Preliminary Round 2021

Key Points

When: Monday 25th January 2021 (Please do contact us at if there are issues with the date).

Registering: Teachers can register their school at before 12pm 22nd January 2021. Students can register their interest there too.

What: A two hour and 30 minute online test with 5 questions.

Where: The AILO Online Test System. A link for the Preliminary Round will be sent out at 8am on Monday 25th January 2021 to registered teachers. Teachers can share this link with their class group to access the test and supervise via Zoom etc.

What’s it like? Students can try out puzzles at to see how it will work.

How it works: Registered teachers will receive a link to the online test at 8am on Monday 25th January 2021. The test can be completed in any 2 hour 30 minute slot from 9am to 5pm. This link won’t work on another day. However, again if there are issues with the date, please do contact us. Students can print the questions if they so wish to work on.

Honour code: It is a condition of taking part in the AILO Preliminary Round, that students agree at the beginning of the test to not share any questions / answers online or otherwise.

Technical points: The Chrome browser (or Firefox) is needed for the online round. If there are technical issues, we will be live on all day so we can immediately fix any issues for you.


How the Preliminary Round Will Work

On Monday 25th January, registered teachers will receive a email from us with the link to the Preliminary Round. Teachers will also receive the  Online Preliminary Round 2020 Technical Details. It is very straight-forward and the two important things are to use Chrome (or Firefox) and to make sure students save or print a copy of their answers before submission. Students will be prompted to do this by the online system. We have allocated 30 minutes extra to the online round this year to ensure students have time to print or save the answers or to write them down if they need to.

What will they see?

Once students access the link and add their name / school etc, they will begin the test. All 5 questions will be on the link along with space for inserting the answers. Students can print out the online test if they so wish and have access to a printer. It is a condition of the test that students do not share the questions / answers with anyone else.

They will also need some scrap paper for working out the puzzles per usual. They can add their answers into the online answer sheet.  It is important they don’t go back and forth on the system as they could lose information, like any online form.

Technical Issues

On Monday 25th January, we will be online at for any technical issues that arise. We ran a successful pilot in November 2019 and the Preliminary Round pilot in January 2020, so we don’t envisage issues with the online system.

Computing Resources

Please contact us at if there any issues with students accessing the test online.

Saving Answers

We have always asked teachers to keep a photocopy of answer booklets prior to posting them to us. With the new online round, we still want to make sure everyone gets a result! Please do ensure students save a copy locally on the computer, print or write their answers down.  It is really important to keep a copy of the answers just in case.