Yesterday was a very busy day: the second exam took place and with it the academic competition of the IChO ended. The mentors visited Eastern Switzerland and in the evening the great reunion happened.
The theoretical exam also lasted 5 hours and especially the time management seemed to be a challenge for the students: “The exam actually went by so quickly, I can’t even explain it! Time flies when you are so concentrated. I started the exam, then raised my head to look at the clock and two and a half hours were already gone. The time limit is one of the main challenges at IChO. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage it correctly”, said Andrea from Georgia. The Vietnam team found the exam very difficult and was very tired afterwards: “We did our best, but we are not exactly happy with how it went. No matter what, the exam was still fun and we are glad that we were able to participate.” For Tomás from Argentina the practical exam was more tiring than the theoretical one: “The exam met my expectations. However, I don’t know what results to expect, mainly because I don’t know how the rest of the students did. I just know that I did my best and the outcome will reflect what I know. “
Now the hard part is over and the students are waiting for the results. However, the long wait is shortened by a very varied programme, e.g. the Reunion Party, which took place last night and at which mentors and students met again for the first time since Monday. Finally, the stress of the exams could be put aside.
While the students had to work hard and think a lot, the mentors visited Eastern Switzerland. The programm included Mount Säntis, St. Gallen and a visit to Metrohm, an IChO Partner and an international active Swiss manufacturer of precision insruments for chemical analysis, especially for ion analysis.
Ketevan from Georgia (left)
"The exam went by so quickly but I still was able to manage the time and to make the most out of it. However, some problems were really hard to understand. Sometimes I wasn't even able to figure out what the task was asking. This year’s theoretical exam was quite hard compared to last year. I also participated last year and the theoretical problems were really really easy compared to the problems we got to solve today. Nevertheless, I have hopes for good results."
Andrea from Georgia (right)
"The exam actually went by so quickly, I can’t even explain it! Time flies when you are so concentrated. I started the exam, then raised my head to look at the clock and two and a half hours were already gone. The time limit is one of the main challenges at IChO. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage it correctly."
Vivian from Switzerland (right)
"The theoretical exam was really hard and I wasn't able to fully solve any of the problems, only partially. Nevertheless, I did my best. I was concentrated and solved as much problems as I could, but to be honest, I don't expect to get any medal or diploma, probably just a certificate for the participation. But, of course, I hope that we all from the Swiss team will get something, at least honorable mentions. For us, it was a really tough exam, probably for everybody. Let’s just hope for the best."
Alex from Switzerland (left)
"In the theoretical exam I found the organic chemistry part the easiest because I'm better and mostly trained in organic chemistry. I was fully focused during the hole exam and didn't take any bathroom or snack breaks. In general, it was a very hard exam and I don't hope for too much. I would be happy to get a honorable mention but the certificate of participation is what I expect the most."
Melany from Argentina - N°2(left)
"The theoretical exam required much more concentration than the practical one. I didn’t take any breaks just chewed gum during exam."
Tomás from Argentina (right)
"I think that practical exam was more tiring than today’s theoretical one. I didn’t take any breaks during the exam and sat all 5 hours. I only ate a candy and drank some water. The exam was exactly what I expected. I know that some people were hoping for a shorter but much more difficult exam, but for me it met my expectations. I don't know what results to expect, mainly because I don't know how the rest did. I just know that I did my best and the results will reflect what I know."
Vietnam team: Mai, Dinh, Nguyen Kim and Nguyen Manh:
"The exam was very difficult and we are very tired. We did our best, but we are not exactly happy with how it went. No matter what, the exam was still fun and we are glad that we were able to participate."
Daniils from Latvia:
"I believe that for me the exam went better than for the average. I expected it to be worse and was prepared for anything because that's how IChO works: you never know what you'll get. I actually managed to fill every spot that had to be filled in the exam paper - every little question - so it was nice. I didn't get tired and I was under adrenaline rush so I didn't feel any stress or excitement, I was just concentrated. I hope for a gold medal because I already have bronze and silver, so it would be nice to get the last one and to have all three of them in my collection."