Rules & Format Overview

International Science Bee Stage 1 – Online Regional Qualifying Exam

50 question multiple choice exam on all aspects of science. 2 points are scored for a correct answer, 0 for an answer left blank, and -1 for an incorrect response. This format thus rewards partial knowledge but not lucky random guesses. The exam must be supervised by a teacher, parent, or other responsible adult who may not provide assistance to the exam taker.

International Science Bee Stage 2 – Regional Finals

Regional Finals Rules can be downloaded here. All Regional Finals are buzzer-based competitions. In each Regional Final, there will be 3 or 4 preliminary rounds, and 1 final round. There are 30 tossup questions per round for Varsity and Junior Varsity divisions and 25 questions for Middle School and Elementary divisions. Up to 10 students compete together in a room at any given time. One point is scored for each correct response; only one student can score per question. Once a student has rung in with an incorrect response, they cannot ring in again on that question. 3 incorrect answers kill the question. If a student is the third one to answer incorrectly before the end of the question, they score -1; otherwise, students do not lose points for an incorrect response (the first or second incorrect response, and the third incorrect response if the question has been read to completion do not incur a loss of a point). When a student reaches 6 points they are finished for the round, but they will receive up to 9 bonus points based on how quickly they finish the round (Please refer to the rules sheet on how the bonus points are allotted).

All students play in 3 or 4 preliminary rounds. The top students in each age division make the finals. Approximately the top 50% in each age division will qualify for the Championships.

International Science Bee Stage 3 – Championships

At the Asian or European Championships, all students will compete in 4 preliminary rounds. The rules are the same as those in the Regional Finals. There will most likely be 2 playoff rounds in each age division.

All questions in the Regional Finals and Championships of the International Science Bee will take the form of a tossup question. Tossup questions are buzzer-based questions of short paragraph length progressing from harder to easier information from the beginning to the end of the question. Topics may cover any discipline in the field of science including, but not limited to, biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, earth science, astronomy, computer science, non-computational mathematics, and the history of science.

Practice Materials

Official Study Guide

For past questions please visit: https://nationalsciencebee.com/about/practice-resources/