The online test for the preliminary round of the 2024/2025 Philosophy Olympiad will be available here from August 12.

About the preliminary round

Please read this information carefully before you start the exam:

  • The exam is available in German, French, Italian and English.
  • The exam can be taken independently at home or at school, or under the supervision of a teacher during or outside of class. 
  • You have 30 minutes to complete the exam. The timer begins automatically as soon as you start the exam. When the time is up, the exam will be automatically submitted.
  • Your answers are automatically saved so you can switch between parts of the exam, but the timer is not paused when you exit the exam. You cannot save and exit the exam to finish it later. So make sure you have a stable internet connection and enough time before you start
  • There is no technical support during the exam. If you have a question, please contact

You can expect two types of questions. The type of question and the maximum number of points are indicated:

  • Single Choice (SC): If you select the single correct answer, you get the maximum number of points.
  • Multiple True False (MTF): Each of the answers can be either true or false and you can select all, none, one or more. The total score for the question is calculated from the points for each answer. You will therefore also receive some points if your answer is only partially correct. 

The exam consists of three parts:

  • Essay critique (20 points): From the next round onwards, the Philosophy Olympiad is an essay competition. In this part, you will read short excerpts as they might appear in essays by participants in the Philosophy Olympiad and you will have to assess their weaknesses, particularly regarding the Philosophy Olympiad criteria. The Philosophy Olympiad criteria are as follows: 
  1. Relevance: Does the content of the excerpt relate to the given topic?
  2. Philosophical understanding: Is the topic approached with philosophical depth?
  3. Quality of argumentation: Is there a thesis which is well argued for?
  4. Coherence: Is an understandable structure being followed? Are terms used consistently? Is the argumentation free of contradictions?
  5. Originality: Does the text express the participant’s own thoughts and use proper examples?
  • Reading comprehension (48 points): In this part, you read short excerpts from philosophical texts and have to answer questions about their content. 
  • Logic (32 points): In this part, you have to determine which conclusions logically follow from given statements.


Conditions of participation

You can participate in the Philosophy Olympiad if you:

  • attend a secondary school in Switzerland or the Principality of Liechtenstein (e.g. grammar school, vocational school, secondary school, international high school),

  • or, being a Swiss or Liechtenstein national or resident, attend a foreign school.

Anyone who is attending a university before the reference date is not admitted (with the exception of Schülerstudium).

Anyone who has reached the age of 20 on the reference date may participate in the national selection but is not eligible for participation in the International Philosophy Olympiad.

Participation is free of charge and, if possible, barriers.

Please read the conditions of participation and the data protection policy before you participate.



The current dates for the rounds can be found in the agenda.


Premliminary round

August/September: Participants complete an online test during class or at home (see above).


First essay round

October/November: The participants with the highest scores in the preliminary round will be invited to write an essay on one of four topics at home. An online workshop on writing philosophical essays will be offered. The authors of the best essays will be invited to one of the semi-finals.


January: At the one-day semi-finals, the participants take part in a workshop and write another essay in two hours. The best essays qualify for the national final.


March: At the three-day national final, the participants take part in workshops and write another essay for four hours. Two gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded for the best performances. The best two will qualify for the International Olympiad.



May: Journey to the International Philosophy Olympiad.

Science Olympiad Day

September/October: The end-of-the-year party for all ten Science Olympiads.