GLOBAL HIPPO ASSOCIATION is organising 11th International English Language Olympiad (hereinafter the Olympiad). The Olympiad is open to students 6 – 19 years old from the whole world. Students wishing to participate will take tests in one of the Olympiad approved venues (state schools and schools that are part of the formal education system, as well as private schools, and venues arranged by country coordinators).
Hippo and its Aims
The Olympiad is an international event which promotes English language, challenges students around the globe to compete in English language knowledge, and motivates the teachers to cooperate. The Olympiad encourages the development of a shared sense of identity and integration, serves as a role model for young people living together as one community. The main goal is to create and nourish friendly relations, international understanding and a spirit of healthy competition between young people interested in English language from all around the world.
Apart from that, by participating in such an Olympiad, students get a chance to measure their level of English against international standards and get used to the concept of examination. Schools will more easily understand the level of English of their pupils and challenge them to learn more.
1. Stages, Dates and Venues
The Olympiad is run in four stages: preliminary round, semi-final round, regional qualifiers (for more information on the qualifiers, see 4. Regional Qualifiers) and world finals.
The first two rounds are held on different dates in different countries. The national coordinators chose the following date:
Option 1 Preliminary Round 5 - 6 May 2023, Semi-final Round 19 - 20 May 2023
The dates for each of the countries will be published on the Registration page of the Hippo Olympiad website.
Every school, independent of the type and country, can participate in the Olympiad. Schools that wish to enrol a group of candidates are required to host the preliminary round of the Olympiad, even in the countries that accept individual enrolments.
Schools that wish to participate in the Olympiad need to apply through the country coordinator. If there is no country coordinator in the country, the school needs contact Global Hippo Association directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) for venue approval.
The semi-final round will be held on one of the aforementioned dates. The network of semi-final venues will be based on the location of the semi-finalists.
The World Finals will be held in Rome, Italy, in October 2023. 140 finalists (plus wildcards, for details please see 10. Marking and Ranking) as well as a school representative (chosen by the school), e.g. the student’s teacher, will be invited to the final round of the Olympiad.
Global Hippo Association keep the right to increase the number of finalists if the number of applicants exceeds 67,500, in accordance with the Olympiad regulations.
2. Candidate Registration and Fees
Each participating school needs to appoint one of their staff as the Olympiad school coordinator and contact person (the details need to be provided in the Venue Approval Form). This person will be in charge of student enrolments and will need to ensure that all the Olympiad examination regulations are followed.
HIPPO 2023 Online Enrolments. Upon venue approval, each school will receive login details for the Hippo Online Platform (http://soa.hippo-olympiad.org/) where they need to register the candidates by entering the required details. The registration deadline varies from one country to another, and will be published per country on the Registration page of the Hippo Olympiad website. After the enrolment deadline, no further amendments can be made. The system will automatically assign candidate numbers to applicants. The lists of candidates will remain available for printing the Preliminary Round attendance lists.
NB: School coordinators are required to print the attendance registers for the preliminary round of the Olympiad. They are also kindly requested to double check the accuracy of candidate details. Candidate entries can only be made in Latin letters (A - Z, no language specific letters).
No candidate can be registered without the DOB and grade. School coordinators need to have the data ready before they start registering the candidates.
Some of the participating countries accept individual candidates. To find out whether your country accepts individual candidates, please visit the Registrations page of the Hippo website and contact the local coordinator. In the countries where individual candidates are accepted, 3 they will be given the opportunity to compete in the nearest possible approved venue. The full list of venues will be known after the enrolment deadline. Candidates will then be contacted and assigned to the nearest approved venue
No venue approval forms or enrolments will be accepted after the deadline. For detailed information about deadlines, schools need to contact the country coordinator. For group enrolments, payment instructions will be sent by email upon the receipt of the application. For Olympiad fees, please contact the country coordinator. The list of participating countries and coordinators, as well as some country specific details, are available on the Registrations page of the Hippo Olympiad website.
NB: Children, family or relatives of organisers, coordinators or anyone involved in the Olympiad organisation cannot compete in the Olympiad.
3. Definitions of Hippo Olympiad Qualifier Regions
The Olympiad participants will be divided into Olympiad regions (hereinafter regions) for the purpose of organising regional qualifiers. The number of regions will depend on the number of participants.
Hippo Association will decide on the final number of regions after the applications are finished. Based on the number and location of the participants in previous Hippo years, the pre-set zones have been established.
