The purpose of the Science Contest is to challenge high school students to do a wide range of reading in biology, chemistry and physics, to gain an understanding of the significance of experiments rather than to recall obscure details, to be alert to new discoveries and information in the areas of science, to gain an understanding of the basic principles as well as knowledge of the history and philosophy of science, and to foster a sense of enthusiasm about science and how it affects our daily lives.
The contest consists of a two-hour objective test with 60 questions – 20 from biology, 20 from chemistry and 20 from physics.
Each year, the UIL Spelling and Vocabulary Contest is based on a different vocabulary list provided by UIL and consists of a three-part test:
- Part I: A fifteen minute section of 30 multiple choice questions focused on vocabulary and proofreading, and
- Part II & III: The written spelling of 70 words pronounced aloud to contestants.
The spelling contest is designed to give students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 exposure to a wide variety of vocabulary words. It is not a contest of memorization. For the most educational value, preparation for this contest should include instruction in the rules of the English language, meanings and definitions, and root words. In addition to learning to spell proficiently, contestants will learn to write clearly and to capitalize words properly.
Students will write down words given by the pronouncer on their paper at a rate of approximately five words per minute.
(A) Grades 3 and 4: 50 words; tiebreaker, 15 words.
(B) Grades 5 and 6: 80 words; tiebreaker, 20 words.
(C) Grades 7 and 8: 110 words; tiebreaker, 30 words.
The tiebreaker is given to all contestants immediately following the initial test.
Tests will be fully compatible with the Merriam Webster's Intermediate Dictionary 2004 and subsequent editions.