The Competition

The American Regional Biology Competition is a national biology competition that tests students on their knowledge in cell structure, interactions between organisms, homeostasis, genetics, and evolution.

Rules and Logistics


The ARBC will be a regionally based competition so each team should register under their region. Visit our regions page to learn more.

Competition Rules

There will be 4 official rounds of competition intended for teams of 3-4 people.

Paper Round

In the Paper Round, each team will be given 2 published scientific papers or excerpts to read through. These papers will involve current findings in biological fields of study. Each team will have 50 minutes to read through the papers and answer select questions designed to test comprehension, interpretation, and inference. This round will be open internet, notes and most of all, friends!

Team Round

In the Team Round, each team will be given a set of 6 passages with 3-6 questions for each passage. These questions will test the competitors’ depth of understanding and problem-solving capabilities. Teamwork and collaboration are strongly recommended. Each team will have 30 minutes to complete this round.

Wave Round

In the Wave Round, team members answer questions one by one. The team must fully answer one question before they receive the next question. The added element of time pressure means teams must optimize time spent per question with number of questions answered to get the most points they can in this round. Questions will be given in order of increasing difficulty. Teams will have 30 minutes to answer as many of the 15 questions as possible.

Individual Round

In the Individual Round, each competitor will complete a timed exam consisting of 40 multiple-choice questions. This round will test each competitor’s speed and ability to recall basic biological concepts. Each competitor will have 50 minutes to complete as many questions as possible without the help of their books or teammates! Scientific calculators are allowed and recommended to help with certain questions.


Our Subject Breakdown will be as follows. Each Section will be weighted equally.

Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical Biology
Genetics, Genomics, and Evolutionary Genetics
Human Anatomy, Physiology and Medical Biology
Systematics, Bioinformatics, and Integrative Biology
Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution