This competition is designed to challenge and stimulate the most talented young chemists in the country and is open to all post-16 students in the UK. There are three rounds to the competition, at the end of which the UK team is selected to train for, and compete in, the International Chemistry Olympiad. Further information is available at https://edu.rsc.org/enrichment/uk-chemistry-olympiad.
The paper itself is based on the core of the Chemistry A-level specifications, so that students taking any of the different exam board A-levels can compete fairly. The exam lasts two hours and is composed of a series of structured questions designed to stretch able students by making them apply the principles they have learnt to new and far more complex situations than they would meet in their A-level course. Thus, in order to score marks, it is essential to have a very sound base of knowledge and understanding, but also to have the ability to think and reason - often "outside the box" - at a high level.
Kawthar Al Noaimi
Marta De Jesus