Pre-set regions as follows:
Maghreb & Middle East
India & Southern Asia
China & Eastern Asia
South East Asia
Africa Central & South America
4. Regional Qualifiers
Where the number of enrollments in a specific region reaches 10,000 students in the 2023 edition, with a minimum of 1,000 candidates per Hippo Category, HIPPO association will organize an additional round of the Olympiad, called Qualifiers. Within 15 days of the enrollment deadline, when the data on the number of enrollments is available, information on the Qualifiers venues and dates will be available on the Hippo website.
Students with the best placement among those not qualified for the World Finals will be admitted to the Qualifiers. The number of admitted students will depend on the total number of students initially enrolled for each HIPPO category. No more than three students per category per country will be admitted to the Qualifiers.
Where no student qualifies for the Qualifiers, the best student in the country will be invited in order to maintain the principle of multiculturalism whereby students from all countries of the region participating in the Qualifiers are represented.
Qualifiers will be held by undefined. The venues will be published on the official Hippo website and on social media. The winner of each category will proceed to the World Finals.
5. Olympiad Materials
In the preliminary round schools can choose between online and paper-based examinations.
In the Preliminary Round schools will be provided with login details. Students will need to take the test in their approved HIPPO Venue.
Tests for the preliminary round of the Olympiad will be delivered to the approved venue 2 days before the Olympiad date and need to stay closed until the preliminary round start time. They need to be sent back on the Monday after the preliminary round date and must be delivered within 5 working days, unless the Country Coordinator has provided another deadline. The return address will be provided with the materials. Where the return address is not provided with the materials, schools need to contact either the local coordinator or email@example.com for instructions. The materials delivered after this date will not be marked.
6. Schedules and Inspections
Each approved venue decides on the start time of the test depending on the number of participants per category. All approved venues must send their schedules to firstname.lastname@example.org by the Wednesday before the Olympiad date for possible inspections. Olympiad Examination Regulations1 will apply throughout the Olympiad.
7. Olympiad – Regular and Special Categories
The participants will compete in 9 categories (6 regular and 3 special) based on the Common European Framework and will be taking Gatehouse Awards exams.
NB: Students who reached Hippo 2021 final round, cannot compete in the same category in Hippo 2023.
The students of lower grades than the ones in the table can also compete if they feel prepared for the level. The age limit for the Olympiad is 19 or as long as the students are in high school.
Bilingual students will not be admitted to the Olympiad. Students that are considered bilingual are the ones who were born or have lived and attended school for at least 3 years in an English-speaking country, as well as those who live in a non-English speaking country but attend an English/American International or a specialised school. Should a student, who is considered bilingual according to the above, apply for a regular category through another school, and should one of the abovementioned schools apply as a regular school, Hippo Association reserves the right to disqualify them from the Olympiad.
Special categories are aimed at students who are considered bilingual according to the Hippo Olympiad regulations (see above) as well as for the international schools and the schools where the majority or all subjects are taught in English (except for the countries where English is the only official language, e.g. UK). These students can compete in one of the following three categories:
N.B. Global Hippo Association keeps the right to check the school’s curriculum, the language of instruction and number of hours of English taught. Students who enrol in one of the regular categories but are supposed to compete in the special categories according to the regulations will be disqualified.
8. Olympiad – Preliminary Round
The tests for the preliminary round of the Olympiad will consist of three parts: a test of reading comprehension (multiple choice questions), a test of listening comprehension and a Use of English test. The maximum allowed time per part is shown in the table below. It is strictly forbidden to open the Olympiad materials before the exam date. The school coordinator can open the parcel to check that all the materials have been received. The transparent envelopes with the tests however need to stay sealed and be opened in front of the students, right before the start of the preliminary round tests.
The links to the listening test audios will available on the .soa portal on the Wednesday before the preliminary round date. The Hippo coordinator needs to log in with their log-in details in order to download the audios and have them ready for the preliminary round tests. At least one of the school staff approved by Hippo Association must be present during the tests.
The reading and the listening test samples are available on the Olympiad website. There is only one correct answer to every question. There are no negative marks. Ranking is based on the average number of marks achieved on all three tests.
9. Olympiad – Semi-final Round
After the preliminary round tests have been marked, the top 10% of participating students from each participating country will be invited to the semi-final round. The list of semi-finalists will be expanded to include all the students whose number of points is the same as the number of points of the last students in the first 10%. The list of semi-finalists will be published on the Olympiad website within three weeks of the preliminary round date. The network of semi-final venues will be based on the location of the semi-finalists.
Wildcards are available for the countries where no student qualifies for the final round and will be granted to the best candidate in each category from the country. The exam level for the semifinal round will be one CEFR level higher than the one in the preliminary round. The tests for the semi-final round of the Olympiad will consist of: a reading test, a writing test (30 questions) and an essay (except for Little Hippo).
There is only one correct answer to every question. There are no negative marks. Ranking is based on the average number of marks achieved on both the reading and the writing test.
