National Science Olympiad™


The National Science Olympiad is in its 59th year and the project offers learners in grades (10 -11) an exciting opportunity to compete in science with fellow learners from all nine (9) provinces as well as SADC countries such as Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Namibia. The competition comprises an annual examination in science (Physical and Life Sciences).

The top national performers stand to win prizes. The main aim of the competition is to identify talent, encourage excellence in science education and to stimulate interest in the sciences. It seeks to inspire young people to consider careers in science and technology.

How to enter the competition

  1.   Educators register learners on the following online registration platform. Please click on this link:
  2.   Learners can enrol for both Physical Sciences and Life Sciences
  3.  Only learners in grade 10, and 11 may enter.
  4. Closing date for entries: 31 March 2024

The entry fee for the National Science Olympiads is R35.00 per learner per paper.

    1. Closing date for paymentof entry fees: 31 May 2024
    2. Special arrangements can be made for schools/learners that cannot afford the entry fee. Principals should apply via letter by 18 May 2024 and email it to
    3. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions: Tel: 012 392 9300 or on

The National Science Olympiad comprises of two papers and the Olympiad dates are as follows:


  1. Life Sciences – Tuesday, 23 July 2024
  2. Physical Sciences – Thursday, 25 July 2024


Minimum 50% of the paper will be based on CAPS (Grade10 to 11).

Round: One round only
Duration: 3 hours (12:00 – 15:00)
Where: The paper will be written at school
Format: Multiple choice questions (100 questions)
Language: English and Afrikaans
Eligibility: The Olympiads are open to all grade 10 and 11 learners only
Composition of paper:


  1. Remembering - 20%
  2. Understanding – 30%
  3. Applying – 30%
  4. Analysing – 20%

Preparation: Educators are welcome to download previous papers to use in the classroom. Scroll down to “Download Past Papers

Papers and answer sheets: NRF-SAASTA will courier Olympiad papers to schools.

Note: Schools courier answer sheets back to SAASTA. An envelope will be provided for this purpose


  1. Please motivate your learners to experience the thrill of competing with others from around the country in the National Science Olympiad.
  2. Help coordinate learners participation in this event.
  3. Help your learners prepare by accessing Olympiad papers from previous years

Prizes/awards are given to deserving learners such as the top national and provincial winners.

Download Past Papers


Contact Us

Ms. Erna Taljaard

Ms. Zinzi Madiope