HIPPO 2020

8th International English Language Olympiad


Announcement from Global Hippo Association

Dear Hippo candidates,

After the Hippo Association board meeting held end of May 2020, a decision has been made to run the final round of Hippo 2020 online. As we have stressed previously, the well-being of our students and their teachers is our priority. While the situation has improved in many countries, there are many others that are still facing social distancing measures and even lockdown. We do not want to impose on our students having to travel and risk their health in order to participate. There would be too many restrictions to be able to enjoy the moment.

For these reasons, we have decided to hold Hippo 2020 Final round ONLINE, from 14th to 19th September 2020. Finalists will be assesses using the new CLASSIC & CADETS Gatehouse Award Online exams which are approved and recognized by the OFQUAL. Finalists will be contacted by country coordinators and provided with detailed information and guidance. Country coordinators will be invited to Italy to take part in the winner proclamation and awarding ceremony, on behalf of the winners, to be held on 22nd October, at 3pm local time, which will be broadcast on the official Hippo Olympiad YouTube channel.

We are constantly working towards finalising this year’s edition. It has taken a while to make a final decision as we were doing our best to find a solution that would suit everybody. We thank you and your teachers for the patience and trust you have given us.

All the best,
Global Hippo Association

Notice to all semi-finalists

Semi-final Date: 24th June 2020 to 28th June 2020
Time: Various time slot. HIPPO Coordinator will assign them into different groups. 
Mode of competition: ONLINE using Zoom and HIPPO System. 
What is required: Laptop/PC with webcam for the test and Zoom. For Laptop/computer without webcam, you must use your smart phone with camera for Zoom and Laptop/PC for the test.


Dear student,

Please make sure you read the guidance carefully. By participating in the online semi-final round, you accept the rules and regulations.

1) You need to be on time for the online tests. You must login to the Zoom meeting link provided specially for you 15 minutes before the test time. You will be placed in the waiting room. Please ensure your Zoom software is installed before this. You can download from https://zoom.us/download and test the software before the online test. You may be denied the participation if you are late for the online test.

2) Please make sure you have a working webcam. You can connect to Zoom using your phone and use your PC for the online test.

3) Please make sure that there is nobody else in the room. You will also be asked to show to the invigilator that there is nothing on the desk and nobody in the room using the webcam before you are allowed to take the online test.

4) Once the invigilator has made sure all the students are present, you will receive the link to the online test and the password. You will need to copy & paste or type the full link in the web browser in order to take the online test. The web site will ask for the password, key in the password we supply at that time. The password is the same for both Reading and Writing tests. You need to log in using your first name, surname and candidate number.
Make sure your have your HIPPO candidate number/ID (same number/ID you used in the preliminary round) before the online test. It it the 6 digits number starting from 8xxxxx (for example 823711)- contact 012-3833218 if you forget your candidate number/ID. You can key in your first name and surname following the format below:
Lau Wan Ni - first name is Wan Ni, last name is Lau
Rachel Lee Jia Yian - first name is Jia Yian, last name is Rachel Lau
Aisah Erina Binti Abdul Kalim - first name is Aisah Erina Binti, last name is Abdul Kalim
Sanmathy A/P Ramachanran
- first name is Sanmathy A/P, last name is Ramachanran

Make sure you key in your HIPPO candidate number/ID correctly. If you key in wrongly, we may not be able to retrieve your result from the system. You will be marked as ZERO and disqualified from HIPPO Semi-Final. 

5) In case of internet problems, or problems with the test, you can log in again by adding number 9 before the candidate number/ID and new before your name. For example, your student ID is 812345 and your name is Lau Wan Ni, you can retake the test again using candidate number/ID 9812345 and your name new Lau Wan Ni 

6) During the online test, you are not allowed to switch tabs or open other programs (except Zoom and browser) on your laptop/PC. If you do so, you will be warned the first time, and if you try again, you will be locked out of the test and disqualified from the Semi-Final.

7) During the test, you are not allowed to make screenshots or take photos of the test questions. If you do so, you will be disqualified from the Semi-Final.

