The tournament will consist of an individual round, a topics round, a team round, and a relay-style (“Breaking Bonds”) round. Every student will take the individual exam alone, work with a teammate as a pair on one of the three topic tests, and then work with all team members on the team round and Broken Bonds round.
Each exam round is 60 minutes long. The time will be projected and/or announced in the exam rooms. Necessary equations, constants, and a periodic table will be provided.
Teams and individual students will also be provided with identification numbers during check-in that must be bubbled and written on the top cover page of every exam to be graded. Failure to do so will lead to a score of zero since the grading team will be unable to identify who is part of what team. This is to ensure that the graders are not impartial in any way.
Please also review our the Cheating Policy, which is found in the Rules tab under Event info.
Questions consist of multiple parts that must each be answered with numerical results or short answers. Only answers written in the given space, or clearly labelled answers on the back of the page, will be graded. Correct answers with reasonable supporting work will receive full credit, while correct answers without work will not receive full credit. If more than one answer is given when only one answer is asked for on the question, that question will be marked as completely incorrect.
While team members may be placed together in the same exam room, they are not permitted to communicate with other team members or their coach in any way during the individual rounds.
The same rules for the individual exam apply to the topic tests. The main difference is that each team of six students will split themselves into three pairs of two students each. Each pair will work together on one of the three topic tests. There will be three topic tests, each focusing on a different application of chemistry. This year’s topics follow:
Team members are permitted and encouraged to work together on these questions. The team round will require answers that involve written explanations of students’ thought processes in addition to numerical answers. Only responses written in the provided spaces on the exam will be graded. Clearly labelled answers on the back of each page will also be accepted. Students are not permitted to communicate with their coach in any way during this time, but they are encouraged to collaborate among themselves to work through the problems.
Students will be provided at least 3 additional blank copies of their exam, however only the scored copy will be accepted. Please be certain that answers have been recorded in this scored copy (which will be clearly labeled), otherwise the team will lose all points for the questions not answered.
Each team will choose a packet of 3 questions of a certain level of difficulty (easy, medium, hard) to answer at a time. Upon completion of the questions, the entire packet will be turned in and a new question set can be chosen, at any difficulty level. These questions will be drawn from a broad range of general chemistry topics.
The most points will be earned for correct responses to the hard packets (7 points per question) and medium packets (3 points per question) and the least points will be earned for the easy packet (1 point per question). Bonus points are available for completing an entire packet correctly. Scores and rankings for each team are shown live during this round, as well as the difficulty of packets being attempted.
Coaches and guardians are welcome to attend the Breaking Bonds round to cheer on and watch their teams compete live against others.
The concepts covered will be similar to those covered in the previous years’ exams. This year’s topics may include, but are not limited to:
This is not a comprehensive list and is meant to guide preparation.
For information on scoring and appeals, refer to the Rules subsection. For information on awards and intermissions, refer to the General subsection.