2018 Newsletter

The 2018 newsletter gives details of the 2018 Applications Olympiad.

Read More


Rising above the storm

On the day the storm closed Western Cape schools, one Paarl teacher made a plan to let her top three learners take part in the qualifying round of a national computer Applications Olympiad. For an hour on the unexpected ‘day off’, Marlene Dreyer  supervised as her learners tackled 25 tough tasks using Word, Excel, Access, and the internet. This effort got Mia into the national Applications Olympiad Finals four weeks later. Competing against 12 other finalists, Mia proceeded to win the gold medal. She described the day-long test as ‘challenging’ and the Olympiad as ‘an overall good experience’. Mia is in Grade 11 at Paarl Girls’ High School and plans to study Actuarial Science. She has provincial colours for mountain biking and might spend her prize money on cycling equipment or save it.

Heather Wimberley (Gr 10) from Brescia House in Sandton won silver and had ‘fun learning new skills’. She is also an outdoors person and a member of the Orienteering National Youth Squad. 

The other Silver medalist, and also from Gauteng, was Shan O’Neil (Gr 11) of Hoërskool Randburg. He said it was ‘a very fun test’ but wished he ‘had 2 more hours’. Like gold winner, Mia, he is also takes both computer subjects, CAT and IT (Information Technology). He wishes to ‘become a professional programmer’ and ‘study overseas’.

‘The girls did so well’ was the delighted comment from Moira de Roche of  the Institute of IT Professionals (IITPSA), the sponsor of this Applications Olympiad. Three of the six medal winners were from Girls’ Schools.

Danielle Victor (Gr 10) from Collegiate Girls’ High in Port Elizabeth won bronze, and has an interest in studying Pharmacy. The IITPSA offers a full bursary to attract particularly female learners to study at tertiary level in the ICT field.

Johannes van Graan, Head Boy at Hoërskool Witteberg, won a bronze medal. ‘Although it was really difficult… I learned a lot from the Olympiad’. Johannes plays 1st team rugby, participates in Mathematics, Science and World Knowledge Olympiads, and plans to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pretoria.

Milan Smedley (Gr 12) from Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch earned a bronze medal from the ‘unique experience’ of the Applications Olympiad. In line with his favourite subject being History, he only ‘listens to music from 1940 – 1990’ and may ‘make certain exceptions for good recent songs’. Milan plans to study to become a film director.

The key person for the Olympiad is an enthusiastic CAT teacher. The teacher’s role is to organise the learners and venue, and to download the data files. For online entries where broadband is adequate, learners take part online and their answers are marked by the computer and their results sent back to the school. There were 4 631 participants for whom results were received this year. The Olympiad office printed and posted 2 350 certificates to schools for the top 50% of the participants.

Cameron encourages schools to see the potential of the Olympiad to strengthen flexible thinking. ‘The Applications Olympiad tests skills in using word, spreadsheet and database applications and to think in fresh ways.’

For further Information:  Michael Cameron – Manager Computer Olympiad

Ph:         021-448-7864


Photos available on request.





Applications Olympiad: Introduction of a Second Round

2017 Computer Applications Olympiad sees the introduction of a Second Round.  The Olympiad is for CAT learners, ICDL candidates and others who are computer literate.

Being able to use computer applications is fast becoming essential for study and work. Applications help learners to make sense of data and to strengthen insight. The Computer Applications Olympiad encourages learners to see the bigger picture where: Data à Information à Knowledge à Insight.

This is why the SA Computer Olympiad has made Round 1 of the Applications Olympiad more accessible and interesting around the theme of popular music. The one-hour Olympiad runs at participating schools from 8 to 12 May at any convenient time. It costs nothing to enter. The questions test learners’ skills to make sense of data in different formats: word processing, spreadsheets, databases and presentations. The Applications Olympiad is for learners who have a working knowledge of these common applications, including those who take CAT or IT at school.

The Solutions Booklet with its detailed explanations is popular with teachers. It is emailed to schools immediately after the contest. The offline marking remains quick and simple; one word or one number answers – either right or wrong. Where learners write the contest online, there is no marking at all for the teacher. Bronze, silver and gold certificates are awarded to the top 50% of learners across the country.

Those learners who qualify for the new Round 2 (on 7 June) will stand a chance to earn Provincial Certificates and to be invited to the Finals in July where medals and cash prizes will be awarded to the winners and to their schools. While Round 1 is easier than in the past, Round 2 has more higher-order questions. Round 2 also has fewer word processing questions and more spreadsheet and database questions. It also has a couple of web design questions.

For further Information:  Michael Cameron – Manager Computer Olympiad

Ph:         021-448-7864


Photos available on request.


2017 Newsletter

The 2017 newsletter gives details of the 2017 Talent Search and the dates for the other Olympiads: Applications and Programming.

Read More


TV interview with winner of Computer Applications Olympiad

The winner of the gold medal for the IITPSA Computer Applications Olympiad was Tauhir Ahmed from Cape Town.   Read More


CAT Queen hits the font page

Clarendon High School Matric pupil Catherine Ball hit the front page in East London.

Read More


2014 Applications Olympiad Winners from Five Provinces

The six winners of the 2014 Applications Olympiad represent five provinces.  And the winner came from Beaufort West.

Read More


Learners shine in Computer Applications

Half the medal winners in the Computer Applications Olympiad this year were girls. This is one Science Olympiad where girls are making their presence felt.

Read More


Recognition for CAT

At the Computer Applications Olympiads Dinner held in Cape Town last week, Ziyaad Seedat, a grade 12 learner at the Ligbron Academy of Technology in Ermelo, Mpumalanga, was awarded the first place CoZa Cares Trophy and a gold medal.

Read More