Welcome to the De Beers English Olympiad Website 

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

Results for the 2020 English Olympiad coming soon

The results for the 2020 English Olympiad will be available soon.  The national lockdown has caused a delay in the marking process, but we will inform teachers as soon as results are available.  Check this website for more notices regarding the results and general Olympiad news.


How to read your Olympiad results

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)

Study Guide Memo

Please note that the answers offered are suggestions and other responses may be valid.

Answers have only been supplied for the individual work questions. Group questions should vary greatly in responses.

Click on the link below to access the Study Guide Memo:

Study Guide Memo 2020


2020 Call for Entries

Please note that entries have closed for the 2020 English Olympiad.  If you missed the closing date, please try again in August 2020 when we will be open for entries to the 2021 Olympiad.

Calling all English Olympiad enthusiasts!  We are gearing up for the 2020 English Olympiad.  Our theme for 2020 is "Consequences" and the anthology is entitled Aftermath

The English Olympiad is open to all learners (HL and FAL English) who will be in Grades 9 - 12 in 2020, that is, those learners who are currently in Grades 8 - 11.

Entry fee: R125 per entry

Closing date: 11 October 2019

Please click on the links below to download the Call for Entries and Entry Form for 2020:

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

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


2019 RESULTS!!!

The 2019 HL Top 100 and FAL Top 18 are available for download! Please click on the links below:

HL Top 100

FAL Top 18

Well done to all schools and candidates that took part! 

To check your school's full results, please log on with your username and password to access them.  Click on the "Entries" tab.


2019 English Olympiad Winners!

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Back row: Bianca Nel, Oudtshoorn High School; Dewan Barnard, Oudtshoorn High School; Caro Botha, Parel Vallei High School; Bianca Jardim, Rhenish Girls' High School; Marcelle Rademeyer, St Cyprian's School; Michaela Scholtz, Durban Girls' High School.

Middle row: Emily Barnes, Parktown High School for Girls; Yunan Liu, Maru-A-Pula School Botswana; Kerin Stead, York High School; Caitlyn Venter, St Dominic's Priory School; Amira Karstaedt, King David High School Victory Park; Max Millela, St John's College; Caitlin Honeywell, Durban Girls' College.

Front row: Katherine Duvenage, Roedean School SA (HL 3rd place winner); Shannon Morrison, Cornwall Hill College (HL 1st place winner); Lethokuhle Khumalo, Port Shepstone High School (FAL 1st place winner).

 2019 English Olympiad HL TOP 20 in RANK ORDER!

Rank Title First name Last name School
1 Ms Shannon
Cornwall Hill College
2 Mr Sean
Cornwall Hill College
3 Ms Katherine
Roedean School SA
4 Ms Emily Barnes
Parktown High School for Girls
5 Ms Yunan Liu Maru-A-Pula School Botswana
6 Ms
Ilana Jacobs St Mary's DSG Pretoria
7 Ms Kerin Stead York High School
8 Ms Caitlyn
Venter St Dominic's Priory School
9 Ms Amira
Karstaedt King David High School Victory Park
10 Mr Max
St John's College
11 Ms Caitlin
Honeywell Durban Girls' College
12 Ms Marcelle Rademeyer St Cyprian's School
13 Ms Michaela
Durban Girls' High School
14 Ms Bianca Jardim
Rhenish Girls' High School
15 Ms Caro Botha
Parel Vallei High School
16 Ms Naomi Suchland Reddam House Atlantic Seaboard
17 Ms Holly  Munks Durban Girls' College
18 Ms Charlotte Abrahams Crawford College Sandton
19 Mr Gary Louw  Grantleigh
20 Ms Hanna Essop

Roedean School SA

2019 First Additional Language (FAL) Top 18 in RANK ORDER!
Rank Title First Name Surname School
1 Ms Lethokuhle Khumalo
Port Shepstone High School
2 Ms Heleen Pretorius Hoërskool Garsfontein
3 Ms Bianca Nel
Oudtshoorn High School
4 Mr Dewan Barnard Oudtshoorn High School
5 Ms Mieke
van den Berg Hoërskool Garsfontein
6 Ms Linda Weymers Wessel Maree High School
7 Ms Sanda Mqadi
Port Shepstone High School
8 Ms Sonet Vermaak
Hoërskool Nelspruit
9 Mr Dylan Botha
Hoërskool Randburg
10 Ms Simoné Smit
Brackenfell High School
11 Mr Frikkie Scheepers
Ferdinand Postma High School
12 Mr Ben
Oudtshoorn High School
13 Ms Zandria
Pienaar Ferdinand Postma High School
14 Ms Carla
Kruger  Die Hoërskool Menlopark 
15 Ms Levonne  Roux  Hoërskool Randburg
16 Ms  Chantelle Roets Oudtshoorn High School
17 Ms  Nakeisha
The Kings College
18 Ms Karla
van Rooy
Oudtshoorn High School

Click here for an explanation of the symbols.

 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

  • 2020 ENGLISH OLYMPIAD - download the Call for Entries and  Entry Form from the links on the left to enter the 2020 Olympiad.
  • The theme for the 2020 English Olympiad is "Consequences", and the anthology is entitled Aftermath.
  •  HL TOP 100 RANK ORDER for 2019 now available for download! Please see the links on the left.
  • Results for the 2019 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.
  •  2019 CERTIFICATES will be posted to all schools by August.
  • 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, the South African Council for English Education (SACEE) and De Beers.

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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/

Main sponsor:

The De Beers Group of Companies 

through the De Beers Fund, 

has supported the English Olympiad since 1985.



Prize partner and sponsor


Rhodes University has

sponsored the Top 50 Scholarships

for 15 years.