Welcome to the National English Olympiad Website 

NB: Teachers are required to log in to view their school's entries and results.

2021 Study Guide Memo

Suggested answers to the questions in the Study Guide are available for download.  Please click on the link below for the memo:

2021 Study Guide Memo - This is My Story

Please note: some of the questions in the Study Guide are open ended and do not have definitive answers.  The suggested responses included in the memo should therefore not be viewed as 'model answers'.

NB: 2021 Examination date change

The 2021 English Olympiad examination date has changed.  The new date is Tuesday 16 March 2021.


2021 Call for Entries

Entries are now closed for the 46th National English Olympiad that is due to be held on Tuesday, 16 March 2021.

The Olympiad takes the form of an “open book” examination.  The theme for 2021 is “People and Personas” and the prescribed anthology is entitled This is My Story.  Candidates will enjoy a short selection of interesting writings that includes poetry, prose and a dramatic monologue.

The English Olympiad is open to all learners (HL and FAL English) who will be in Grades 9 - 12 in 2021, that is, those learners who are currently in Grades 8 - 11.

Entry fee: R90 per candidate

Closing date: 21 October 2020 - CLOSED FOR 2021

Please click on the links below to download the 2021 Call for Entries and Entry Form:

Call for Entries - for information about the Olympiad, how to enter and prizes up for grabs.

Entry Form - please complete this form, and email or fax it to the Olympiad Officer before the closing date.

RESULTS for the 2020 English Olympiad now available!

The results for the 2020 English Olympiad are now available for teachers to view on this website.  To view your school's results please log in with your Username and Password (contact the Olympiad Officer if you do not have these).  Please note that ONLY teachers have these credentials and may log in the view results.

Congratulations to all candidates!

How to view your Olympiad results

Teachers must log in with their Username and Password.  Once you have logged in, click on "Entries" in the grey task bar.  Your candidates list should appear with symbols in the Results column next to the names of candidates who wrote the exam.

What the symbols mean:

D - Diamond (80% +)
G - Gold (70-79%)
S - Silver (60-69%)
B - Bronze (50-59%)
M - Merit (40-49%)
P - Participation (0-39%)
U - Unclassified (did not complete paper / insufficient answers)
2020 English Olympiad Winners!

HL Top 100 in rank order
FAL Top 19 in rank order 

 2020 Home Language (HL) TOP 20 in RANK ORDER!

Rank Title First name Last name School
1 Ms
Roshnee Islamic School
2 Ms
Durban Girls College
3 Ms
Durban Girls College
4 Mr Jack
Fairmont High School
5 Ms Samantha
St Mary's School, Waverley
6 Ms
Cornwall Hill College
7 Ms Emma
St Mary's School, Waverley
8 Ms Colombe
Obono Eyono
Westville Girls' High School
9 Ms Lilitha
St Anne's Diocesan College
10 Mr Andi
St John's College
11 Mr Johann
Pretoria Boys' High School
12 Mr James
St Dunstan's College
13 Ms Gabriella
Parktown High School for Girls
14 Ms Maria Jagoda
Cornwall Hill College
15 Ms Jordyn
York High School
16 Ms Sesame
Maru-A-Pula School
17 Mr Francois
Camps Bay High School
18 Ms Lucy
Our Lady of Fatima Dominican Convent
19 Ms Natasha
St Anne's Diocesan College
20 Ms Jessica

St Anne's Diocesan College

2020 First Additional Language (FAL) Top 19 in RANK ORDER!
Rank Title First Name Surname School
1 Ms Tinyko
Khanyisa Education Centre
2 Ms Marli
du Preez
DF Malherbe High School
3 Mr Tsianda
Mbilwi Secondary School
4 Ms Kwenama
Zenex - Izimpande Zokukhanya
5 Ms Yanga
Maths and Science Leadership Academy
6 Mr Samuel
Machabeng College Lesotho
7 Ms Alethea
Swartland High School
8 Ms Kayla
Otto du Plessis High School
9 Mr Jason
Otto du Plessis High School
10 Mr Mukundi
Mbilwi Secondary School
11 Ms Uzwothe
Mbilwi Secondary School
12 Ms Nhlayiseko
Khanyisa Education Centre
13 Ms Liyema
Woolhope Secondary School
14 Ms Nyiko
Khanyisa Education Centre
15 Ms Boineelo
Vryburg High School
16 Ms  Bongeka
Zenex - Izimpande Zokukhanya
17 Ms  Mengezi
Mlokothwa High School
18 Ms Anrone
Hoërskool Garsfontein
19 Ms Dimakatso Thoka Leap Science and Maths School, Benmore

 Saul Musker, 2nd place in the 2012 English Olympiad, reflects on writing the exam:

Isaac Asimov, the celebrated American science fiction writer, once declared: ‘If the doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I'd type a little faster.’ Reading this quote, my mind wandered to the top-corridor English classroom where I recently wrote my last English Olympiad, with Mrs Leaver’s voice in the distance: ‘Six minutes left, everyone! Hurry along!’ Six minutes left! Lord have mercy! It wasn’t that I was worried about time; I had just finished my last piece, and was about to give it a final read-over. No; I owed my despair instead to the realisation that I would never write another Olympiad. For me, the Olympiad is more than just another exam or competition. It is protected time for creativity; a dedicated three hours devoted to writing. I only wish I could write one every day, to escape the usual chaos of our existence, to let the ink pour out of my grateful mind. F Scott Fitzgerald observed that ‘all good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.’ So dive, ye stranger! Submerge yourself in the cool green waters of your imagination, of the English language, of this moment in time!

Achievements of the English Olympiad as a project
The De Beers English Olympiad won a medal in the Academic Achievements category of the Eastwave Radio Nelson Mandela International  Day Community Leadership Awards in August 2015.
The De Beers English Olympiad was a DEVELOPMENT AWARD FINALIST in the 17th Annual Business Day Business Arts South Africa (BASA) Awards partnered by Hollard. The achievement was celebrated at the BASA Awards on 26 August 2014.

            News and Updates

  • 2021 ENGLISH OLYMPIAD closed for entries. Download the Call for Entries and  Entry Form.
  • The theme for the 2021 English Olympiad is "People and Personas", and the anthology is entitled This is My Story.
  •  Results for the 2020 English Olympiad are available! Please log in with your English Olympiad username and password to view your school's results.  Click on Entries in the grey task bar. You will see the symbol/result next to each candidate's name if they wrote.
  •  2020 CERTIFICATES will be posted to all schools by end of September 2020.
  • HELP for English Teachers! See Teaching English Today by clicking here for more information.
  • Find past exam papers, English exercises, study inspiration or guidance for First Additional Language students by going to the "Exam Materials" tab at the top of this website for past exam papers and FAL Study Guides. You may wish to visit A DICTIONARY OF SOUTH AFRICAN ENGLISH at: http://dsae.co.za/
  • 046 603 1145 (09h00-16h30)
  • Email: olympiad@foundation.org.za



 The English Olympiad is a joint project between the Grahamstown Foundation and the South African Council for English Education (SACEE).

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Grahamstown Foundation

For information about other Grahamstown Foundation Arts Education projects, please visit: 



 South African Council for English Education


South African Council for English Education (SACEE) National Website: http://www.sacee.org.za/

Prize partner and sponsor


Rhodes University has

sponsored the Top 50 Scholarships

for over 15 years.