HIPPO 2023 Semi-final Guide

HIPPO 2023 - Semi-final Guide for Candidates

Instructions to Candidates
Remotely Observed Online Examinations Hippo 2023 Semi-final Round

Dear Hippo candidates,

Please check the results from https://english.edu.my/hippo2023.html to find out whether you qualified to the semi-final round of HIPPO 2023.

If you're one of the semi-finalists, big congratulations to you. Please note the following announcement.

1) Date & Start Time (by level) of the Semi-final Round

1.1) Date of competition: 20 May 2023 (Saturday)

1.2) Start Time by Level:-
For Little HIPPO semi-finalists: 2.00pm & 3.35pm, afternoon (duration about 90 minutes) - to be assigned one of the slot
For HIPPO 1 semi-finalists: 9.45am & 11.25am, morning (duration about 90 minutes) - to be assigned one of the slot
For HIPPO 2 semi-finalists: 5.10pm, afternoon (duration about 90 minutes)
For HIPPO 3 semi-finalists: 8.00am, morning (duration about 100 minutes)
For HIPPO 4 & 5 semi-finalists: 8.00pm, night (duration about 100 minutes)
For HIPPO S10 & S15 semi-finalists: 5.10pm, afternoon (duration about 100 minutes)
For HIPPO S19 semi-finalists: 7.50am, morning (duration about 110 minutes)

2) Test Format
The tests for the semi-final round of the Olympiad will consist of a reading test, a writing test (30 questions) and an essay (except for Little Hippo).

Number of questions and maximum time by level

Little HIPPO - 30 questions for Reading (max 30 minutes), 30 questions for writing (max 45 minutes)
HIPPO 1 - 40 questions for Reading (max 30 minutes), 30 questions for writing & a free-writing task, essay* (max 45 minutes)
HIPPO 2 - 34 questions for Reading (max 30 minutes), 30 questions for writing & a free-writing task, essay* (max 45 minutes)
HIPPO 3 - 34 questions for Reading (max 40 minutes), 30 questions for writing & a free-writing task, essay* (max 45 minutes) 
HIPPO 4, 5, S10, S15 - 40 questions for Reading (max 45 minutes), 30 questions for writing & a free-writing task, essay* (max 45 minutes)
HIPPO S19 - 40 questions for Reading (max 50 minutes), 30 questions for writing & a free-writing task, essay* (max 45 minutes)

* Free-writing task (essay) with 100 – 200 words depending on the category. The essay will be assessed only in case two or more candidates have the scores on both the reading and the writing test.
** The level of difficulty of all the questions will be one level higher than the one in the preliminary round.

3) Online Test Instructions

Please make sure you read the instructions carefully. By participating in the online preliminary round, you accept the following rules and regulations.

3.1) To use Laptop or Computer only for the HIPPO online test. Standard internet browsers. No other software or application to be opened in the same browser. Using Smartphone/tablet/iPad to do the online test is not recommended due to high security setup for the HIPPO online test site. You can use the Smartphone/tablet/iPad as second device for camera.

3.2) Stable Internet connection is very important. 

3.3) Please download the Zoom application for Windows or Mac prior to the examination date. Rename the ZOOM profile to your first name, and test it before the competition date. No Virtual background is allowed. Watch how to use Zoom Application from here:

3.4) You need to be on time for the online tests. Late admissions after 5 minutes of the Start Time stated in Section 1.2 will not be allowed in order not to disturb ongoing examination.

3.5) Please join 5 minutes before the test time. You will be placed in the Zoom Waiting Room. The invigilator will admit you to the session right on time. 

3.6) Please make sure you have a working webcam in your laptop/computer. If you don't have a working webcam in your laptop, you will need to login the Zoom using second device such as your smartphone, tablet or iPad with camera. 

3.7) 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.

3.8) Once all the invigilator has made sure all the students are present, your invigilator will guide you through the log-in process. Once you have reached the test page, your invigilator will send you the password to access the tests. The password is the same for both tests. The invigilator will provide you with all the necessary guidance and details. Please communicate with the invigilator through ZOOM CHAT.

3.9) Please make sure you have a stable internet connection. Each candidate is allowed to access the examinations only ONCE. If you experience any technical difficulties, you will need to inform your invigilator, who will be able to contact Global Hippo Association for further guidance.

