Olympiad Exam: How Does It Work?

An olympiad exam is an efficient way for students to assess their knowledge in a particular field. It allows them not only to compete with other participants of a similar level but also to challenge themselves and find out their strengths and weaknesses. In this article, we will explore what an olympiad exam is, go over its key features, benefits, and risks, and dive into the details of how it is conducted in the digital environment.

Olympiad Definition

An olympiad is a competitive exam within a specific academic field, for example, math, science, English, general knowledge, cyber technologies, etc. Its main purpose is to bring out the students' talents and motivate them to improve their learning abilities. Olympiads can be conducted among the students of one school or across different schools on national and international levels. Numerous private organizations conduct various types of olympiad examinations. Some of the most well-known are the Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF), CREST Olympiads, the Silver Zone Foundation, the Unified Council, etc.

Benefits of Olympiads

Olympiad exams have proven to be useful for students of any age in many different ways. Let’s have a look at some of their benefits.

Test knowledge. By taking part in an olympiad, children can assess their knowledge in a particular sphere, plus understand their strengths and weaknesses.

Give extra motivation. The competitive environment of olympiads motivates students to challenge themselves, learn more, and think outside the box to achieve better academic results. Moreover, the desire to become better makes the learning process more engaging.

Prepare for professional life. Olympiad exams widen students’ horizons, help them become more confident, and develop various skills that could be beneficial in their future careers, such as brainstorming, problem-solving, analytical thinking, etc.

Bring contentment. It’s always pleasant to receive an olympiad award and stand out among one’s classmates.

Why Are Olympiads So Popular Among Parents?

One of the most common reasons why parents push their children to take part in various Olympiad exams is pride. It’s prestigious to win an academic competition, especially if it’s an international olympiad with thousands of participants, meaning that the chances to win decrease significantly. Other reasons include but are not limited to:

Training ground. Many parents consider that when preparing for and taking part in olympiads, their children gain skills and experience necessary for more important and stressful examinations, such as university entrance exams.

Plus for further studies. Many educational institutions consider olympiad certificates a valuable achievement, thus often giving preference to students who have them.

Skills development. Some parents believe that olympiad exams develop useful skills (such as critical thinking, logical abilities, analytical skills, etc.) and help their children become more confident.

How Is an Online Olympiad Conducted?

Worldwide digitalization, together with the COVID-19 outbreak, has significantly affected the process of education. As a result, many olympiads started to go online. Thus, educational institutions not only ensured the safety of their students but also increased the efficiency of olympiad examinations. Here are some distinguishing features of online olympiads you should be aware of.

Just as with offline olympiads, online olympiads require registration. As soon as it’s complete, participants receive the details about the olympiad, such as the schedule, exam pattern, guidelines, and other requirements.

In contrast to traditional exams, which require your presence in the class, an online olympiad can be taken from anywhere using a desktop computer, laptop, or other electronic devices that comply with the system requirements and has a robust internet connection, web camera, and microphone.

When it comes to the olympiad syllabus, despite parents' concerns, the questions in both offline and online olympiads reflect the school curriculum. They are developed in such a way as to test students’ analytical skills and make them come up with original solutions.

To check the results of an online olympiad, students usually need to go to the exam web page, log in into their personal account, and enter the exam roll number. There they can also find their digital certificates ready for downloading.

How to Manage Risks of Malpractice in an Online Olympiad

Despite their growing popularity, online exams and olympiads still cause many concerns, especially regarding their integrity. However, nowadays there are many types of proctoring services that help educational institutions establish an ethical academic environment and prevent students from cheating. Let’s have a look at the most popular of them.

Live remote proctoring implies that a human invigilator proctors the olympiad in real-time, and thus can both answer students’ questions and spot any suspicious activities. This type of proctoring requires a human observer who will monitor participants via their web camera and microphone.

Automated or AI proctoring means that the olympiad is proctored by AI software, which tracks the examination process, red-flags any dishonest behavior, and records audio and video feeds that can be later reviewed by human proctors in disputable cases.

Recorded proctoring implies that student audio and video feeds are recorded. However, in contrast to AI proctoring, in this case, a human invigilator reviews this data after the olympiad is finished to identify any undesirable actions.

Benefits of Online Olympiad Proctoring

Online invigilation comes with significant benefits for both olympiad participants and the institutions that organize them. Here are the most important of them:

Time and cost-efficiency. Students don’t need to travel to the exam location, thus feeling more relaxed participating in an olympiad from the comfort of their homes, and institutions can reduce their administrative costs since there is no need to arrange exam centers and in-person proctors.

Privacy. When taking part in an online olympiad, students can enjoy the privacy and quietness of their working area.

Enhanced security. Online proctoring comes with cutting-edge customized solutions that increase the security of the verification and scoring processes, as well as reduce academic cheating to a minimum.

Result generation. Thanks to automation, students can enjoy much faster result generation. Institutions, in turn, get rid of a significant amount of paperwork.

Can You Cheat at an Olympiad?

Cheating is a serious problem in modern education. A growing number of students forget about the real goal of olympiad exams and strive to achieve high results with minimal effort. However, online proctoring solutions make it more complicated. They usually offer a big variety of customizable features (e.g., noise detection, face recognition, mobile phone lock, web tab control, etc.), helping institutions achieve high academic integrity and credibility.


Worldwide digitalization and the coronavirus pandemic have resulted in the widespread adoption of online olympiads. In contrast to its offline counterpart, an online olympiad exam is considered to be more time and cost-effective, more secure, and less prone to academic cheating. The integrity of online olympiads is ensured by cutting-edge software solutions. While traditional olympiad examinations allow only for human observers, online olympiads come with numerous proctoring options, such as live remote, recorded, AI-based invigilation, etc.


What is an Olympiad exam?

An olympiad is a type of examination that checks students’ knowledge in a specific field, such as math, science, technology, English, etc. The questions in olympiad exams tend to be challenging, encouraging participants to come up with exceptional solutions. Their main goal is to bring out the best in students and engage them in the learning process.

What are the benefits of an Olympiad exam?

An olympiad exam comes with numerous advantages. Firstly, it is an efficient way to check students’ knowledge in a particular subject. Secondly, the competitive nature of such an examination fosters students' motivation and engages them more in the learning process. Last but not least, the challenging questions help students develop analytical and problem-solving skills that could help them in their professional life.

What is the meaning of an Olympiad?

The meaning of “olympiad” is related to competition. While its original definition refers to the Olympic games, in the educational context, an olympiad is a competitive exam in a particular academic field conducted among students of a similar level.

How does an Olympiad work?

To take part in either an offline or online olympiad, students must first complete the registration process and get their roll number. After that, they will receive information about the exam schedule, its structure, requirements, etc. On the key date, they need to enter the official olympiad platform, pass through the verification process, and commence the test.