Less than two weeks after the conclusion of the International History Olympiad, International Academic Competitions already has some news to report about the 2025 Olympiad. Here’s a preview of some of the changes that will be coming to the Olympiad the next time around:

  1. New Age Division for Youngest Students

The 2023 Olympiad was the first in which students who had just completed 3rd grade were eligible to compete. With expected growth as IAC expands its outreach to 3rd and 4th grade teachers worldwide, we will be debuting a fifth age division at the 2025 Olympiad. This will give students who have just finished 3rd and 4th grade the chance to compete on an even footing against their peers, and for our writing team to better differentiate the questions on which these students will compete. The new age division for students who have just completed 3rd and 4th grade (with corresponding birthdates for international students on a different grade schematic) will be called the Elementary Division. In turn, the age division in which students who have just completed 5th and 6th grades will compete will be named the Intermediate Division.

  1. Expanded Family and Teachers Program

We were delighted to see historians of all ages – including siblings who were too young to officially compete and grandparents of competing students alike! – take part in the multiple-choice exams at the 2023 Olympiad. For 2025, we will be opening the Sports History Bee, Classical Music History Bee, and the Popular Music History Bee to the Family and Teachers Program members as well! We will also have a Family and Teachers Division for the International History Bee, which will take place during the mandatory Written Exam, so family members and teachers can compete in that without needing to miss any of the events for competing students that are open to spectators.

  1. More Trophy Events & More Diverse Medal Events

Winning a medal is a difficult task at the Olympiad: fewer than 50% of attending students make it on to the podium over the course of the week. To give a greater number of students more of an opportunity to excel, we’re looking to include a more diverse array of trophy events, as well as a wider array of events for which medals will be awarded. These could potentially include more historic simulations, historic Model UN committees, an archeology-focused event, an oral exam, a debating competition, and more. If you have thoughts or input on what you’d like to see on the program for 2025, please email us at olympiad@iacompetitions.com and we’ll give it some thought!

  1. Pre- and Post-Olympiad Trip Plans

Nearly half of the 258 students (and over 100 family members) who attended the 2023 Olympiad took part in the post-Olympiad day trip to Pompeii and Naples. This was a great addition to the Olympiad program, and something we’re looking to build on for the future. We’re not yet certain where the 2025 Olympiad will take place, though very likely either Vienna or Greater London, and all but certainly somewhere in Europe. Regardless of the exact host location though, the 2025 Olympiad will include both an optional day-long excursion on the opening Saturday (with the Opening Ceremonies then to take place on Sunday morning), and a week-long excursion following the Olympiad. This will allow students a chance to continue to develop their friendships with fellow Olympians and to better explore the history of the region where the Olympiad is held. The trips will, of course, feature some competitions too (the pre-trip competitions will be official Olympiad events)! Both trips will be open to family members as well. Further details will be posted once the 2025 venue is announced, likely later this year. 

  1. Scholarship Program to Debut

IAC is aware that attending the Olympiad is a significant financial commitment, and that travel and program costs continue to rise. Beginning with the 2025 Olympiad, we will have a formal process through which students can apply for discounted admission. Criteria will be based both on demonstrated need as well as by prior results in the International/National History Bee and Bowl, and potentially other social studies / history-themed accomplishments. In particular, we want to ensure that students who have a good chance at winning World Championship titles in the International History Bee and International History Bowl, as well as the Overall International History Olympiad World Championship have every opportunity to attend. IAC will also be looking to secure corporate and other sponsorships to help realize this to the greatest extent possible. If you have any advice or contacts that could prove fruitful in this regard, please reach out to us at olympiad@iacompetitions.com!