Academic competitions

s maths quest 144.jpg

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.

Maths Competitions

We participate in a number of external Maths competitions each year, in both Primary and Secondary.

Exceptionally talented Secondary students have achieved success in the challenging national Abel Competition. This year, five of our students placed in the top 100 out of 3,500 participants, two were in the top 25, and one of our students came 4th in the country.  Our winning student is now set to attend the International Mathematical Olympiad in July, the largest and most prestigious of all the olympiads.

Some of our students also take part in the ISMTF (International Schools Math Teachers Foundation) competitions. With around 230 competing students from over 40 participating schools, the OIS Junior team did very well this year, with one of our students placed in the top ten. In the middle school competition–held in Marbella in April–OIS took 8th place out of 61 participating teams.

The Maths Quest Competition is organised by the ECIS and 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.

Finally, Kangaroo is an international school-based competition for grades 4 through to 10. This year over 20 000 students took part in Norway alone. The competition questions are multiple choice and focus on problem solving. In 2019, OIS students figured in the top ten of all grades entered.

Model United Nations

OIS has sent Pre-IB, IB1 and IB2 student teams to Model United Nations (also Model UN or MUN) events in both Norway and abroad (Britain, Germany and the Netherlands) for many years. MUN is an academic simulation or role-play of the United Nations that aims to educate participants about current affairs, international relations, diplomacy and UN issues. Participants research an assigned country, take on roles as diplomats, investigate international issues, lobby, debate, and then develop solutions to world problems. Awards for ‘Best Speaker’ and ‘Best Delegate’ are presented by the Chairs of the various Committees, and OIS delegates have won many such awards. At this year’s MUN conference in Stockholm, five of our delegates were awarded the honour of Best Delegate in their respective countries. The OIS MUN Club practices once a week after school and is supervised by a teacher.


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 typically take place over a number of days at various locations in the city. This year OIS students entered and won first place in a video competition promoting the UN's sustainable development goals. As a prize, the winning team was awarded a one week fully paid study trip to the University of Santiago.


In October each year, IB1 and IB2 physics students participate in the Norwegian Physics Olympiad. The best 60 students in Norway from the first round are invited to participate in the second round, which is held in the new year. The University of Oslo then offers a one-week course to the best 20 students from the second round. That week ends with the final round of the Norwegian Olympiad from which 5 students are selected to attend the International Physics Olympiad. This year, the IPO is due to take place in July 2019 in Israel. In 2017 / 18 school year, one student represented OIS in the top 20 participating high school students.

Knut Sørlie