Junior Venkat Sankar was recently named one of 20 national finalists in this year’s USA Biology Olympiad. He will attend a special training program to decide which finalist will represent the United States at International Biology Olympiad this summer in Hanoi, Vietnam.
“It feels great to be selected as a finalist,” Sankar said. “I’m excited about spending 12 days at the camp with other finalists who are very passionate about biology.”
The USABO begins with two rounds of exams. The first is a 50-minute series of multiple-choice questions, and the second contains multiple-choice questions with more than one possible correct answer and an essay portion. Sankar put considerable time into preparing for the exams. “The baseline preparation was to master Campbell Biology, the AP Biology textbook,” he said. “Beyond that, I also used a college level book on plant biology.” His 2015 summer internship also gave him additional advanced knowledge on biochemistry and molecular biology, “which turned out to be very useful as well.”
Sankar said he will be studying cell biology and reviewing wet lab techniques to prepare himself for the final stage of examinations, which take place in June. Good luck!