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Academic Competitions

Encouraging intellectual growth and excellence

Our teaching and support staff promote intellectual growth and excellence in all aspects of learning. Students are encouraged and assisted to participate in a range of academic competitions in Norway, abroad and online.


Many of our students  find that taking part in competitions is a great way to complement what they learn in class and motivate them to go further in their learning.

- Carolyn Haneberg, Mathematics Teacher

Mathematics Competitions

Exceptionally talented Secondary students have achieved success in the challenging national ABEL competition. We regularly have students placing in the top ten in Norway, and this year had two in the top five, one of whom tied in first place.

Many students take part in the annual ISMTF (International Schools Math Teachers Foundation) competitions. With over 200 competing students from more than 30 participating schools from across Europe, our students often place in the top spots for team and individual challenges.

Maths Quest is organised by the Educational Collaborative for International School (ECIS) and is hosted each year by an international school. As many as twenty-five different schools take part and each team comprises 4 students. This is a competition for under 12s, and students compete in many different mathematical challenges and investigations. The competition runs over 3 days, including three rounds of investigations, as well as a question trail in a selected host city location. In the construction challenge, students from different schools must work collaboratively towards a separate prize. Over the past ten years, OIS has placed in the top three six times–taking first place on two occasions.

Kangaroo is an international school-based competition for grades 4 through to 10. Around 20,000 students take part each year in Norway alone. The competition questions are multiple choice and focus on problem solving.

Science Competitions

OIS participates in the annual Biology, Chemistry and Physics Olympiads every year. Several of our students have qualified for the final rounds of these competitions, which is quite an achievement since they are typically based on the Norwegian school syllabus, rather than on the international baccalaureate curriculum.

Close to 1,000 students participate in the olympiads every year, with the highest scoring 50+ students throughout Norway moving forward to the second. The University of Oslo offers a one-week course to the top 20 students from the second round, ending with the final round of the Norwegian Olympiad, from which 5 students are selected to attend the International Physics Olympiad. In February, one of our students took first place in the second round of the Olympiad, resulting in his selection to compete in the Norwegian final at the University of Oslo. 


Language Competitions

OIS takes part each year in an international language competition, iLcompetition, at Lower and Upper Secondary level. Over 10,000 students typically participate nationwide, and the top 6 schools with the highest average score qualify for the final round. OIS students have made it to the final round on a number of occasions, and have had the honour of receiving their awards before a live audience. As part of their second place at the ILC 2022, the Spanish team won a week-long course hosted by the Tandem Escuela Internacional Madrid in Spain.

In addition, each year OIS Upper Secondary Spanish students take part in the Spanish Festival in Oslo. This is an annual cultural event organised by Spanish speaking embassies and UNICEF. Students studying Spanish throughout Oslo and Akershus are invited to participate, and a variety of cultural events take place over a number of days at various locations in the city. OIS students have won first place on several occasions, even winning a fully paid study trip to a Spanish university.

Model United Nations (MUN)

The OIS Model United Nations Club meets weekly as an academic simulation or role-play of the United Nations to educate participants on current affairs, international relations, diplomacy and UN issues.  While the MUN Club is student-driven, with a President, Vice-President and Secretary elected by the students and is open to Pre-IB, IB1 and IB2 students, it is supervised by a teacher. Participants research an assigned country, take on roles as diplomats, investigate international issues, debate and vote on the weekly resolutions and develop solutions to world problems.

Over the years, the MUN Club has represented OIS at numerous MUN Conferences at home and abroad and participants have won very many awards for ‘Best Speaker’ and ‘Best Delegate’. At our most recent MUN conference in October 2022, OIS delegates won 80% of the awards for the Committees they represented.