At the 2023 International History Olympiad, the following events will be mandatory for all Elementary, Intermediate, Middle School, Junior Varsity, and Varsity participants:
International History Bee World Championships
International History Bowl World Championships
Historiography(Varsity and Junior Varsity students only)
Aside from this, all participants attend both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Note that while you are welcome to come with other players from your school (assuming you all have qualified), at the Olympiad, you will be assigned (on the basis of your country/state affiliation, International History Bee World Championship preliminary round results, age division, and other criteria) to a 2- or 3-student team. This may or may not be with other school team members, but in any case, please do not come expecting that you will definitely be competing together with your school teammates. It is not permitted to come just for the History Bowl (or any other event, for that matter).
While only a few events are mandatory, you cannot specifically just come for a portion of the Olympiad unless you gain special dispensation from Olympiad staff due to school attendance requirements or some comparable family event / religious holiday / other suitable reason. Please note that while we will try and be flexible to the extent possible, we are not able to grant partial discounts, and we cannot guarantee partial stays until we have reviewed your situation and seen if it is feasible for a student to attend. If you are interested in a partial stay at the Olympiad, please email email@example.com and explain your situation.
The Olympiad’s official language is English. If English is not your mother tongue, you can use an approved bilingual dictionary for all the non-buzzer-based events, though this is subject to a spot check at any point to ensure that it does not contain notes or disallowed information.
For the 2025 International History Olympiad, we will offer five age divisions: Varsity, Junior Varsity, Middle School, Intermediate, and Elementary.
Students from the United States and Canada compete in the following divisions:
Varsity – Enrolled in grades 11 or 12 during the 2024-25 academic year.
Junior Varsity – Enrolled in grades 9 or 10 during the 2024-25 academic year.
Middle School – Enrolled in grades 7 or 8 during the 2024-25 academic year.
Intermediate – Enrolled in grades 5 or 6 during the 2024-25 academic year.
Elementary – Enrolled in grades 3 or 4 during the 2024-25 academic year.
Students from outside the United States and Canada are assigned to divisions based on
Varsity – Born on or before August 31, 2008 who are enrolled in a secondary school (not university-level schooling) on January 1, 2025.
Junior Varsity – Students born between September 1, 2008 and August 31, 2010.
Middle School – Students born between September 1, 2010 and August 31, 2012.
Intermediate – Students born between September 1, 2012 and August 31, 2014.
Elementary – Students born between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2016.
Please note that students may compete in a different division than the one that they qualified in if they qualify in the 2023-24 school year (for example, a student who qualified in grade 8 in the 2023-24 year would have qualified in the Middle School Division, but would compete in the Olympiad after the end of grade 9, and therefore would be competing in the Junior Varsity Division).
At the Olympiad, citizens and residents of the USA will represent their state, while citizens and residents of the rest of the world will represent their country. The state or country that a student plays for is known as their Affiliation. The preliminary rounds of the International History Bee World Championships will be used to determine the composition of National and State teams for the team events at the Olympiad. Normally, the top three students from a country or state will form the A Team for that country of state, the next top three scoring students will form Team B and so on per age group. However, some teams may consist of just two students due to the need for rounding, while solo students will be paired up with students from a different country or state. Solo teams will not be permitted. This schematic outlines how the number of students from each Affiliation in each Age Division determines how many students are on each team from that Affiliation within that Age Division.
Note that solo students are likely to be paired up with other solo students who are from a nearby state or country, or at least with students from a state or country where some geographical coherence can be established. For example, at the 2023 Olympiad, solo students from Arizona, California, and Kansas made up a team called Team US West, while a group of two students from Singapore and the United Arab Emirates made up a team called Team Asia. Team formation is done exclusively by Olympiad staff. If a student is a solo player from their Affiliation within their age division, they cannot request to play with anyone else.
For each division, there will be an individual Overall Olympiad World Champion. For the Elementary, Intermediate, and Middle School Divisions, this is the student with the combined highest position in the International History Bee World Championships, Battery Exam, and Written Exam. For the Junior Varsity and Varsity Divisions, this is the student with the combined highest position in the Battery Exam, Historiography competition, and the Written Exam). There will also be a champion country or state based on the highest position in the medals count (this is for all divisions combined aside from the Collegiate Division).
If there are ties, ties will be broken on the rank points principle through a final tiebreaker. This would consist of 5 History Bee buzzer questions, 1 short answer prompt (6 sentences maximum), and 5 multiple choice questions, with all parts having equal weight. This method is used for all age divisions, including Varsity and Junior Varsity.
If, for example, 2 students each score the same on the multiple choice or History Bee portion, this tie will only be broken if needed (through additional multiple choice or History Bee buzzer questions as necessary) to determine the medal positions (i.e. if two students tie on multiple choice, but then one other students wins both the other parts, then the tie isn’t broken).
Any student who qualified and was born before September 1, 2016 (or who has finished 3rd grade by the end of the 2024-25 academic year) can compete. If you have already qualified but are too young to take part in 2025, you may defer your registration until you are old enough to compete. The Olympiad is open to students attending local schools, international schools, American schools, British schools, public schools, private schools, religious schools, homeschooling, etc.
Unlike other Olympiads, we don’t limit the number of students who can attend per country. There is no field cap to the number of students who might attend. Between 300 and 500 students are likely to attend the 2025 International History Olympiad.
Any student who qualified and is in third grade and older in the 2024-25 school year (for US and Canadian students) or born on or before August 31, 2016 (for students from other countries) can compete. Students competing in the Elementary and Middle School Divisions are welcome to come if they have qualified but they must come with a parent or guardian. If you have already qualified but are too young to take part in 2025, you may defer your registration until you are old enough to compete.
No, there is no maximum age, as long as you qualified this year or last year for the Olympiad, you can attend, provided you were enrolled in secondary school or a homeschool equivalent on November 1, 2024. Southern Hemisphere students who graduated high school at the end of the 2024 calendar year are eligible to attend.
Yes, if a pandemic-related cancellation of the Olympiad takes place in advance of it, then participation fees will be reimbursed in full, minus any transaction fees we incur through sending wire transfers. If cancellation needs to take place during the event itself, then registration costs will be refunded on a prorated basis depending on how much of the Olympiad has taken place until then.
Varsity and Junior Varsity Division students will have the option of staying on their own (at a nearby hotel or hostel) under the supervision of Olympiad staff. Intermediate, and Elementary Division students are required to attend with a parent or guardian and stay with that parent/guardian. For Middle School Division students, it has not yet been determined if they will need to attend with a parent or guardian (this was the case in 2023, but might not be the case in 2025).
We will try to accommodate rooming preferences as much as possible but cannot make any guarantees. Students who are staying in IAC-arranged accommodations will be given the opportunity to request roommates in Spring 2025.
Students in the Varsity and Junior Varsity divisions do not need to come with a coach or parent. Olympiad staff members will serve as counselors and chaperones for these students throughout the program. Students competing in the Intermediate and Elementary divisions must attend with a parent or legal guardian who is responsible for bringing the student to and from the Olympiad each day. For the Middle School Division, it has not yet been determined if this will be necessary; this will be determined once the venue has been announced.
Note that the designated guardian can be the parent or family member of a different competing student, but we must receive written confirmation of such an arrangement from both students’ families for this to be valid.
For students who are coming to the Olympiad without a parent or guardian, Olympiad staff can meet them at their point of arrival (either the main airport or main train station). IAC does not provide airport or train station pickups for students who are coming to the Olympiad with accompanying adults, but will provide travel instructions from both the airport and train station to the host school / check-in location.