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General Rules:
  • Rules are subject to change year by year in unique circumstances. Rules will be updated to match the year's circumstance appropriately. If there are any questions about the rules, please contact the Alabama Brain Bee Team.
  • Students must be registered to participate in the Alabama Brain Bee.
  • All recording devices, including video cameras, are prohibited. Note taking by students or other members of the audience is also prohibited. This will result in an immediate disqualification.
  • All members of the audience (students, parents, teachers, etc.) should refrain from conversations during the competition. During Session I, all non-participating individuals will be asked to leave the testing area.
  • Any student that is being disruptive during the competition will be disqualified. Disruptive members of the audience will be asked to leave.
  • All electronic devices (cell phones, pages, mp3 players, etc.) must be turned off and put away during the competition.
  • Students will not be excused to use the restroom during the competition. 
  • Students must leave all bags (backpacks, purses, laptop bags, etc.) with their parents, teachers, or in a designated area in the back of the lecture hall during the competition.
  • Any student found cheating in the competition will be disqualified immediately.

Section 1: Written Exam (50 questions, 1 hour)

  • All contestants will take the written exam.
  • Only participating contestants will be allowed in the testing area.
  • Contestants will have one hour to complete 50 multiple-choice questions.
  • All answers must be recorded on the provided scantron form with a #2 pencil.
  • The written exam will consist of 4 sections:

General (30 questions, 60% of exam)

    • All questions will be general knowledge neuroscience questions taken from two sources: Brain Facts and Neuroscience: Science of the Brain
    • Both books are available for download on our site under the “Preparation Resources” tab.
Human Neuroanatomy (10 questions, 20% of exam)
    • All questions will require contestants to identify names and/or functions of neuroanatomical structures.
    • Contestants can prepare by studying any basic neuroanatomy or neurophysiology textbook or atlas. 
    • Contestants should know:
      • General brain structures (including gyri and sulci)
      • Major arteries in the brain
      • Major cranial Nerves
Neurohistology (5 questions, 10% of exam)
    • All questions will require contestants to identify various cells and parts of the nervous system.
    • Contestants can prepare by studying any basic neurohistological atlas or textbook.
    • All histological sections will be taken from the following structures:
      • Cerebellum
      • Cerebral Gray Matter
      • Cerebral White Matter
      • Neuromuscular Junction
      • Neuron Axon
      • Neuron Dendrite
      • Neuron Nucleus
      • Node of Ranvier
      • Pacinian Corpuscle
      • Purkinje Neurons
      • Pyramidal Neurons
      • Spinal Cord Anterior Horn
      • Spinal Cord Gray Matter
      • Spinal Cord Posterior Horn
      • Spinal Cord White Matter
Patient Diagnosis (5 questions, 10% of exam)
    • All questions will require contestants to diagnose a neurological disease or disorder from a medical history in the form of a brief paragraph.
    • Contestants should be familiar with commons symptoms of each disease or disorder, as well as common clinical, laboratory, or imaging exams used to diagnose the disease or disorder.
    • Contestants can prepare by using online sources to study symptoms and exam results for the most common forms of each disease or disorder.
    • All neurological diseases and disorders will be taken from the following:
      • Addiction
      • Alzheimer’s Disease
      • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
      • Autism
      • Bipolar Disorder
      • Cerebral Palsy
      • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
      • Down Syndrome
      • Epilepsy
      • Huntington’s Disease
      • Hydrocephalus
      • Korsakoff’s Syndrome
      • Multiple Sclerosis
      • Neurological AIDS
      • Parkinson’s Disease
      • Rett Syndrome
      • Schizophrenia
      • Spinal Cord Injury
      • Stroke
      • Tourette’s Syndrome
Section 2: Oral Exam
  • The top 10 scoring contestants from the written test will advance to compete in the oral exam.
  • All contestants will simultaneously be asked the same questions.
  • All questions will be in a free-response/short-answer format and will be general knowledge neuroscience questions taken from Brain Facts and Neuroscience: Science of the Brain.
  • Each question will be read twice. Immediately following the second reading of the question, contestants will have 10 seconds to record their answer
  • Following the 10 second answer period, each contestant’s answer will be read aloud and be determined correct or incorrect by the judges.
  • Each contestant will be eliminated after three incorrect answers.
  • If multiple contestants are eliminated simultaneously, final positions will be determined based upon the contestants’ scores on the written exam.
  • The last contestant remaining will be named as the Alabama Brain Bee champion.