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Regular version of the site

Article

Olympiads: Attracting Top Talent in a Non-Standard Way

Higher Education in Russia and Beyond. 2021. No. 1. P. 19-21.

Matching students with universities in Russia occurs via a complicated procedure. Most students are admitted based on the Unified State Exam (USE)—a standardized government-organized test, while the most selective universities enroll the winners of the Olympiads—intellectual competitions for high-schoolers. Olympiads have a long history in Russia—enthusiasts organized the first mathematical competitions in the 1960s. Today, there are hundreds of Olympiads in which high school students compete in all school subjects and in non-curriculum fields, such as robotics, critical thinking, creative writing, and business. Some Olympiad awards (in most cases, at the university's discretion) open the doors to a bachelor's program bypassing all examinations; others exempt students from certain subjects in USE.