IOQB: Indian Olympiad Qualifier Of Biology

About IOQB-

A three-hour and two-part examination called as Indian Olympiad Qualifier of Biology (IOQB) will be jointly organized by the Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT) and Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research) – HBCSE (TIFR).
Enrollment: Online enrollment for IOQ 2022 is expected to begin by September 15, 2021. Detailed information about enrollment, eligibility criteria and enrollment fees will be announced soon.
The date are same as previous year-
February 7, 2021 (Sunday) 14:30 – 17:30 hrs.
Visit for more information.

Syllabus of IOQB

In addition to following, general understanding of science topics studied till Class 10 and Mathematics topics studied till Class 12 is expected.

I. Diversity of Living Organisms

The Living World: What is living? Biodiversity; Need for classification; three domains of life; taxonomy and systematics; concept of species and taxonomical hierarchy; binomial nomenclature and tools for study of taxonomy.

Biological Classification: Five kingdom classification; Salient features and classification of Monera, Protista and Fungi into major groups: Lichens, Viruses and Viroids.

Plant Kingdom: Salient features and classification of plants into major groups – Algae, Bryophyta, Pteridophyta, Gymnospermae and Angiospermae.

Animal Kingdom: Salient features and classification of animals, non-chordates up to phyla level and chordates up to class level.

II: Structural Organization in Animals and Plants

Morphology and anatomy of Flowering Plants: Morphology and modifications: Morphology of different parts of flowering plants: root, stem, leaf, inflorescence, flower, fruit and seed. Anatomy and functions of different tissues and tissue systems.

Structural Organisation in Animals: Animal tissues; Morphology, anatomy and functions of different systems (digestive, circulatory, respiratory, nervous and reproductive) of animals.

III. Cell: Structure and Function

Cell-The Unit of Life: Cell theory and cell as the basic unit of life: Structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells; Plant cell and animal cell; cell envelope; cell membrane, cell wall; structure and function of all cell organelles. Cellular respiration – glycolysis, fermentation (anaerobic), TCA cycle and electron transport system (aerobic); energy relations – number of ATP molecules generated; amphibolic pathways; respiratory quotient.

Biomolecules: Chemical constituents of living cells: biomolecules, structure and function of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids; Enzymes- types, properties, enzyme action.

Cell Cycle and Cell Division: Cell cycle, mitosis, meiosis and their significance.

IV. Plant Physiology

Transport in Plants: Movement of water, gases and nutrients; cell to cell transport, diffusion, facilitated diffusion, active transport; plant-water relations, imbibition, water potential, osmosis, plasmolysis; long distance transport of water – Absorption, apoplast, symplast, transpiration pull, root pressure and guttation; 2 transpirations, opening and closing of stomata; Uptake and translocation of mineral nutrients – Transport of food, phloem transport, mass flow hypothesis.

Mineral Nutrition: Essential minerals, macro- and micronutrients and their role; deficiency symptoms; mineral toxicity; elementary idea of hydroponics as a method to study mineral nutrition; nitrogen metabolism, nitrogen cycle, biological nitrogen fixation.

Photosynthesis and Respiration in Higher Plants: Photosynthesis as a means of autotrophic nutrition; site of photosynthesis, pigments involved in photosynthesis (elementary idea); photochemical and biosynthetic phases of photosynthesis; cyclic and non-cyclic photophosphorylation; chemiosmotic hypothesis; photorespiration; C3 and C4 pathways; factors affecting photosynthesis; exchange of gases.

Plant – Growth and Development: Seed germination; phases of plant growth and plant growth rate; conditions of growth; differentiation, dedifferentiation and redifferentiation; sequence of developmental processes in a plant cell; growth regulators; seed dormancy; vernalisation; photoperiodism.

V. Human Physiology

Digestion and Absorption: Alimentary canal and digestive glands, role of digestive enzymes and gastrointestinal hormones; Peristalsis, digestion, absorption and assimilation of proteins, carbohydrates and fats; calorific values of proteins, carbohydrates and fats; egestion; nutritional and digestive disorders.

Breathing and Exchange of Gases: Respiratory system in humans; mechanism of breathing and its regulation in humans – exchange of gases, transport of gases and regulation of respiration, respiratory volume; disorders related to respiration.

Body Fluids and Circulation: Composition of blood, blood groups, coagulation of blood; composition of lymph and its function; human circulatory system – Structure of human heart and blood vessels; cardiac cycle, cardiac output, ECG; double circulation; regulation of cardiac activity; disorders of circulatory system.

Excretory Products and Their Elimination: Modes of excretion – ammonotelism, ureotelism, uricotelism; human excretory system – structure and function; urine formation, osmoregulation; regulation of kidney function – renin – angiotensin, atrial natriuretic factor, ADH and diabetes insipidus; role of other organs in excretion; disorders of excretory system; dialysis and artificial kidney, kidney transplant.

Locomotion and Movement: Types of movement – ciliary, flagellar, muscular; skeletal muscle- contractile proteins and muscle contraction; skeletal system and its functions; joints; disorders of muscular and skeletal system.

