Skip to content

Preliminary Round January 2024

Key Points (and FAQ below)

When: Monday 22nd January 2024, any 2 and a half hour slot during the day. If this date does not suit, please contact us at as we have a little flexibility that week.

Who? All secondary secondary school students are more than welcome to take part as per our eligibility rules. This is an individual paper.

How: Teachers will receive a 5-Question Booklet and 2-page Answer Booklet via email. This should be printed / photocopied for students to work on individually. The paper itself takes 2 hours and there is 30 minutes extra for students to type their answers into our online submission page (takes max 10 minutes really).

Submitting Answers: Teachers will receive a link for students to submit their answers to us on the morning they are taking the paper e.g. Monday, Tuesday. The PDF papers will be emailed to you for print the day before.

Need anything else?: Students will need rough-work paper and a pen. Coloured pens are useful.

Best Method?: We would encourage students to work everything out on paper and fill in their printed answer booklet for 2 hours. They have an extra 30 minutes to submit answers online then.

Keep a copy: We ask that teachers keep a copy of students’ written answer booklets in case they are any technical difficulties! No need to send them to us unless requested.

Invigilation: Teachers should invigilate their students taking the paper. The test can be completed in any 2 hour 30 minute slot during the day.

The Link: The link you are given will only work for you that particular day. If you need to do the exam Tuesday, for example, we will send a Tuesday link. If students log in for the whole 2 hour 30 min exam (to submit answers as they go for example), this is timed and time up warning will appear. Most will just log on once they have their answers to fill in.

What’s it like? Students can try out online submission puzzles on the page to see how it will work. You won’t get immediate results on 22nd Jan though.

Technical difficulties or worried about access to lab space / iPads? Email and we’ll sort something out.

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.



What is it?

  • The 5 questions take 2 hours and there’s 30 minutes to cover submitting student answers
  • Results will be sent to the teacher contact within a week.
  • There is an honour code for the AILO 2024 Preliminary Round. Students must not share any questions, answers with anyone online or otherwise.

What does a student need for submission?

  • Chrome browser ideally. It won’t work on Internet Explorer.
  • Scrap paper for working out the puzzles, pens, coloured-pens are useful.
  • They must keep a record of their answers on an answer book or any page as they go.


  • Registered teachers will receive a link to the online test at 8am on Monday 24th Jan 2024.
  • Students who registered interest will not receive the link (it goes to the teacher email address they submitted as their invigilator)
  • Teachers should share the link with their students for submitting answers
  • This link brings students to a Welcome Page with guidelines for students to read. Guidelines including agreeing not to sharing any questions/answers with anyone else online or otherwise.
  • Only click ‘Start’ once your teacher says so.

Submission Page:

  • Once the students click ‘Start’, they access the Answer Submission Page (If students access this immediately the 2.5 hours begins).
  • Students fill out their details and their email address (so we can send a once-off confirmation of submission email). If a student doesn’t get a confirmation email from us (by Monday eve), they should email If we don’t have a submission for some reason, we will request the student’s copy of their answers.
  • Students can’t submit at the end if they haven’t filled in their details.
  • There are 5 questions answer fields, all on one scrolling page.

Registering: Teachers can register their school here before 2pm 19th January 2024.

How long do I have?: You have 2 and a half hours once you click ‘Start’. This is timed by us so we can see submission time. You will get a warning to submit when time is up.

>> Trouble-shooting >> If it won’t print, go to save as PDF, and then print again.

Where does it take place?: The AILO Online Test System. A link for the Preliminary Round will be sent out at 8am on Monday 23rd January 2023 to registered teachers. Teachers can share their link with their class group to access the submission page. The link must be exactly correct.

>> Trouble-shooting >> If you get an ‘invalid id’ message, please check the link is exactly as your teacher gave. It is easier to click on the link they send to ensure it’s fully correct. Email if there are further issues immediately.

What’s it like? Students can try out puzzles here to see how it will work. You won’t get immediate results on 22nd Jan though.

What is the 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.

How the Preliminary Round Will Work?

On Monday 22nd January 2024, registered teachers will receive a email from us with a link to the Preliminary Round. It is very straight-forward and the two important things are to use Chrome and to make sure students write down their answers as they go / save or print a copy of their answers. 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 write down their answers.

What will I see?

Once students access the link, they reach a welcome page with guidelines. Once the teacher says it ok to begin, they can click ‘Start’, They must add their name, school, date of birth and an email address. The email address will be used to send out a ‘confirmation receipt’. If any student doesn’t get an email on Monday, they can email  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. Students should note their answers on their answer paper as they go. It is important they don’t go back and forth on the system as they could lose information, like any online form.

What if I have Technical Issues?

The Chrome browser should be used for accessing the link. On Monday 22nd January, we will be online at for any technical issues that arise. We don’t envisage issues with the online system.

What did I get Invalid ID?

If students get an error message with ‘invalid id’, it means the link hasn’t been entered correctly. It’s easier to click on it click to ensure it’s correct.

Computing Resources?

Please contact us at if there any issues with students accessing the answer submission sheet online.

Why do I need to write down my 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 write down their answers as they go or save a copy locally on the computer/print.  It is really important to keep a copy of the answers as there is nothing else we can mark if someone’s computer crashes or an error occurs on the submission system etc.