Natural Science Olympiad®


The aim of the Natural Science Olympiad® (now in its 12th year) is to identify and nurture talent in Natural Science and to increase the number of learners who opt for Physical Science, Life Science, Accounting and Mathematics at high schools. It also acts as a feeder for SAASTA’s National Science Olympiad for grades 10 – 11, which is now in its 58th year.

The aim of the Olympiad is to help learners prepare for the year’s upcoming natural science syllabus and showcase some of South Africa’s brightest young scientists in the making.

The competition questions encourages all learners, those who love science and those who have never been exposed to the fascinating world of science, to take Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Mathematics at high school level and to consider a career in science, engineering or technology.

How to enter the competition

  1. Educators register learners on the following online registration platform. Please click on the link:
  2. There are two papers to choose from:
    • a.  Natural Science Grades 4 – 6 and
    • b. Natural Science Grades 7 – 9
  1. Only learners in grade 4 – 6 and 7 – 9 may enter respectively.
  2. Closing date for entries: 31 March 2023

• Please motivate your learners to experience the thrill of competing with others from all nine (9) provinces around the country in the Natural Science Olympiad.
• Help coordinate learners participation in this event.
• Help your learners prepare by accessing Olympiad papers from previous years

The Natural Science Olympiad comprises of two papers, namely Grades 4-6 and Grade 7-9.

Natural Science Grade 4 - 6: Tuesday, 25 July 2023

The paper consists of 40 multiple questions

Duration: 1½ hours (11:30 – 13:00)

Eligibility: the Olympiad is open to all grade 4, 5 and 6 learners

Natural Science Grade 7 - 9: Wednesday, 26 July 2023

The paper consists of 60 multiple questions

Duration: 2 hours (12:00 – 14:00)

Eligibility: the Olympiad is open to all grade 7, 8 and 9 learners

Choose:  between an online examination or the usual pen and paper (this option is only available for the grade 7-9 Olympiad)

General information

  1. Round: One round only
  2. Where: The paper will be written at school
  3. Language: English and Afrikaans
  4. Composition of paper:
    1. Remembering - 20%
    2. Understanding – 30%
    3. Applying – 30%
    4. Analysing – 20%
  5. Preparation: Educators are welcome to download previous papers. Scroll down to “Download Past Papers
  6. Training session: Once enrolled, educators will be invited during term 2 to an online training session on how to assist their learners to complete the personal information on the answer sheet.
  7. 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


Prizes/awards are given to deserving learners, such as the top National Winners and provincial winners

Download Past Papers


Contact Us

Ms. Erna Taljaard

Ms. Zinzi Madiope