3.10) During the test, DO NOT SWITCH BROWSER, click BACK, close BROWSER, visit other WEB SITE, or open another TAB. If you do that, the system will log you out and you will receive 0 mark for your test.

3.11) During the test, you are not allowed to make screenshots or take photos of the test questions. If you do that, the system will log you out and you will receive 0 mark for your test.

3.12) You will see the timer for each of the tests and you will know how much time left you have.

3.13) Once you have completed the test, you need to click on SUBMIT. If you run out of time and don’t manage to submit, your answers will be saved automatically. Do not close the browser.

3.14) If you finish the test before the time is up, you can proceed to next test. After you have finished a test, notify the invigilator via Zoom chat by writing Finished.

3.15) Do not switch off the webcam at any point. If you need to ask a question, please use the ZOOM CHAT. The invigilator cannot provide any information about the test questions.

3.16) You will start with READING test first. Then Writing test. Once you have submitted the second test , you can leave the Zoom meeting. Make sure you first inform the invigilator via chat. Best of luck!

4) How Online Examinations Work

4.1) The candidate needs to be the only one in the room, and cannot have anything on the desk / table. 

4.2) Before the beginning of the test, each candidate needs to show his / her room and the desk to the invigilator using the PC camera.

4.3) Please get ready your identification card - mykad, mykids, passport to proof that you are the candidate.

4.4) All the candidates need to start the same unit at the same time. For that reason, the invigilator will guide you through the process and advise when to start.

4.5) You need to get ready your STUDEND ID and DATE OF BIRTH details. These details should have sent to you via 016-2243400 before the test. Please get all the messages from the WhatsApp chat. Write on a piece of paper so you can key in before the test. The invigilator or the support online will not provide these information during the test time. If you don't have these information, please inform 0162243400 through WhatsApp, ONE WEEK before the semi-final test.

4.6)  After the environment check, the invigilator will start the briefing. You will be sent the link to the online examinations via Chat. You can also use the link here https://soa.hippo-competition.org/quiz/start. Once on the page, you need to choose your country from the drop-down menu, insert your candidate ID, DOB and the password provided by the invigilator through ZOOM CHAT. Please see the screen below.

5) Past year papers and who are you competing with?

Download past year papers here
username: imchampion
Password: Hippo&ESB2022

For semi-final round, you are going to compete with participants around the world. Many of them are very good, unlike in the preliminary round where you only compete with participants from Malaysia. Please work harder to prepare.

In HIPPO 2022, about 11 participants from Malaysia made to the Final round, in Rome. We hope to see you in HIPPO 2023 World Final round in Rome this year!

All the best

HIPPO Malaysia Team

Once all the candidates are all ready to start, they need to go to https://soa.hippo-competition.org/quiz/start. Once on the page, candidates need to choose their country from the drop-down menu, insert their Student ID, DOB and the password provided by the invigilator. Student ID and DOB must match the record sent from 016-2243400.

After inserting all the necessary data, you will see the following screen:-

NB The whole test, e.g. reading, is within one page. Candidates need to scroll up and down and can change their answers until they submit the exam or until the time is up.

* the example here is for preliminary round. 

The candidates will also see the timer at the top of the page:

After you have has submitted the exam, you will be redirected to the test home page. You can continue to start the Writing unit.

After you finished BOTH Reading and Writing Test, you are done with all the test. Type FINISH in the Zoom Chat box to inform the invigilator. You can leave Zoom quietly in order not to disturb others.

Hippo Team wish you the best of luck!


Candidates are strongly advised to make sure they have a stable internet connection. Each candidate can log in only once. 
Taking pictures of the examination pages is strictly forbidden. The copy / paste function is disabled for both units.


1) Each Student ID and DOB can only be used ONCE. Each test must have the date/time submitted via the sheet so HIPPO can recognize the results. DO NOT ATTEMPT outside the testing time. You results will be disqualified!

2) If you want to try out the online test, please visit https://soa.hippo-competition.org/quiz/sample
** STUDENT ID can only be used ONCE. If the system said you have done, you cannot do again (even though you may claim you haven't try it). Nothing much we can do to reset.

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