8) You will see the timer for each of the online tests (Reading & Writing) on the screen and you will know how much time left you have.

9) Once you have completed the test, you need to click on SUBMIT and you will get the following message: Thank you for taking Semifinal Round Hippo 2020 Exam. If you didn't click SUBMIT, your result will not be submitted and you will be marked ZERO. 

10) If you finish the Reading test before the time is up, you need to stay in the room and wait for the next test - Writing.

11) After you have finished a test, notify the invigilator via Zoom chat by writing Finished.

12) Do not switch off the webcam at any point. If you need to ask a question, please use the Zoom chat. Please note that the invigilator cannot provide any information about the test questions.

13) Once you have submitted the writing test, you can leave the Zoom meeting. Make sure you first inform the invigilator via chat. Make sure you click SUBMIT before you end the online test. 

Best of luck!

For further questions, please contact Mr CK Gan, HIPPO Coordinator at 012-3833218 or email Malaysia@hippo-olympiad.org

Semi-final Format

Averagely, top 10% of the preliminary round students from Malaysia will be qualified to the semi-final round. The list of semi-finalists will be expanded to include all the students whose number of points is the same as the number of points of the last students in the first 10%. For 2020, we have over 580 students qualified for HIPPO Semi-Final round.

The exam level for the semi-final round will be one CEFR level higher than the one in the preliminary round. The tests for the semi-final round of the Olympiad will consist of: a reading test (multiple choice), a writing test (30 questions) and an essay (except for Little Hippo). The maximum allowable time is stated below.

LITTLE HIPPO - Reading (30 questions in 30 minutes) and Writing (30 question, no essay in 45 minutes). Total is 75 minutes.
HIPPO 1 - Reading (40 questions in 30 minutes) and Writing (30 question & essay in 45 minutes). Total is 75 minutes.
HIPPO 2 - Reading (34 questions in 35 minutes) and Writing (30 question & essay in 45 minutes). TOTAL 80 minutes
HIPPO 3 - Reading (34 questions in 40 minutes) and Writing (30 question & essay in 45 minutes). TOTAL 85 minutes
HIPPO 4 - Reading (40 questions in 45 minutes) and Writing (30 question & essay in 45 minutes). TOTAL 90 minutes
HIPPO 5 & HIPPO S1 - Reading (40 questions in 45 minutes) and Writing (30 question & essay in 45 minutes). TOTAL 90 minutes
HIPPO S2 - Reading (40 questions in 50 minutes) and Writing (30 question & essay in 45 minutes). TOTAL 95 minutes

Final Round

In the final round of the Olympiad, the candidates will be taking a Gatehouse Awards exam, all 4 skills included. The test samples / past papers are available on http://www.hippo-olympiad.org. The exam level for the final round will be one CEFR level higher than the one in the preliminary round that is the same as the semi-final round test.

Marking and Ranking

Tests of reading and listening are marked by an OMR device and for that reason need to be properly filled in. Candidates are required to use a pen while completing the OMR form. An OMR sample form will be available on the website two weeks before the preliminary round of the Olympiad
at the latest.

In the semi-final round, the essay will be marked only if two or more candidates have the same number of points on both the reading and the writing test.

The ranking list for all categories as well as the names of the candidates who qualified for the final round will be available on http://www.hippo-olympiad.org on end of July 2020.

The final round places will be assigned in the following way:

Top 150 finalists will be admitted directly from the semi-final ranking list. The number of finalists per category will be proportional to the number of preliminary round participants in each category.

Additional 10 places will be assigned to the regular categories with the highest number of enrolments independent of the zone and in accordance with the ranking list.

In order to promote a multicultural environment, wildcards will be granted to the best participant from each of the countries that failed to produce finalists.

GLOBAL INPUT keeps the right to increase the number of finalists if the number of applicants exceeds 40,000, all in accordance with the Olympiad regulations.

The finalists will have to confirm their participation in the final round by 30th April 2020. In case a candidate is unable to travel to the finals, the next one on the ranking list will be invited.

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