British Physics Olympiad (BPhO)

The most competitive national physics Challenge in the UK

Global elites in science compete together for the top awards

Top Gold Award winners will be invited to participate in the BPhO Round 2

Beneficial for applying science majors in top universities

Opportunity to be invited to the British Physics Camp (China)

BPhO Round 1 Date: 12th November, 2022, 13:55-16:40


The British Physics Olympiad is a charitable trust overseen by a committee of trustees. It was initiated in 1979,and has been used as a qualifier for selection into the UK Physics Team for the International Physics Olympiad from 1983. The BPhO is hosted by University of Oxford, the Institute of Physics (IOP), and the Odgen Trust with offices located in the physics department of the University of Oxford. All problems are proof-based, so students will need to apply a large range of knowledge, and can choose which question to answer. Top British candidates will have the opportunities to be chosen for the national team.

Since 2016, Chinese and British students will compete together for the top 3 awards. Please note that Chinese students can not represent the UK national team. However, awarded students will have the chance to participate in the British Physics Olympiad Camp (China).

Supported Organizations


The University of Oxford

Institute of Physics (IOP)



the Ogden Trust

Maple Soft

Royal Astronomical Society

Event and training

The University of Cambridge

The University of Oxford

National Physical Laboratory

Texas Instrument





12th November, 2022 (Saturday) ,13:55-16:40 pm (5 minutes reading time, 160 minutes for writing the exam)

Qualifying Students

High school students


Individual test


Proof questions

Exam problems

Two sets of problems; Section 1 and Section 2

  • Section 1: A maximum of 50 marks can be awarded for Section 1. There is a total of ≈ 84 marks allocated to the problems of Question 1 which makes up the whole of Section 1. (if competitors answer problems totaling more than 50 points, then points from incorrect answers will be ignored and points from correct answers will be added together).
  • Section 2: Each question in Section 2 is out of 25, with a maximum of 50 marks from two questions. Competitors only need to choose 2 problems to solve.
  • The maximum score for the British Physics Olympiad is 100 points.

The British Physics Olympiad committee focuses on the logic of solving the problem, so for each problem competitors need to give detailed steps proving their answers. If competitors only show the correct answer without their working out, they will not be awarded any points. If competitors write the incorrect answer, but show correct proofs, then they will be awarded points according to the detail of steps shown.

Exam locations

Paper-based in partnering school

Global awards:
  • Top Gold: the cut-off score in 2021 is 49, about top 11%
  • Gold: the cut-off score in 2021 is 39, about top 20%
  • Silver: the cut-off score in 2021 is 30, about top 32%
  • Bronze Ⅰ: the cut-off score in 2021 is 23, about top 45%
  • Bronze Ⅱ: the cut-off score in 2021 is 11, about top 75%


Registration Deadline

  • 2nd November, 2022


British Physics Olympiad Camp (China)

The Camp aims to develop future physicists by offering different experiment-based learning opportunities. These activities will increase students' interest for exploring physics further. The camp will help improve their key skills in learning physics, such as observation and logical thinking skills. Head coaches from the UK will bring in the most updated learning materials and teaching methods to China. Most are experienced physics professors from top universities such as the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford, as well as head teachers from top high schools. We believe this will become one of the most unique physics learning experiences for students in China.

ASDAN EPQ Scholarship


Top Gold&Gold




Bronze I&Bronze II

Noted:The ASDAN Scholarship is only available to Year 10, 11 and 12 students for participating ASDAN Extended Project Qualification(EPQ). EPQ is recommended by the G5 group and many leading universities as a competitive academic experience. Scholarships cannot be exchanged for cash. For further details see:

Exam Centers

Sample Problems

BPhO Round 2

BPhO Round 2 Rules

BPhO Round 2 is the last round for the selection of the UK national team,it is a charitable trust overseen by a committee of trustees. BPhO Round 2 is more difficult than the British Physics Olympiad (BPhO). In the UK, only the top gold medalists in the British Physics Olympiad (BPhO) are invited to participate. Top British candidates will have the opportunities to be chosen for the national team.

Since 2021, Students all over the world will compete together for the awards. Please note that Chinese students can not represent the UK national team. However, award winners will have the chance to participate in the British Physics Olympiad Camp (China).

Date:25th February, 2023, 13:00-16:00
Locations:Online(exam computer or phone must be equipped with a camera)
Format:proof questions
Participants:Top gold medalists in the 2022 BPhO
Awards:(The British Organizing Committee marks the papers and evaluates the awards according to the cut-off scores)
• Gold:2021 cut-off scores: 45-100
• Silver:2021 cut-off scores:30-44
• Bronze:2021 cut-off scores:0-29
Registration Deadline:15th February, 2023


1、Can the students bring a calculator to BPhO?
Students can use calculators, but not programmable calculators (ones which include 'solve' or 'integration' functions or the display shows more than 3 lines)
2、Can the students bring a dictionary to BPhO?

The students can bring a printed version dictionary.

3、Refund policy
If, for some reason, the student is unable to attend after paying the fee, please contact us. If you apply before the registration deadline, 25% of the registration fee will be deducted as academic materials and service fees. If you apply after the registration deadline, no refund will be given.
Northern Contact
Northern Region:
Beijing、Tianjin、Heilongjiang、Jilin、Liaoning、 Heibei、Inner Mongolia、Shanxi、Shandong
Eastern China Contact
Eastern Region:
Central China Contact
Central Region:
Southern China Contact
Southern Region:
Western China Contact
Western Region:
Central China Contact
Central Region: