International English Olympiad (IEO) – All you need to know about the SOF Olympiad

IEO or the International English Olympiad is a yearly exam conducted by the Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF) for school students. It is an English language and grammar competition that helps students judge themselves in terms of their English knowledge. Participating students compete at different levels including school, city, zonal and international level. SOF, which also organises a number of other such Olympiads like the NSO, NCO, IMO, ICSO and IGKO, tests students on the basis of their English language and grammar knowledge. The marks obtained in the Olympiad help students judge themselves by comparing it with other students from all across the country as well as abroad. Students participating in IEO also receive a Student Performance Report (SPR) that provides them a detailed analysis of their performance.

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Do you want to know more about the IEO? Are you interested in applying for the IEO? Do you want to know if you are eligible or not? Do you want to know about the key dates and awards related to IEO? If yes, then this is the right place to be. The article will talk in detail about all the above aspects of IEO.

IEO – Overview

IEO is focussed on the usage of English language and it tests the students on the same. Let’s discuss in brief the various aspects of IEO before we head on to a deeper discussion. The table below gives a brief overview of the IEO and throws light on the objectives, awards, key dates and application process.

Overview of IEO

Sr. No. Particulars Details
1 Objective To help students test their English knowledge by competing with other students
2 Provider Science Olympiad Foundation
3 Eligibility Class 1 to 12 students
4 Application process Through respective schools
5 Exam dates Level 1 exam: October – November

Level 2 exam: February – March

6 Awards Up to INR 50,000 + Gold medal + Performance certificate

IEO – About SOF

The Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF) that organises IEO each year aims to help students test their English language knowledge. SOF is an educational organisation that assists academic development of students through various competitions and Olympiads. The Olympiads organised by SOF see a huge response from all around the country with a large number of students participating in various competitions. For over two decades, SOF has been organising the following: National Cyber Olympiad (NCO), National Science Olympiad (NSO), International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO), International English Olympiad (IEO), International Company Secretaries Olympiad (ICSO), International General Knowledge Olympiad (IGKO).

IEO – Key dates

The IEO is organised around the same time each year. Students interested in appearing for IEO must be aware of the key dates so as to avoid missing the deadlines. The table below throws light on various key dates relevant to the IEO.

Key dates for IEO

Sr. No. Event Key dates*
1. Application deadline At least 30 days before the exam date
2. Level 1 exam October – November
3. Level 1 result December – January
4. Level 2 exam February – March
5. Level 2 result March – April

*The dates mentioned above are tentative and subject to change as per the discretion of the organiser (SOF).

IEO – Eligibility

Students of Class 1 to 12 who are interested in competing with other students in order to assess their knowledge of English can participate in IEO. The Olympiad is a two-level competition where only the top performing students in Level 1 proceed to participate in Level 2 exam.

Eligibility for Level 1 exam

For Level 1 exam, there is no specific criterion as students of Class 1 to 12 can participate. Also, there is no requirement of minimum marks which in turn makes Level 1 exam open to a large number of students. All the students from the country or abroad enrolled in Class 1 to 12 are eligible.

Eligibility for Level 2 exam

Students performing well in the Level 1 exam are then shortlisted to appear for Level 2. The following are the eligible students for Level 2 exam:

  • Top 5% of the students from each class who appeared for the Level 1 exam
  • Top 25 zone wise and class wise rank holders
  • Class toppers from each participating school where at least 10 students from a class appear in the exam and scores 50% qualifying marks
  • Top rank holder in case of section wise registration

However, it must be noted that students from Class 1 and 2 will be ranked based on their performance in Level 1. Hence, they do not need to appear for Level 2 exam.

IEO – Application process

Students interested in applying for IEO can do so through their respective schools. Class 1 to 12 students can follow the below steps to apply for the Olympiad-

  1. First, the schools need to register themselves with the SOF. The registered schools will receive the prospectus containing the registration forms. Students can then get these registration forms from their respective schools.
  2. Schools not registered with SOF can contact SOF to request the prospectus. Schools can contact SOF through phone (0124-4951200) or email (
  3. Interested students must then fill the registration forms with all the relevant details. Submit the duly filled forms to the respective schools.
  4. The schools must then return the duly filled registration forms to SOF before the due date.

There is also a registration fee that applicants need to pay. The fee structure will be in the following manner-

  • For schools in India, a registration fee of INR 125 (including GST) per student
  • For international schools, a registration fee of USD 9 per student

Schools may collect an additional amount of INR 25 (USD 1 for International schools) per student towards honorarium of incharge, remuneration to teachers to teach, guide using study material supplied by SOF and other miscellaneous expenses. 

IEO – Exam structure

IEO is conducted in two levels with top performing students in Level 1 then qualifying for Level 2. Here is how the exam is structured.

