The First round of the 2020 Applications Olympiad now has two divisions, OPEN and BASIC.

The new BASIC Division is slightly easier. It covers less. The OPEN Division is at the same challenging level as before. Learners from primary schools and learners who do not take CAT may enter.

OPEN – at the level of previous Applications Olympiads – includes an Access section, but no PowerPoint – 50% of participants receive certificates – top OPEN learners will be invited to Round 2.

BASIC – slightly easier than Open – includes PowerPoint, but not Access  – 50% of participants receive certificates – do not qualify for Round 2.

FIRST ROUND  Monday 2 March to Friday 6 March 2020


The First Round of the Applications Olympiad is written at local schools in the first term for one hour. Word Processing, Spreadsheet and Database skills are tested.

Who may participate? Schools may enter as many candidates as they like.

Requirements: Participants will be required to complete a number of application tasks under supervision in one hour. Each participant must have access to a computer. Participants may use any common application package, such as Microsoft Office, Open Office and Libre Office.

Location: Where schools do not have computer facilities, they may make use of computers at another school or tertiary institution. Schools will have to make these arrangements themselves.

Marking: Schools that take part online will have no marking to do.  The results will be sent to them after the event.

For schools that take part offline, papers are marked at school. The teacher in charge of the competition need not be an expert in computer applications. All the answers are simple numbers or single words and can be marked quickly with the use of the answer key provided.

Certificates: Certificates to the top 50% per division of all participants in the country:

  • Gold: the top 7% of all participants
  • Silver: the next 14% of all participants
  • Bronze: the next 29% of all participants

Second Round  Wednesday 20 May 2020

The Second Round of the Applications Olympiad is written at local schools in the second term for one hours. Word Processing, Spreadsheet and Database skills are tested.
Provincial Certificates: Certificates to the deserving number 1, 2 and 3 in each province

Invitation for the top 10 to 15 participants in SA to go to the Final Round at a central venue – all expenses paid.

Final Round  Tuesday 16 June 2020 – in Cape Town

Who may participate? The best 10 to 15 participants from the Applications Olympiad Second Round countrywide will be invited to take part in the Final Round at a central venue. If two or more learners from the same school qualify, then either the one with the higher scores in Round 1 and Round 2 will be invited, or the school may run a tie-breaker and then decide who should be invited.

Requirements: Each participant will be given access to a computer. Participants will have a choice of a limited range of Computer Application Packages which are suitable for this type of competition. The main contest runs over 5 hours on one day. Each candidate will be given a number of problems to solve in the allotted time. Evaluation will be done by a panel of experts.

Location: The competition uses a suitable central venue. Out-of-town participants are housed at a nearby bed-and-breakfast. The Computer Olympiad office will arrange and pay for flights, accommodation, meals and refreshments.