National Science Olympiad™


The National Science Olympiad is in its 57th year and the project offers learners in grades 10-12 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. The top winners will attend a prize giving ceremony either face-to-face or online.


1. The entry fee for the National Science Olympiads is R35.00 per learner per paper.
2. Learners can enroll for Physical Sciences and/or Life Sciences
3. All papers are available in both English and Afrikaans
4. Only learners in grade 10, 11, and 12 may enter.
5. Link to online registration platform:  


  • Special arrangements can be made for schools/learners that cannot afford the entry fee. Principals should apply via letter by 31 May 2022 and email it to 
  • Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions: Officials: Ms Zinzi Madiope / Mrs Erna Taljaard Tel: 012 392 9300

1. The link to enter will be made available here .
2. Entry fees: – R35 per learner.
3. Closing date for entries has been extended to: 04 June 2021
4. Special arrangements can be made for schools/learners that cannot afford the entry fee. Principals should apply via letter before by 04 June 2021.
5. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions: Officials: Ms Zinzi Madiope / Mrs Erna Taljaard  Tel: 012 392 9300

1. The National Science Olympiad comprises of two papers, namely Physical Sciences and Life Sciences.
2. Minimum 50% of the paper will be based on CAPS (Grade10 to 12).
3. The paper consists of 100 multiple questions
4. Duration: 3 hours (12:00 – 15:00)
5. All learners must be entered by the closing date
6. Papers will be sent to schools
7. Educators will courier answer sheets to SAASTA. An envelope will be provided for this purpose
8. Results and certificates are sent to schools.
9. Certificates will be awarded to learners obtaining 50% and above
10. Electronic participation certificates will be sent to the educator for leaners obtaining less than 50%



Date of Olympiad

Closing date of entries


Life Science Grade 10-12

Tuesday,26 July 2022

Friday,08 April 2022


Physical Science Grade 10-12

Thursday,28 July 2022

Friday,08 April 2022


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

Prizes/awards are given to deserving learners during the Science Olympiad Award Giving Ceremony.

The categories are:

• Top three National Winners
• Provincial Winners (Excluding top National Winners)
• Top girl learner
• Top grade 10 learner
• Top grade 11 learner
• Top learner from SADC schools



Over the years, a number of milestones were achieved through the National Olympiad, in particular:
Participation of learners in the National Science Olympiad during the past nine years has increased significantly.

The significant increase was among others due to:

  • • Collaborations between the Department of Education and provincial level departments through Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) coordinators;
    • An aggressive marketing strategy that enabled NRF-SAASTA to reach more schools in rural areas that had not been reached before; and
    • Increased support by our partners in the business sector, in particular our main sponsor from 2009, Harmony Gold Mining Pty Company, as well as our previous sponsors, Mailtronic, Skynet, and Xahumba.


In line with the Department of Science and Technology’s Youth into Science Strategy and the Department of Education’s National Strategy for Mathematics and Science and Technology, the National Science Olympiad identifies and nurtures talent in SET. This approach contributes in increasing the human capital in the critical areas of Science, Engineering and Technology.


• Our consistent effort to expose learners to international events such as the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) and the Australian Youth Science Forum;
• Hosting of Science Focus Week for top learners based on the Olympiad examination results;
• Our efforts to expose learners to the SET work environment through visits to industries, science councils and higher education institutions;
• Establishing an examination steering committee that comprises reputable professionals.


For more information

Ms. Erna Taljaard

Ms. Erna Taljaard

Ms. Zinzi Madiope

Ms. Zinzi Madiope