Amador Valley Chemistry Club creates an olympiad chemistry exam

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The 40 question 60 minute test is administered through Google Forms and distributed throughout the Bay Area.

For 3 months, Amador Valley Chemistry Club designed, created, and administered a chemistry test called East Bay Chemistry Olympiad (EBCO), modeled off of the AP Chemistry exam. 

The first part of the exam has 40 questions, taken in 60 minutes, while the unreleased free response questions will be given to the top scorers. 

The long and arduous process of creating the test includes everything from studying AP Chemistry material to reaching out to chemistry teachers all over the Bay Area. 

“We were really surprised by the positive feedback from other schools across multiple districts. Unfortunately we weren’t able to hold EBCO last year because it was supposed to take place right around the time lockdown was happening, and teachers had a lot more on our minds–also the test didn’t reflect the modified AP exam last year but this year, we kept the same framework and we’ve been able to convert it to an online format, and so far it’s been a success,” explained Chemistry Club President and EBCO organizer Elliot Kang (‘21). 

Their inspiration came from other competitions as well. 

“Esha, Ludi, and I wanted to make EBCO because there aren’t that many chemistry competitions in the local area other than USNCO, and a lot of people are turned off of that because you can only send 2 people per school…  so since the main goal of AV Chemistry Club is to promote passion for higher-level chemistry we thought that a competition would help excite AP Chemistry students about going beyond the AP exam, or what their teacher required of them so after talking with Ms. Barnett, we decided that it would be a good idea to model it off of a few other competitions/tests we were familiar with (ie: USNCO, Geometry Bee, the AP Exam, Subject Tests),” said Kang

Each chemistry club officer must spend a lot of time each week to create questions as well as refine them. In the first few days of the exam going public, many students from around the Bay Area responded. 

“The test turned out pretty well, as we have a sizable amount of kids from throughout the bay area including from cvhs, amador, foothill, and other places. Each officer spent around 2 hours each per week on the test so the total time was around 15 hours a week to create the test.” said Chemistry Club officer Lucky Swaminathan

After the first section is completed, students will get notified to see who will participate in the next round.