HIPPO Paper Structure & Marking2023-11-03T12:32:06+02:00

Paper Structure & Marking


HIPPO Test of English and Reading



Reading and Writing

After the preliminary round tests have been marked, the top 10% of participating students from each participating country will be invited to the National Finals. The list of finalists will be expanded to include all the students whose number of points is the same as the number of points of the last students in the first 10%. The list of finalists will be published on the Olympiad website within three weeks of the preliminary round date. The network of final venues will be based on the location of the finalists. Wildcards are available for the countries where no student qualifies for the final round and will be granted to the best candidate in each category from the country.

There is only one correct answer to every question. In open-ended questions, where there can be more than one correct answer, all correct answers will be accepted. There are no negative marks. Ranking is based on the average number of marks achieved on both the reading and the writing test. Reading test answers are given on an answer sheet (OMR) while the Writing test answers are given in the test booklet. The writing test will consist of a free-writing task (100 – 200 words depending on the category) and 30 questions. The level of difficulty of all the questions will be one level higher than the one in the preliminary round. The essay will be assessed only in case two or more candidates have the scores on both the reading and the writing test.


In the Qualifiers Round, the candidates will take a Hippo Test of English consisting of 30 Use of English open-ended questions and a crossword.


4 SKILLS (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking) and Hippo Test of English

In the final round of the Olympiad, the candidates take a Gatehouse Awards exam, all 4 skills included. GA Writing test will only be marked for the purpose of certification, not for the purpose of the final round ranking list. In addition to the four-skill GA examinations, candidates take a Use of English test consisting of 30 questions. The results of this test will be used for final round ranking purposes and will not affect the GA examination qualification score.

The final round of the Olympiad will be held in Assisi, Italy, in September 2024. All candidates can be accompanied by their English language teacher, or an English-speaking teacher from their school. Parents who wish to accompany their children need to make their own travel and accommodation arrangements as the hotels where the students are accommodated are booked exclusively for the Olympiad participants. Three-day half-board accommodation will be provided for all the candidates and their teachers free of charge, while the costs of travel will be borne by the participants.

Finalists are expected to arrive the day before the examinations start; examinations will be held over two days while the proclamation of winners and awarding ceremony will be held on the evening of the second day of examinations. The programme of the final round will be sent directly to the finalists who confirmed their participation one week before the event. Finalists will be contacted and helped with making their travel arrangements.