10. Olympiad – Final Round
In the final round of the Olympiad, the candidates take a Gatehouse Awards exam, all 4 skills included. The test samples / past papers are available on http://www.hippo-olympiad.org. The exam level for the final round will be one CEFR level higher than the one in the preliminary round that is the same as the semi-final round test.
In addition to the four-skill GA examinations, candidates take a Use of English test consisting of 30 questions. The results of this test will be used for final round ranking purposes and will not affect the GA examination qualification score.
11. Marking and Ranking
Tests of reading and listening are marked by an OMR device and for that reason need to be properly filled in. Candidates are required to use a pen while completing the OMR form. An OMR sample form will be available on the website two weeks before the preliminary round of the Olympiad at the latest.
Considering that in the semi-final round, candidates complete the reading and writing tests only and not the listening test, the OMR will be used for the reading test only.
In case an OMR form is not properly filled in (e.g. incorrect or missing candidate number) or scanned and the OMR device cannot read it, Global Hippo Association keeps the right to disqualify the candidate if the identity of the candidate cannot be established.
In the semi—final round, the essay will be marked only if two or more candidates have the same number of points on both the reading and the writing test or in case of suspected cheating or malpractice.
For online examinations, in case of suspected malpractice, Hippo Association keeps the right to re-test the candidates using a parallel test and under the invigilation of the Hippo staff.
The ranking list for all categories as well as the names of the candidates who qualified for the semi-final round will be available on http://www.hippo-olympiad.org within three weeks of the preliminary round date.
The ranking list for all categories as well as the names of the candidates who qualified for the final round and eventually regional qualifiers will be available on http://www.hippoolympiad.org.
The final round places will be assigned in the following way: Top 140 finalists will be admitted directly from the semi-final ranking list. The number of finalists per category will be proportional to the number of preliminary round participants in each category.
Additional 10 places will be assigned to the regular categories with the highest number of enrolments independent of the country or region and in accordance with the ranking list.
In order to promote a multicultural environment, wildcards will be granted to the best participant from each of the countries that failed to produce finalists.
In addition to the above, winners of regional qualifiers will be admitted to Finals.
GLOBAL HIPPO ASSOCIATION keep the right to increase the number of finalists if the number of applicants exceeds 67,500, all in accordance with the Olympiad regulations.
The exact date of the final round as well as the participation confirmation deadline will be announced in due time.
12. Qualifiers & Final Round
Qualifiers will be Held in a Venue located in the region. The name of the Venue will be published on the Hippo website and social media by 31 May 2022. The arrival of students admitted to the qualifiers is expected a day before the examination date. Qualifiers examinations will take place in the morning and the proclamation of the winners in the evening. Students can leave the venue the following day.
Candidates can be accompanied by their English language teacher, or an English speaking teacher from their school. Parents, relatives, etc. who wish to accompany their children need to make their own travel and accommodation arrangements.
The final round of the Olympiad will be held in Rome, Italy, in October 2023. All candidates can be accompanied by their English language teacher, or an English speaking teacher from their school.
Parents who wish to accompany their children need to make their own travel and accommodation arrangements as the hotels where the students are accommodated are booked exclusively for the Olympiad participants.
Three-day half-board accommodation will be provided for all the candidates and their teachers free of charge.
Finalists are expected to arrive the day before the examinations start; examinations will be held over two days while the proclamation of winners and awarding ceremony will be held on the evening of the second day of examinations
The programme of the final round will be available on http://www.hippo-olympiad.org one week before the final round at the latest and will include the Olympiad final round schedule as well as sightseeing options.
Finalists will be contacted and helped with organising their travel.
All preliminary and semi-final round candidates will receive a certificate of participation.
All candidates who pass the final round tests (score 55% minimum) will be awarded a Gatehouse Awards internationally recognised certificate in English.
Hippo 3, 4 and 5 Winners will receive Bucksmore Golden Ticket Prize, a two-week stay at one of Bucksmore Education colleges and will be fully inclusive of tuition, accommodation, excursions, meals and airport transfers. They will not include the cost of air travel – air travel costs will be the responsibility of the winning recipient.
Little, Hippo 1, 2, S10, S15 and S19 Winners will receive a one-week stay at the Hippo Summer Camp, fully inclusive of accommodation, meals, activities and airport transfers. It will not include the cost of air travel – air travel costs will be the responsibility of the winning recipient.
Second place winners of Hippo 4, 5 and S19 will receive a full Mizzou K-12 Online Diploma program. Second place winners of Little Hippo, 1, 2, 3, S10 and S15 will receive a 50% discount coupon for the Hippo Summer Camp.
Third place winners in each category will receive a Crosswords preparation book.