Colloquium Talks

How to Prepare for the USA Biology Olympiad (USABO)

August 14, 2021

The USA Biolympiad (USABO), hosted by the Center for Excellence in Education, is the premier biology competition in the US for students passionate about exploring the diverse worlds of cell biology, animals, plants, genetics, and more. Each year, students compete through the USABO Open Exam in February, and the top 10% of test takers are selected to take the Semifinal exam in April. The top 20 scorers on the Semifinal exam are then invited to attend an intensive 10-day biology training camp (USABO Finals) at Purdue University, where campers attend intensive seminars, colloquiums, and classes from renowned professors and doctors and forge lifelong friendships through the intensity and community of USABO Finals.

At the conclusion of USABO Finals, campers are evaluated through rigorous practical and theoretical biology exams. The top 4 scorers are named Gold Medalists and are invited to represent the United States at the International Biology Olympiad, hosted at Armenia this season (2022).

The USABO has inspired countless aspiring scientists to discover their confidence in STEM and passion for biology, and has gifted many of our own instructors with discipline, ambition, and a powerful will to share our passions. Illumina Learning staff would like to dedicate this colloquium to the Center for Excellence in Education, for whom many of our journeys of passion and biology could not have been possible.

Colloquium Description:

Preparing for the USABO is an intense and intimidating endeavor, and the key to succeeding and enjoying one's USABO journey lies in the resources, self-motivation, and community that one can discover. In this colloquium, we bring together three top USABO/IBO competitors to provide the inside scoop into the most valuable textbooks, resources, study habits, and communities for USABO, and the most effective methods through which to utilize and enjoy these resources. Our speakers discuss the most useful textbooks for each subject based on personal preference, debate study habits, and offer test-taking tips and community support groups for our USABO aspirants to explore and utilize.


  • Amber Luo, USABO NF '21

  • Richard Zhu, USABO NF '20

  • Greycen Ren, IBO Silver Medalist '21

Click Here for the Recording!

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