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Rules for National Science Bee Finals
  1. There are 3 levels of competition for Science Bee:
    • Junior Science (JSC): Grades 1, 2 and 3
    • Intermediate Science (ISC): Grades 4 and 5
    • Senior Science (SSC): Grades 6, 7, and 8
  2. A contestant who participated in a higher level bee cannot participate in a lower level bee in subsequent years.
  3. The contest is conducted in two phases for JSC and ISC, and three phases for SSC. Phases I and II are written. All contestants participate in both Phase I and Phase II. SSC will feature a Phase III, which is oral (see below).
  4. Contestants are responsible to bring their own pencils and erasers.
  5. Contestants are seated by the badge number order from left to right.
  6. Calculators are NOT allowed at any level during Phase I and II.
  7. All sheets (including question and answer sheets) should be returned at the end of the contest. It is the responsibility of the contestant to write the badge number on the answer sheet.
  8. Unclear and illegible writing might be open for misinterpretation. Contestants are expected to write clearly and legibly.
  9. There will NOT be any partial credits for steps. There are NO negative points for any incorrect answer. If the final answer is incorrect, zero points are awarded, and if the answer is correct, one point is given.
Phase I (Written):
  1. Each contestant is given a booklet containing 30 questions and has 30 minutes to answer them.
  2. Each contestant is given a booklet with 30 questions along with a student answer sheet (last page) with 30 numbered rows to write the final answer. While some questions may be in a multiple choice format, others may require the contestant to derive the answer with no answer choices being provided.
  3. Each question has adequate space to work out the answer. No other sheets are given. Contestants are allowed to use the backside of the question paper if more space is needed to work out the problems.
  4. Contestants are required to transfer the answers from the question paper to the corresponding numbered row in the student answer sheet.
Phase II (Written):
  1. All contestants will move on to Phase II. Each contestant will answer a set of the same 20 questions. These questions will be projected on a screen and read by a pronuncer in sequence. The contestant has 45 seconds to answer each question. Contestants are required to transfer the answer to the corresponding numbered row in the student answer sheet.
Phase III (Oral):
    Note: Phase III (Oral) is a pilot and will not count towards the National Finals placements, ranks, rank certificates, rank trophies or rank scholarships. The Winners and Ranks are determined based on Phase I and Phase II scores only, as in prior years. Please see the Winners and Ranks section below for more details.

  1. We are introducing a new Oral round ("Phase III") as a pilot event in the 2018 National Finals, only for the contestants at the Senior level. This Phase III will closely follow the syllabus and question difficulty-level of the US National Science Bowl (NSB) Middle School competition, which can be found at this URL:
  2. Unlike the National Science Bowl, which is a team-based event, Phase III at SSC National Finals will be based solely on individual efforts.
  3. The top 10 winners from the written contests (based on Phase I+II combined scores) will be invited for an oral Phase III round, with a live audience. Based on the cumulative scores of Phase I and II, the judges determine a list of top 10 contestants who advance to Phase III. Because of potential ties, the judges use tie-breaker rules outlined below to arrive at the top 10 contestants to go into Phase III.
  4. Those selected for Phase III will all be seated in one room. Each of these 10 Phase III contestants will be provided a buzzer.
  5. A set of 50 questions will be read to contestants, one after another. Questions will be very similar to NSB questions, except that there will be no questions on Mathematics. There will not be any multiple choice questions. All questions will be of the "short answer" type.
  6. At the beginning of Phase III, every contestant begins with a score of zero. After each question is read, the contestant who hits the buzzer first will be recognized by the moderator. Then, the contestant can say aloud his/her answer. If the contestant answers the question correctly, 1 point is added to the contestant's score. If an incorrect answer is provided, 1 point is subtracted. Each contestant's score is updated cumulatively until all 50 questions are read. If no one buzzes within 5 seconds of completing the question, the moderator will move on to the next question.
  7. After a contestant presses the buzzer, he/she has 5 seconds to provide the answer. Only the first verbalized answer will be counted as a response. After buzzing in, if the contestant stalls instead of promptly saying the answer, it will be counted as "incorrect", and 1 point will be subtracted.
  8. A contestant may buzz-in before the question is read in its entirety. In that case, the moderator will stop reading the question, and recognize the contestant. Buzzing-in before the question is completed does not affect the scoring in any way. However, if a contestant says the answer without buzzing-in, 1 point will be subtracted. So, buzzing-in is mandatory.
  9. Any contestant who attains a cumulative score of "-3" at any stage of the oral round will be eliminated.
  10. Once all 50 questions have been exhausted, the contestants remaining in the game will be ranked based on their cumulative scores. If the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd ranking contestants are clearly evident, Phase 3 concludes at this point. If score-ties preclude the definitive identification of the top 3 contestants, the contestants at the top will continue playing 10 additional questions in order to break any ties.
  11. Since some questions may involve calculations, paper and pencils will be provided. No calculators are allowed. For quantitative answers, no units need to be provided, unless explicitly asked for.
  12. Since time is limited and since this is a pilot round, no challenges will be entertained, from the participants or parents. The moderator/judge will have the final say. All feedback and questions should be addressed to the organizers AFTER the event.
  13. Throughout the contest, all audience members and participants should maintain absolute silence, except for the contestant who has buzzed-in to answer. Those who disobey this rule will be asked to leave the contest room.
Winners and Ranks:
  1. Winners are first determined based on the combined scores of Phase I (30 questions) and II (20 questions). The first place winner shall be ahead by at least one point to be declared as the champion. If there is any tie for the top ten positions, it is broken as per the tie-breaker rules outlined below. Since the Foundation recognizes only the top 10 ranks, any tie is broken among the top ten places.
  2. Since the oral Phase III round in 2018 SSC senior contest is only a pilot test, no separate awards will be given for the oral round, and the performance in Phase III does not count towards the determination of winners. The contestants who participated in the 2018 pilot oral rounds will be recognized on stage. Depending on feedback from participants and parents, the SSC oral Phase III rounds may be included, recognized and awarded in a more formal manner in subsequent years.
  3. Tiebreaker Rules for Ranks 1-3 and for Ranks 4-10:
  4. To break the ties, the scheme outlined below is followed in the order given:
    • Combined Phase I and II score
    • Phase I score alone
    • Phase I score among questions 26-30
    • Phase I score among questions 21-25
    • Phase I score among questions 11-20
    • Phase I score among questions 1-10
    • If the above steps fail to break the tie in question, the Foundation may use additional measures including date of birth to resolve the tie.
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