Each nation is responsible for the selection of the two mentors accompanying their students to the IChO. The mentors become members of the International Jury. The regulations require that the mentors have a good command of the English language, both oral and written. This requirement should be taken seriously as the proceedings of the jury often require individual participation in the discussion, or at least the ability to follow the deliberations closely.
Each IChO has usually four jury sessions during the course of the event, arranged as follows although variations are allowed:
- 1st Jury Meeting (Day 2 of the IChO): Discussion on the issues raised by the mentors pertaining to the practical exam.
- 2nd Jury Meeting (Day 4): Discussion on the issues raised by the mentors pertaining to the theoretical exam.
- 3rd Jury Meeting (Day 7): Discussion on any business matter that needs to be addressed.
- 4th Jury Meeting (Day 8): Presentation of the overall scores in the exams (but without naming individual student’s scores).
Besides that the members of the international jury (mentors) are involved in marking of the results of their own participants in accord with a general marking scheme. The grading is usually done so that the marks are integer (blue points). The final (red) points (60 for theory and 40 for practical) are divided between the tasks using predetermined weights.
Finally the mentors are expected to take part in an arbitration, in which their grading of the student exams are compared and finally agreed by the scientific committee. The final scores of their students must be made available for the mentors for a final check.
The mentors of the most countries should keep the students uninformed about their performance until the awards ceremony is over.
Compiled and edited by A. Sirota (IChO Intern. Information Centre)