Neural Control and Coordination: Neuron and nerves; Nervous system in humans – central nervous system; peripheral nervous system and visceral nervous system; generation and conduction of nerve impulse; reflex action; sensory perception; structure and functions of sense organs.

Chemical Coordination and Integration: Endocrine glands and hormones; human endocrine system; mechanism of hormone action; role of hormones as messengers and regulators, hypo – and hyperactivity and related disorders.

VI. Reproduction

Reproduction in Organisms: Reproduction, a characteristic feature of all organisms for continuation of species; modes of reproduction – asexual and sexual reproduction; asexual reproduction – binary fission, sporulation, budding, gemmule formation, fragmentation; vegetative propagation in plants.

Sexual Reproduction in Flowering Plants: Flower structure; development of male and female gametophytes; pollination – types, agencies and examples; outbreeding devices; pollen-pistil interaction; double fertilization; post fertilization events – development of endosperm and embryo, development of seed and formation of fruit; special modes- apomixis, parthenocarpy, polyembryony; Significance of seed dispersal and fruit formation.

Human Reproduction: Male and female reproductive systems; microscopic anatomy of testis and ovary; gametogenesis – spermatogenesis and oogenesis; menstrual cycle; fertilisation, embryo development upto blastocyst formation, implantation; pregnancy and placenta formation; parturition; lactation.

Reproductive Health: Need for reproductive health and prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs); birth control – need and methods, contraception and medical termination of pregnancy (MTP); amniocentesis; infertility and assisted reproductive technologies – IVF, ZIFT, GIFT.

VII. Genetics and Evolution

Heredity and variation: Mendelian inheritance; deviations from Mendelism – incomplete dominance, co- dominance, multiple alleles and inheritance of blood groups, pleiotropy; elementary idea of polygenic inheritance; chromosome theory of inheritance; chromosomes and genes; Sex determination – in humans, birds and honey bee; linkage and crossing over; sex linked inheritances; Mendelian disorders in humans.

Molecular Basis of Inheritance: DNA as genetic material; Structure of DNA and RNA; DNA packaging; DNA replication; Central dogma; transcription, genetic code, translation; gene expression and regulation – lac operon; Genome; DNA fingerprinting.

Evolution: Origin of life; biological evolution and evidences for biological evolution (paleontology, comparative anatomy, embryology and molecular evidences); Darwin’s contribution, modern synthetic theory of evolution; mechanism of evolution – variation (mutation and recombination) and natural selection with examples, types of natural selection; Gene flow and genetic drift; Hardy – Weinberg’s principle; adaptive radiation; human evolution.

VIII. Biology and Human Welfare

Human Health and Diseases: Pathogens; parasites causing human diseases (malaria, dengue, chikungunya, filariasis, ascariasis, typhoid, pneumonia, common cold, amoebiasis, ringworm) and their control; Basic concepts of immunology – vaccines; cancer, HIV and AIDS; Adolescence – drug and alcohol abuse.

Strategies for Enhancement in Food Production: Improvement in food production: Plant breeding, tissue culture, single cell protein, Biofortification, Apiculture and Animal husbandry.

Microbes in Human Welfare: In household food processing, industrial production, sewage treatment, energy generation and microbes as bio-control agents and bio-fertilizers. Antibiotics; production and judicious use.

Biotechnology – Principles, processes and applications: Genetic Engineering (Recombinant DNA Technology); Application of biotechnology in health and agriculture: Human insulin and vaccine production, stem cell technology, gene therapy; genetically modified organisms – Bt crops; transgenic animals; biosafety issues, bio piracy and patents.

IX. Ecology and Environment

Organisms and Populations: Organisms and environment: Habitat and niche, population and ecological adaptations; population interactions – mutualism, competition, predation, parasitism; population attributes – growth, birth rate and death rate, age distribution.

Ecosystems: Patterns, components; productivity and decomposition; energy flow; pyramids of number, biomass, energy; nutrient cycles; ecological succession; carbon fixation, pollination, seed dispersal.

Biodiversity and its Conservation: Biodiversity-Concept, patterns, importance; loss of biodiversity; biodiversity conservation; hotspots, endangered organisms and extinction.

Environmental Issues: Air pollution and its control; water pollution and its control; agrochemicals and their effects; solid waste management; radioactive waste management; greenhouse effect and climate change impact and mitigation; ozone layer depletion; deforestation.

Preparation Tips for IOQB-

Be very clear with the exam pattern

Analyze the exam pattern so that you may have the idea about the important topics and can strategize your preparation.

Read biology books by different authors

You need to have a very good hold over your theoretical knowledge as raw memorization will not get you far. Keep on delving deeper in the concepts so it may enhance your knowledge.

Do not forget to make notes-

Whenever you study, make sure to make concise notes of all the topics you covered. They will come handy when you revise.

Practice sample Papers-

Practicing previous year sample papers of IOQB as it will help you to know where you lack in your preparation and where you need to invest more time. You can gauge your preparation easily.

Manage your time-

As the proper syllabus has not been provided and you have to read lots and lots of books. Keep in mind to manage your time so you cover all the important concepts with in the time frame of your preparation. Have a study plan and be disciplined.

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Anirudh Gupta
IIT Delhi Computer Science CBSE Class 12 - 94.2% RMO Awardee
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