The 15th KAO
1. The 1st Round (document based)
Registration Dates : Apr. 1(Wed)~24 (Fri), 2015 (by postmark date)
Host : Korean Astronomical Society
Sponsors : Korean Astronomy and Space Science Institute,
Korea Foundation for the Advancement of Science & Creativity,
Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning
Categories & Participant Eligibility
 School Category
- Middle School : students enrolled in the 2nd and 3rd grade of middle schools in Korea,
and who were born before Dec. 31, 2001
- High School : students enrolled in the 1st or 2nd grade of senior high schools in Korea
- General High school : including the autonomous private high schools
- Science High school : including the high schools for science-gifted education
 Personal Background Category
Regular Application : students who are not elligible for the Special Application.
Special Application : students whose personal background belong to socially vulnerable groups
such as low-income or welfare families,
rural area residents engaged in agriculture and fishery, persons with disabilities,
North Korean refugees and multi-ethnic families, etc. who have an interest in and
aptitude for astronomy.
(* supporting documents needed)
Gender bias improvement application :
The majority gender at the 1st round application can not take up more than 75% in the
1st selection list. However, the exception is allowed if the total number of the minority
gender does not exceed 25% of the 1st round selection list.
Documents to be submitted (by online as well as postal delivery or in person):
- Application forms with academic records section as well as activity records section
- Self-introduction essay
- Official school record including the transcript of the previous year
- Current school principal`s recommendation letter with an official seal
- Recommendation letter from someone in educational or research institutions who is well
acquainted with the potential, interest and aptitude of the applicant.
- Permission to collect and use the personal information of the applicant
Procedure : Complete the online application forms and send the printed forms as well as the essay along with other required (school records and recommendation letters) or supporting documents by post.
Results (announced online on May. 12, 2015): 273 students (78 from middle schools, 113 from general high schools and 82 from science high schools)are selected in aggregate with no individual awards.
2. The 2nd Round (based on homework assignments, weekend class tests and oral-interview)
Date/Time (oral interview) : Sep. 5(Sat), 2015 / 08:00~12:10, 12:30~17:00
Location : Seoul National University, Bldg. no. 43-1 (Multimedia Building)
Applicant Eligibility for the oral interview : Among those selected from the 1st round, ones as follows qualify for the 2nd round.
- have participated in or been exempted from the Weekend Observational Class held in the Songam Space Center (May 16) or the Yecheon Astronomy and Space Center (May 23).
(applicable to Middle school students only)
Two tests were given at the end of the program, which consisted of a written test with two questions using a sky map and an observational skill test using a telescope.
- have participated in the online video lectures given on the website of the Korea Astronomy Olympiad
- have submitted homework assignments given from July through August at least once.
Format of the oral interview : Contestants are given three multi-step questions for which they have 30 minutes to solve under proctored conditions and 10 minutes to explain the answers to two judges. (calculators are permitted)
Judges make evaluations on the reasoning ability, problem-solving skills and creative potential
Results (announced by email on Sep. 16, 2015): 80 students (38 from middle schools, 19 from general high schools and 23 from science high schools) are selected without any awards given individually.
※ These students are to be trained via homework assignments as well as a winter training camp in January, 2016 where they have lectures, labs and night sky observing sessions, while staying together in a dorm for about 10 days.