023. Let us take time to recognise and appreciate all the work that the Authors are delivering!