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Event Rules

Important Note

All questions will be based upon information found in Brain Facts. Neuroscience research is constantly updating our knowledge of the brain and nervous system, but to make our competition fair for all students, only content covered in Brain Facts will be considered correct. Information based on other sources cannot be accepted. 

All Sessions

  • Students must be from Michigan.
  • Students must be between 14 and 18 years of age at the time of the competition.
  • Students must be registered to participate in the Brain Bee at MSU.
  • Students can only participate in one local brain bee per year.
  • All recording devices, including video cameras, are prohibited. Note taking by students or other members of the audience is also prohibited. This will result in an immediate disqualification.
  • All members of the audience (students, parents, teachers, etc) should refrain from conversations during the competition. During Session I, all non-participating individuals will be asked to leave the testing area.
  • Any student that is being disruptive during the competition will be disqualified. Disruptive members of the audience will be asked to leave.
  • All electronic devices (cell phones, smart watches, tablets, etc) must be turned off and put away during the competition.
  • Students will not be excused to use the restroom during the competition. There will be breaks between sessions.
  • Students must leave all bags (backpacks, purses, laptop bags, etc) with their parents, teachers, or in a designated area in the lecture hall during the competition.
  • Any student found cheating in the competition will be disqualified immediately.

Session I: Written Exam

  • Students will be provided with a scantron form.
  • Exam will consist of 50 multiple choice questions.
  • Students will have one hour to finish the exam.
  • Only participating students will be allowed in the testing area.

Session II: Oral Exam

  • The students who scored the highest in Session I will move on to Session II.
  • All students will be asked the same questions. All questions will be short answer (1-2 words or a short phrase.)
  • Students will have 15 seconds to write down their answer for each question. The timer begins at the end of the question.
  • After the 15 seconds each student will display their answer.
  • No hints will be given.
  • The two students with the most correct answers will advance to the final round. In the case of a tie, an elimination question will be given to determine who advances.

Session III: Championship Round

  • The top students from Session II will compete in a head to head oral examination championship round.
  • Elimination is based on 3 wrong answers.
  • If both students give a 3rd wrong answer in the same round, the competition will continue until one student answers correctly and one incorrectly in the same round.
  • If after the set number of questions, neither student has 3 wrong answers, the competitor with the fewest wrong answer will be declared the winner. If both students have an equal number of wrong answers, the scores from the multiple choice test will be used as a tie breaker.

The Winner

The winner of the Brain Bee at MSU will receive:

  • $700 toward travel costs (airfare, hotel, and registration) for the student and a guardian to attend the National Brain Bee competition

If the winner cannot attend the National Brain Bee, the prize money will go to the Second Place winner. In the event that the Second Place winner also cannot attend the National Brain Bee, the money will not be awarded.

Other Prizes

  • Second Place will receive $200.
  • Third Place will receive $100.
  • All participants will receive a certificate of completion.