School of Social Sciences



OzClo Preparation Package

2018 Information can be found on the OzClo website

Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad for Secondary Students 2017

OzCLO is the Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad, a state and national competition for secondary students. It introduces students to language puzzles from which they can learn about the richness, diversity and systematic nature of language, while exercising natural logic and reasoning skills. No prior knowledge of other languages, linguistics or computer programming is necessary.

Linguistics is a wide-ranging discipline that explores the nature of human language. It’sconcerned with what languages have in common and how they are different, how they are structured, how they are learnt, how they are used in different cultures and societies, and how they change over time. The particular focus in OzCLO is on logical thinking as it relates to discovering how languages work. You can get an idea of what this means from the sample problems in the downloadable preparation materials.

OzCLO has been running since 2008, and attracts teams from schools around Australia. It is run by academics at major universities around Australia. The competition is in two rounds. Round 1 is held in local regions, in our case the whole of WA. The top three teams from each region go into the national competition in Round 2. We’re also hoping that the national top team will be able to travel to the international competition in Dublin later in 2017. We hold Round 1 entirely online so that your students can participate from your school under your supervision, no matter where your school is, without the difficulties of organising transport to UWA. An optional On-campus Training Session and the National Round are both held at UWA.


The competition is designed for students from Years 9 to 12. Past experience shows that there is appeal across humanities and science interests. Students who like language and languages, maths, computers, or natural sciences are likely to be interested in this competition. In fact, any secondary school student who enjoys the sample problems in the OzCLO Preparation Package is a potential contestant! Secondary students don't usually know much about linguistics and computational linguistics, so they might not know if they are interested until they try a few sample problems themselves.

In the competition, all teams will complete the same tasks, but teams will be ranked within their age level: Junior (Years 9-10), or Senior (Years 11-12). Teams consist of four students. Teams are usually all Junior or all Senior students; mixed level teams compete at the higher level.



OzCLO activities for 2017 are:

  1. In-­school Preparation
    All students who are registered for the WA competition in Round 1 must have tried at least some of the practice problems in the Preparation Package available at Solutions are provided.

  2. Optional In-school Selection 
    Some schools choose one or more problems from the Preparation Package to hold an inschool competition to select their best students to go into teams for the WA competition.

  3. Training
    The training program is designed for students who have not competed in OzCLO before, and will
    • explain the details of the competition,
    • talk about linguistics, computational linguistics and language technologies, and
    • demonstrate sample problems, with tips for solving them!

    You have two options: attend a training session at UWA or use the equivalent training materials available online. The Training Session at UWA will be held on Wednesday, February 22nd 12:30–2:30. To attend, please contact as soon as possible before Monday 20th February with the number of students and teachers attending. We will send venue and other details when they are finalised.

    See the attached document for the online training options.

  4. Round 1 – WA Competition
    The WA competition will be held online in schools on Wednesday 8th March 11:30am-1:30pm WST. Schools will need to agree to provide an appropriate venue and nominate a staff member to supervise throughout the session.

    The details for participating in the competition online are provided in the attached document.  Please read through them carefully.

    There is no limit to the number of teams from each school that can compete online.

  5. Round 2-National Competition
    The successful competitors in the WA competition will receive certificates and the top teams will be invited to go on to represent WA in the National Round.

    The National Round will be held in university centres around Australia on Wednesday 29th March. UWA is the venue for the WA teams.

Timeline Summary

OzCLO Registration opens online Monday 9th January

Deadline for UWA Training Session Monday, February 20th

Training Session at UWA Wednesday, February 22nd 12:30–2:30

Round 1 (in-school online) Wednesday, March 8th 11:30-1:30 WST

State Round results 7-14 days after the State Round

National Round at UWA Wednesday, March 29th 12:30–3:00

National Round results 7-14 days after the National Round

International Olympiad, Ireland July

Other Information

All participating students will be contacted through their teachers, as registration will be through the schools.

For the Training Session and/or National Round at UWA, schools which require sighting UWA’s Certificate of Currency of Insurance should contact well in advance of your visit to the campus.

Need help?

For general information, please contact Dr John Henderson in Linguistics at UWA: phone 6488 2870 or email  For Matters in relation to the Round 1 online competition, please contact Rebecca Defina at


OzCLO is provided by these universities:

The University of Western Australia

The University of Melbourne

The Australian National University

The University of Queensland

Macquarie University

The University of Adelaide

Griffith University

The University of South Australia

Charles Darwin University

Flinders University


and proudly supported by these organisations:

Australian Linguistic Society (ALS)

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO)


and these companies:

The Australian National Dictionary Centre

The Co-op Bookshop

Macquarie Dictionary