Level 1

The Level 1 exam has a relaxed eligibility criterion to promote a higher participation of students. Since there are no minimum marks, all the school students enrolled in class 1 to 12 can enter the Olympiad. The major highlights of Level 1 exam are:

  • Level 1 is organised in the respective schools of the students. The exam is conducted during the school hours.
  • The duration of the exam is 60 minutes.
  • The exam is in the form of multiple-choice questions (objective-type). There are 35 questions for students of class 1 to 4 and 50 questions for class 5 to 12 students.
  • There are 4 sections in the question paper:
    • Word and Structure knowledge (Section 1)
    • Reading (Section 2)
    • Spoken & Written Expression (Section 3)
    • Achievers Section (Section 4)
  • There are separate question papers for each class and medium of the exam is English.
  • The exam papers are designed from CBSE, ICSE/ISC and State Board syllabi.

Level 2

Students with excellent performance in Level 1 exam qualify for Level 2 exam. Those studying in class 3 to 12 appear for the Level 2 exam. Students of class 1 and 2 are judged based on their performance in Level 1 exam only and thus they need not appear for Level 2 exam. The following students are eligible to appear for Level 2 exam:

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  • Class wise top 5% candidates in Level 1 exam
  • Class wise and zone wise top 25 rank holders in Level 1
  • Class topper is eligible where at least 10 students appear in the exam and score 50% qualifying marks

IEO – Awards

Awards will be given to top performing students as well as schools. The IEO award winners are felicitated at the international and zonal level. Below is a detailed description of IEO awards based on different criteria.

Awards for students

Based on their ranks, participating students will receive various awards. The number of awards, criteria for awards and specific award details are mentioned in the tables below.

Awards for Level 2 and for Classes 1 and 2

International level

Rank Awards

Number of awards

1st INR 50,000 Each + Gold Medal + Certificate of Outstanding Performance 12
2nd INR 25,000 Each + Silver Medal + Certificate of Outstanding Performance 12
3rd INR 10,000 Each + Bronze Medal + Certificate of Outstanding Performance 12

 Awards for Level 2 and for Classes 1 and 2

Zonal level

Rank Awards

Number of awards

1st INR 5000 Each + Gold Medal + Certificate of Zonal Excellence 240
2nd INR 2500 Each + Silver Medal + Certificate of Zonal Excellence 240
3rd INR 1000 Each + Bronze Medal + Certificate of Zonal Excellence 240
4th to 10th Gifts worth INR 1000 Each + Medal of Distinction + Certificate of Distinction + Certificate of Zonal Excellence 1680
11th to 20th Certificate of Zonal Excellence + Medal of Distinction + Certificate of Distinction + 3600
26th and above Merit certificate All

 Awards for Level 1 performance

Zonal level

Rank Awards

Number of awards

1 to 25 Medal of Distinction + Certificate of Distinction 240
26 and above Participation Certificate All

 Awards for schools

There are awards for various top performing schools too. The tables below discuss the various awards for schools participating in the Olympiad.

Awards at international level

International level

Category Awards

Number of awards

Best Principal INR 25000 Each + Citation + Trophy 10
Best Teacher INR 10000 Each + Citation + Trophy 10

 Awards at zonal level

Zonal level

Category Awards

Number of awards

Best Principal INR 10000 Each + Citation + Trophy 100
Best Teacher INR 5000 Each + Citation + Trophy 60

 Awards at district level

District level

Category Awards

Number of awards

Best Principal INR 2500 Each + Citation + Trophy 500
Best Teacher INR 1000 Each + Citation + Trophy 500

IEO – Results

The results of IEO are sent directly to the registered schools. IEO results are declared within 8 weeks of the examination. Applicants whose schools do not receive the results can also check their results on the website of SOF. Tentatively, the results of Level 1 are declared by December – January and Level 2 results by March – April. The year specific exact dates are decided on the discretion of SOF.

A major part of the IEO results is the Student Performance Report (SPR). An SPR is a detailed analysis of the student’s performance. The SPR received by each student helps them and their parents judge their performance. An SPR basically helps students understand their strengths and weaknesses. The SPR has six sections:

  1. Section A covers student’s marks and rank achieved in School/City/Zone/at International level
  2. Section B covers section wise performance score of the student
  3. Section C covers correct answers to questions asked in the Olympiad exam, the answers given by the student and performance comparison of the student’s answers vs other students in the Zone and at the International level
  4. Section D covers a percentage score analysis of the student with a comparison with the Class, City, Zone and International level
  5. Section E covers a comparison of average marks analysis at the School, City, Zone and International level
  6. Section F covers a comparison of the student’s performance in the Olympiad exams during the past 8 years

IEO – Contact information

In case any queries still remain, students can get in touch directly with the SOF in any of the following ways:

  • Address: 1st Floor, Plot no. 99, Sector – 44, Gurgaon (Haryana) India. Pin- 122003
  • Phone: 0124-4951200, 9312680855, 9312680857
  • Office: 406, Taj Apartment, Ring Road, Adjacent Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India. Pin – 110029
  • Registration queries: 0124-4951200,
  • Exam queries: 0124-4951200,
  • Result/Awards: 0124-4951200,
  • Roll no/Admit Cards: 0124-4951200,
  • General queries: 0124-4951200,

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