Frequently Asked Questions – IrJSO

Who may apply?
Application to IrJSO is by invitation only. The finalists are selected on the basis Junior Certificate Examination results. The State Examination Commission (SEC) identifies the high achievers in Maths & Science in the Junior Certificate Examination (must include A in Mathematics and Science).

What do I do if I am given a letter and form by my Principal?
If you wish to take part in the IrJSO return the completed Registration Form before the closing date.

How much will it cost me to take part in the IrJSO?
There is no registration fee and no participation fee for the IrJSO. The student must pay all his/her own expenses incurred in travelling to and from DCU and any other personal costs incurred, e.g. B&B, meals etc.

What is the age limit?
The students must be under sixteen years of age on December 31 on the year of the competition. A student may be 15 years and 364 days old on December 31.

From my age, I am eligible for both IrJSO and IrESUO; which should I apply for?
You can only participate in each Olympiad once.  If you are currently in TY, then you will be able to participate in IrEUSO next year (if you return your form for IrJSO this year).  However, if you are currently in 5th year, then you can choose which Olympiad to participate in.  6th year students are not eligible to participate in IrJSO or IrEUSO, even if age eligible. Click HERE to know which olympiad you should register for in 2017.

How do I know that my application form has been received?
The list of returned applications is published on this web site on the date which is in the covering letter.

What do I do if my name is not on the list and I have returned the completed forms?
Email the team leaders immediately and resend your completed forms by email.

What kind of test?
The tests are Multi Choice Questionnaires (MCQ) in Biology, Chemistry & Physics. The scientific committee may administer an additional reasoning test.

Can I get previous exam papers?
NO, and do not ask for them. The test changes every year. You are encouraged to read around the subject area. You will be presented with material that you may not have met in school that will require scientific reasoning skills, problem-solving abilities and knowledge to solve problems.

What standard of science is required to answer the questions?
Pass Leaving Certificate.

Is there a practical test/experiment?

How long will the tests take?
Approximately three hours.

What can I take into the examination hall?
Calculator, pen, pencil, eraser, ruler, etc.

What do we do when the test is over?
Take a break of approximately one hour. DCU cafes and shops are open. The closing ceremony will then take place.

Must I attend the closing ceremony?
All finalists are requested to and expected to attend the closing ceremony. If you wish to be excused please inform the Director.

What do we receive at the end?
All participants will receive a specially designed certificate.

Do the winners get medals?
The top three students receive gold medals, the next three silver medals and the next three bronze medals.

How is the IJSO team selected?
The gold and silver medal winners (six in total) are invited to become members of the Irish team to represent Ireland at the IJSO. The bronze medal winners are on the reserve list.

If I make it onto the Irish IJSO team, then:

Does the team get any special training?
Throughout November the students do assignments. Failure to complete these assignments will result in removal from the team. The team members will receive a two-day, intensive, residential training course in DCU prior to departure to the IJSO.

If selected on the IJSO team will I have to fund myself?
No. Accommodation and meals during the two-day training programme, flight to and from the IJSO and accommodation and meals at the IJSO are provided free of charge to the team members.

Why do I need Parental/Guardian consent?
Because you are a minor travelling outside Ireland with a non-family member.

Will the team members have contact with the leaders during the IJSO?
After the opening ceremony the leaders are given the tests to agree and to translate into the student’s native language. No contact with the students is allowed until after this test is over.

If a student gets sick or need attention of any kind what happens?
One of the leaders is excused from translation and other duties and will deal with the student. If the leader has already seen the test, the student will not be allowed do that test.

Will the team members need travel insurance?
The DCU Travel & Medical insurance covers all delegation members. This covers all emergencies. Team members may take out additional insurance if they feel it necessary.

How much pocket money do team members need?
Very little. All food is provided. Money is required only for personal effects and gifts.

Are valuables safe?
Students should not bring expensive jewellery or valuable items. Minding them may become a tedious burden.

What clothes should the team members bring?
This depends on the climate at the IJSO. However nice clothes are required at the opening and closing ceremonies. Otherwise the student should wear normal casual clothes that he/she feels comfortable wearing.

What is the most important thing to remember abroad?
Misbehaviour will not be tolerated. Taking alcohol or non-prescription drugs is strictly prohibited once the students come under the authority of the team leaders. Different customs to ours apply in many countries: huge respect for authority figures is one. The student is an Ambassador for school and country. Behave accordingly.